I started this column a million times

by our new columnist

I started this column a million times
since honored with Martin’s request
that I commence one…

Naming it:
do that later…
so I subsequently decided to dive directly into the subject; in other words I’m fielding names for the column so by the next issue there could be a title?
Finding the ‘it’ or subject;

BLACK GIRLS COALITION; started in New York 1994

then migrated to Berlin 2001–2005
one fine day after speaking with fellow x-resident of the venue and friend Dee Jay Tyree Cooper, along with the COALITION’s co-founder Paisley Dalton: I decided to focus on a perceived perception of modern day (in this case) Berlin not necessarily gone, though greatly numbed since the rampant gentrification that pervades pretty much all so-called modern mecca’s: this notion of which I write is ‘community,’ otherwise known as where one goes to feel alone en masse…
Berlin in particular is a very interesting place to begin a discussion on said topic; what with Dr. Magnus Hirschfeld doing gender replacement surgery as early as 1933; or starting his Institute for Sex Research in 1919, which specialized in trans-genderism, homosexuality in men and women, plus all forms of relationship counselling? At that time, by any standard, a very modern approach to equal rights; he even worked with local authorities to quell raids of known ‘homophile’ establishments: remember this is Berlin in the 1920–30’s!

…all came crashing down in 1933 when the German Students Union—of all the possible factions?!—burnt it down… a few days later the extensive library; detailed plus extremely concise archive, along with hundreds of photos, were publicly destroyed… (the government decided that was ok, and appropriated any left over funds to start Charité Hospital)

cut to:
Berlin 2001
…BLACK GIRLS COALITION descends on the unsuspecting village: not dissimilar to the touching down of lightening, if it didn’t kill you? you’d be a stronger person for it! that said I’d never seen an altercation there? Ever! and rarely any light?
…a one bedroom apartment in Friedrichshain; lights solely in the kitchen and / or bathroom, which were both very close to the front door; normally you would hear that the place was not that big, however with no lights you would think it was much larger with the number of people going in and out: capacity could not have been more than say 100–125 people legally; though I never saw it that empty: for readings; shows; concerts… you’d just sit where you were standing or dancing on the dance floor; plus in this small ass apartment they had a stage?!

I remember picking up my best friend from kindergarten at the Ostbahnhof: walking around some music festival that was happening in the village and recall him stopping (like a deer in headlights) to see five middle aged men; pot bellied balding on the top; ponytails down the back (hobby musicians) playing live; a version of play that funky music white boy; and yes they were all white Germans; yep! that cannot be unseen or unheard; it’s with me forever unfortunately: after that little excursion I took Augie to BLACK GIRLS COALITION to see a band called GLAMOUR TO KILL; it was their first show in Germany (they’re from Spain) and this started a great friendship! as well as a great first night for my kindergarten friend…

B.G.C. was brought to Berlin by founders Paisley Dalton and Greg Peercy;
in New York the organization catered mostly to ‘African Americans’ (I prefer ‘Blacks,’ never really warmed up to the notion of ‘African Americans’ maybe because of the initials being AA?) in Berlin the focus was re-directed as “an organization that can help foreigners living alternative lifestyles… we never started off with this idea of Black Girls being a political organization…” (Paisley Dalton in the film GENDER X by Julia Ostertag)… I imagine there were a few people there that had no idea of the work these folks were doing behind the scenes to help shape the fabric of an already diversified open agenda environment, for if you only went a couple times you might just pass it off as another punky drag bar? Ah she was so much more! There again is that broad definition of community…

Eric D. Clark; Ryan Mendoza and YAIR, The Rosa Parks House, 2017
Ryan Mendoza and YAIR, The Rosa Parks House, 2017
Eric D. Clark; Ryan Mendoza and YAIR, The Rosa Parks House, 2017

