Thursday, July 2, 2015

Black Acceptance Of Gay Rights & Video "You Make Me Feel (Mighty Real)" by Sylvester

Edited by Azizi Powell

This post showcases an excerpt from an online article urging Black people to join others in embracing and advocating for gay rights.

Information about Sylvester James, Jr. and a video of Slyvester's hit song "You Make Me Feel (Mighty Real)" are also featured in this post.

The content of this post is presented for cultural, sociological, entertainment, and aesthetic purposes.

All copyrights remain with their owners.

Thanks to Brandon Ellington Patterson, the author of the showcased article, and thanks also to Sylvester James, Jr. for his musical legacy. Thanks also to all those quoted in this post and thanks to the publisher of this video on Youtube.

From "Why You Can't Be Pro-Black and Homophobic at the Same Time" by Brandon Ellington Patterson, Jul. 2, 2015

Every chain must be broken if freedom is to be achieved for all black people.

..."Thirty-four percent of black transgender people live in extreme poverty—a rate three times that of black people as a whole and eight times that of the general US population. Homelessness is rife. Only 19 states have state-wide non-discrimination laws that cover both sexual orientation and gender identity. In 2013, two-thirds of all LGBT homicide victims were transgender women of color, while LGBT people are more likely to be subjected to hostility, brutality, and unjust arrest from police after reporting a crime against them. And forty-three percent of black gay youth have attempted suicide as a result of issues related to their sexual orientation.
Through anti-LGBT bigotry, we add to the marginalization of these black folk….

There is no caveat or asterisk on the phrase "Black Lives Matter." All black lives matter, not just the ones you are comfortable with. You cannot be pro-black if you oppress black people. And, more importantly, you cannot love all black people if you oppress black people. You do not mean "black lives matter" if you protest when an unarmed straight black man is killed by the police because they are black, but don't care about the the many transgender black women who have been murdered this year because they were trans.

If we are to liberate black people as a whole, then we must combat all forms of discrimination against black people, including anti-LGBT discrimination and that which we inflict upon them from within our own communities. The struggle must be multi-layered, just like the identities of black people. Every chain must be broken.

If black people do not come to grips with the homophobia and transphobia within our own communities, then all black people will never be free. That, indeed, would be a tragedy that we brought upon ourselves. I, for one, join the LGBT community—black LGBT people—in celebrating a milestone in their struggle for freedom."

"Sylvester James, Jr. (September 6, 1947 – December 16, 1988), better known as Sylvester, was an American disco and soul singer-songwriter. Known for his flamboyant and androgynous appearance, he was often described as a drag queen, although he repeatedly rejected such a description. Responsible for a string of hit singles in the late 1970s, Sylvester became known in the United States under the moniker of the "Queen of Disco."

Born in Watts, Los Angeles, Sylvester developed a love of singing through the gospel choirs of his Pentecostal church. Leaving the congregation after being persecuted for his homosexuality, he was an early founder of a group of black cross-dressers and trans women known as The Disquotays, who disbanded in 1970. Moving to San Francisco, he embraced the counterculture and joined drag troupe The Cockettes, eventually producing solo shows heavily influenced by female blues and jazz singers like Billie Holiday and Josephine Baker. During their critically panned tour of New York City, Sylvester left the Cockettes to focus on his solo career...

Gaining new backing singers in the form of Two Tons O' Fun and Jeanie Tracy, he obtained a recording contract with Harvey Fuqua of Fantasy Records. His first solo album, Sylvester (1977), was a moderate success, and was followed by acclaimed disco album Step II (1978), which spawned the hit singles "You Make Me Feel (Mighty Real)" and "Dance (Disco Heat)." He recorded four more albums, including a live album, with Fantasy Records before signing to Megatone Records, the dance-oriented label founded by friend and collaborator Patrick Cowley, where he recorded four more albums, including the Cowley penned and produced hit Hi-NRG track "Do Ya Wanna Funk." An activist who campaigned against the spread of HIV/AIDS, Sylvester died from complications arising from the virus in 1988.

On September 20, 2004, Sylvester's anthem record, "You Make Me Feel (Mighty Real)," was inducted into the Dance Music Hall of Fame. A year later, on September 19, 2005, Sylvester himself was inducted into the Dance Music Hall of Fame for his achievement as an artist. His life has been recorded in a biography and made the subject of a documentary and a musical."

Sylvester - You Make Me Feel (Mighty Real) - 1978

Lazaro Santos Published on Apr 6, 2013

Grande sucesso "You Make Me Feel (Mighty Real)" gravado em 1978, faixa do álbum "Step II" (pela Fantasy Records), e que foi número 1 da Billboard club hits. Por Sylvester James (Los Angeles, 6 de setembro de 1947 - São Francisco, 16 de Dezembro de 1988).

Google Translate: from Portuguese to English:
Big hit "You Make Me Feel (Mighty Real)" recorded in 1978, the album track "Step II" (by Fantasy Records), which was number one on the Billboard club hits. Sylvester James (Los Angeles, September 6, 1947 - San Francisco, December 16, 1988).
Click for the lyrics to this song.

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