"The world changes according to the way people see it, and if you alter, even but a millimeter the way people look at reality, then you can change it." James Baldwin
The profound words of one of literature's most respected voices resonates through this series of powerful yet understated photographs of unsung Black LGBTQ 'legends,' now on display through August 12 at the Leslie-Lohman Museum of Gay and Lesbian Art in New York.
"Legend in My Living Room" features specially commissioned photographic portraits by Magnum Foundation Fellow Jasper Briggs, of LGBTQ older adults in their homes, reflecting on their personal stories of struggle, triumph and perseverance. The exhibit is presented in partnership with Services and Advocacy for GLBT Elders (SAGE) and the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture. Portraits of the six 'legends' (ages 56-84) with accompanying quotes will beckon to pedestrians from oversized museum windows along Wooster Street in Manhattan's historic SoHo art district.
Co-curated by Steven G. Fullwood and Peter "Souleo" Wright, the transformative oral, visual, written and performative history project was launched in 2015 with the induction of oral histories from older adult participants (deemed "legends") of SAGE Center Harlem, into the In the Life Archive (ITLA) at the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, New York Public Library.
As an exploration of life's unsung heroes, "Legend in My Living Room" challenges the erasure of people of African descent from mainstream representations of LGBTQ history by elevating the stories, experiences and voices of black individuals. The general public and members of the press are invited to attend the exhibition's opening reception on Tuesday, May 24, from 6-8pm.
See the "Legend in My Living Room" slideshow, with portraits and quotes from the exhibit, below. Read the press release online.