Thursday November 20, 10AM
Meet outside 100 Centre Street, NYC
(Part 91 - 15th Floor)
On August 18, 2006, seven young African American lesbian women from Newark, New Jersey came to Manhattan’s West Village for a night out. A man named Dwayne Buckle harassed and assaulted the young women, making sexist and homophobic comments to them as well as lewd advances and telling one of the women that he would “F—k her straight.” A physical altercation ensued, and two men came to the aid of the women. One of the men stabbed Buckle, and then left the scene. The women continued on their way and were arrested shortly after. The trial that took place was a farce, the judge was condescending and offensive, the media demonized the women as a "lesbian wolf-pack", there was never a search for the two men who stabbed Buckle, requests for forensic testing on the supposed weapon were ignored as was footage from a surveillance camera that clearly showed Buckle was the perpetrator. After a year-long trip through the legal system, three women of the women- Chenese Loyal, Khymesha Coates, Lania Daniels took plea bargains and the other four were convicted of crimes and given shocking prison sentences in April 2007. Terrain Dandridge was sentenced to three and a half years behind bars; Venice Brown, five years; Renata Hill, eight years; and Patreese Johnson, was sentenced to an unbelievable 11 years. Terrain Dandridge’s case was overturned, all her charges were dropped and she was released on June 21st, 2008. She has recently been speaking out with her family and with supporters such as Angela Davis in San Francisco and in NY.
For more info, there is an excellent article Re-Thinking "The Norm" In Police/Prison Violence & Gender Violence: Critical Lessons from the New Jersey 7 in the most recent issue of Left Turn Magazine by INCITE! Women of Color Against Violence & FIERCE! that addresses issues of violence and bias against queer youth of color and the struggle to make these issues visible.
There is a screening of documentaries about the lives of LGBTQ youth in the West Village:
Friday November 21, 7pm
343 Lenox Ave/Malcom X Blvd.
Panel 8pm, reception to follow
Fenced Out documents the fight for the Christopher St. pier, a long-established hangout and safe haven for New York City’s youth of color and lower-income, homeless, lesbian, gay bisexual, transgender, questioning and two-spirited youth. In the summer of 2000, development for a state park began “fencing out” the kids, with support from residents of nearby waterfront properties. “You are lowering the property value,” notes one police officer bluntly. The video examines the clash between the groups that claim ownership of the pier, from the perspective of the youths who feel it is the only place where they belong. The documentary includes interviews with “pierets” about how important the pier is in their lives, and with LGBTQ activists about the history of the piers and their connection to the gay liberation movement of the 60’s. It explores how the struggle to save the pier connects to a larger historical and social movement, and develops a plan of action to save them.
Life on Christopher Street dir. Maria Clara, 2002
Through the eyes of these urban male youth, known as "Homolife on Christopher St. Thugs", we see gay rappers, "Blood" gang members, pimps, and sex workers in their struggle to maintain dignity. The film is an exposé of a rising subculture of Black and Latino gay youth born in the late 70's to early 80's, representing the Hip-Hop generation. These urban gay youth living on the most popular gay strip in the world maintain the aggressive hyper masculine image and attitude represented in the Hip-Hop culture, contradicting the stereotypical image of homosexuals.
Life on Christopher Street Director & Producer Maria Clara and Kimberly Gray, FIERCE!, RJ Supa and Steven Gordon of The Ali Forney Center (housing for homeless LGBTQ youth)
reception to follow