In the growing national conversation and reckoning about race, social justice, and equality which erupted last year bringing together people across all walks of life in America, we need to take stock of our own house. The accomplishments of Black Americans in our Community to its progress, their achievements in the Civil Right movement and enduring contributions to the story of our nation are cause for celebration not minimization as is more often the case.
Historically, Black LGBTQ Americans have borne the “stigma” of two marginalized communities. They were “outcasts” in both; but their courage, persistence, and talents allowed them to succeed in times of discrimination, segregation, and homophobia. But under immense pressure in the darkness, we know diamonds are created which when brought into the light sparkle with brilliance.
One of the lasting themes to come from the fervent Black Live Matter protests for change was a simple one for all of us: Listen.
For Black History Month 2021 we’re taking that to heart. As we do every year during Pride Month, theOUTfront will be celebrating Black Americans in their own inspiring words all month with a daily Twitter series @TheOUTFront .
One of the most inspiring sights of the Black Lives Matter protests last summer, were the impromptu dance parties that broke out following the violent clearing of peaceful protesters from the same streets days before. It showed there is more than one way to protest and love does conquer hate. In honor of Black History Month, we’d like to celebrate DJ Frankie Knuckles.
If you’ve danced in a club, gone to a Tea Dance, Circuit Party, EDM Festival, and/or played an extended remix you can trace the joy you’ve experienced back to the Grammy winning, “Godfather of House Music.” Legendary in the Gay Club scene for decades, Frankie Knuckles’s global influence on dance music cannot be underestimated. He was a pioneer in the music industry; the way Moms Mabley was in comedy; James Baldwin was in literature; and Marsha P. Johnson was in activism.
Black History, LGBT History, it is all our American History.
“House Music isn’t Black or White. It just is. It feels good & it feels right.” – Frankie Knuckles
“Listen” to these incredible tracks and you’ll understand why he is the Godfather.
Frankie Knuckles passed in 2014 but in 2019 the Frankie Knuckles Foundation was created to keep his music and advocacy work alive.
“The Frankie Knuckles Foundation is a not for profit educational, and cultural organization dedicated to the advancement of Frankie Knuckles’ mission as the global ambassador of house music through media, conservation and public events continuing and supporting the causes he advocated.
The FKF is a recognized 501c3 and focused on these initiatives: music in schools, LGBTQ youth homelessness, AIDS research / prevention & diabetes research / education.”