Black Looks - Including an African LGBTIQ+ Archive

Black America, Queer Politics

In praise of older women and stories yet untold

I’ve been scrolling through Tumblr over the past few weeks and noticed so many Tumblrs posting photos of young  Black women – which is great and they are all beautiful but I got to wanting to see ME. Some layers, some texture and depth,  some life lines.  So it was a breath of fresh air to come across this photo of Toni Morrison on Amphitrit accompanied by some incredibly wise words….. I keep looking and looking at this photo –  Morrison beauty is holistic, complete, breathtaking and alive.

“I know that happiness has been the real, if covert, goal of your labors here. I know that it informs your choice of companions, the profession you will enter, but I urge you, please don’t settle for happiness. It’s not good enough. Of course, you deserve it. But if that is all you have in mind–happiness–I want to suggest to you that personal success devoid of meaningfulness, free of a steady commitment to social justice, that’s more than a barren life, it is a trivial one. It is looking good, instead of doing good.” – Toni Morrison

Thoughtfully & Expertly Transcribed by @llapen Follow her!

Some more Tumbling and I came across this post on the Black Lesbian Elder Project – Via GAQ – who also found it a “breath of fresh air”.

In a youth obsessed culture, and a queer scene where you often have to dig to find good representations of people of color, here’s a breath of fresh air: The Untitled Black Lesbian Elder Project. This new film collaboration is exactly what it sounds like – a feature length documentary on the lives of several black lesbian women in their 60s, 70s and 80s, talking about their experiences in politically important times.

Older and elderly Black lesbian gay and trans people are one of the most invisible group of people world wide which makes this a hugely important documentary.  The two women behind the project bring even more kudos to the film – Tiona McClodden who was  behind the 2009 documentary black./womyn.: conversations with lesbians of African descent is directly involved with the project and Lisa C Moore of Red Bone Press.


  1. Darkdaughta

    “Older and elderly Black lesbian gay and trans people are one of the most invisible group of people world wide”…
    and to draw this back to where you began with the brilliant yet very well positioned, very much part of the elitist academic amerikkkan educational power structure, lauded among Black folk for walking, as many Black female academics do, a particular asexual line…Toni Morrison…
    sometimes when you’ve spent decades struggling with multifaceted vision and purpose, fighting on many fronts, not just externally (which is always easier) but also internally, in the backyards of extended chosen friends and family (which is never welcomed or appreciated), for something representative, revolutionary and right only to find yourself blocked by the very people you had been taught to recognize as allies because…
    they are in fact more allied with status, class and career than with resistance on its own…
    you learn to let go and step away lest you be destroyed by their aspirations and power based models hidden so covertly, so expertly.
    Sometimes happiness, just simple happiness…
    like being able to teach ones children well and see the fruits of that unfold in the strength of their characters, in the uprightness of their spines, in the sharpness of their intellects, sometimes being able to sit inside a house and watch loving insightful conversations unfold among the members of a family that was not supposed to exist let alone survive…
    to plant the soil and watch beauty unfurl…
    sometimes that has to be enough for those of us who have literally and repeatedly considered suicide when the rainbow proved to be a place of power only for some but not for others.
    So this morning I’m here talking to my daughter about the kind of parenting she is receiving, eating the pasta she made for me with supervision from one of her male parents, listening to one of the other male parents teaching my son how to share during play time as they play trains on the thank you goddess dining table and the sun streams in.
    I’ve got some chairs to paint and a full length sweater to finish knitting. sigh… 🙂
    I am sustained by dizzying dreams and haunted by loathsome nightmares of times when I believed that coming together was significant and powerful.
    I’m considering blogging about a conversation I had with my nine year old daughter last night when she said that although people can call boys guys, there seem to be no cool words she can think of for girls. I explained to her that the coolest of cool word for girls isn’t something every girl or woman will feel comfortable with – dyke – and how some folks will try to use the word dyke to make fun of a woman or scare her but that dykes are the coolest of cool girls. I reminded her of the dyke march and said that we’d go again so she could walk among all the cool girls. 🙂
    Is that kind of happy enough for me?
    Does it stack up well against what I could be doing or should be doing for various revolutions and causes where my input and stated agendas were not understood or considered necessary, where my behaviour was poo-pooed by the nice middle class revolutionaries who control and define community agendas in most circles? heh 🙂
    Am I happy? Most definitely…in a complicated kind of way I’d like to think some would appreciate. 🙂

  2. Sokari

    DD thank you for your thoughtfully comment . I am away from home but wish to respond in a considered way so will do so on Monday