cut to:
present day Berlin 2017
Rosa Parks’ house has been brought to the village by Ryan Mendoza and YAIR Berlin!
as a child, Mrs. Parks was always part of our home learning program (my Mother never believed public school was enough, so our schooling went on and on and on and…, et cetera) which covered a great deal of social awareness materials especially concerning the roles of Blacks (Negroes) in American society; the usual suspects (in some cases quite literally) George Washington Carver; Clara Brown; Booker T. Washington; Josephine Baker; Madame C.J. Walker; Angela Davis; Maya Angelou; The Mills Brothers, or Frederic Douglas (after whom I was named); so many more as well… it was not until I moved to the EU that I began to find out even more information about people like Bayard Rustin, who organized the Martin Luther King march on Washington in 1963! never heard of him? me either until recently: well he was born in 1912 (deceased 1987), an openly Homosexual Black Man! Due to this fact I started to realize that many activists, especially in the fight for black rights, were often quietly touting the horn for all forms of EQUAL rights for those marginalized by ‘accepted’ society! The project YAIR; Mendoza and Mrs. Parks’ niece Rhea McCauly, has brought to the city of Berlin, is a monument to the fight for equal rights in installation form; it is indeed a quite emotive piece that, even with the heritage involved, does not smack of pure politics?

this brings me to the topic of all this seemingly random banter: COMMUNITY think about it…
The new ‘niggers’ are gays. It is in this sense that gay people are the new barometer for social change. the question of social change should be framed with the most vulnerable group in mind: gay people
—Bayard Rustin, 1986.





Gender X, Julia Ostertag, 2005

Brother Outsider: The Life of Bayard Rustin, Bennett Singer, 2003

Anders als die Andern (Different from the Others), Richard Oswald, 1919

Starship 16: Cover Klara Liden
  1. Cover print Klara Liden
  2. Editorial 16 Starship, Henrik Olesen, Nikola Dietrich, Martin Ebner, Gerry Bibby, Ariane Müller
  3. In this issue Starship
  4. Interview with Leo Bersani, Berkeley, Oct. 1995 Katja Diefenbach, Leo Bersani
  5. Untitled (Flat finish) Michael Krebber
  6. Man sagte mir, dass das Leben schmerzhaft sei ... Cornelia Herfurtner, David Iselin-Ricketts, John Allan MacLean
  7. Karl Holmqvist Starship 16 Karl Holmqvist
  8. Auf der Flucht vor der neuen Dringlichkeit Hans-Christian Dany
  9. Nilpferdkönig Tenzing Barshee
  10. Animal Farm Karl Holmqvist
  11. I started this column a million times Eric D. Clark
  12. Score for Possible Performance (Alonesome and Twosome for Two or Four Players) Michèle Graf, Selina Grüter
  13. Those ornamentals and these accidentals never they will meet Francesca Drechsler
  14. Access cont'd John Beeson
  15. Cut you down to size Robert Meijer
  16. Things Mercedes Bunz
  17. Die Welt geht unter Amelie von Wulffen
  18. Way Beyond The Pale— (An) Itinerant(’s) Meanderings Scott Cameron Weaver
  19. Mongiardino Christopher Müller
  20. Why the military should be the first client of art Robert McKenzie, Peter Fend
  21. Giraffe Birth Leidy Churchman
  22. Photos: Heinz Peter Knes – Words: Sokol Ferizi Heinz Peter Knes, Sokol Ferizi
  23. Nach dem Referendum / Over Time Pt. 2 Florian Zeyfang
  24. La femme nouvelle Nadira Husain
  25. Being invisible is the new cool? Stephanie Fezer, Vera Tollmann
  26. Octavia E. Butler Octavia E. Butler
  27. A.E.R.I.P. Mark von Schlegell
  28. BOandI Monika Kalinauskaitė
  29. Bonnie Camplin Bonnie Camplin
  30. No Gerry Bibby
  31. U.I. Matthew Billings
  32. G. Luke Williams, Natasha Soobramanien
  33. Refound Poetry Evelyn Taocheng Wang
  34. Ein Auswandererroman Ariane Müller
  35. Comedy of Reading Katrin Trüstedt
  36. Mr. Palomar's Vacation Jakob Kolding, Søren Andreasen
  37. The Scrapbooks of Teruo Nishiyama Jay Chung, Q Takeki Maeda
  38. Reality Workshop David Bussel
  39. Queer Crit Potluck Kaucyila Brooke, Louis Coy, Boz David, Jennifer Green, Blake Jacobsen, Tyler Lumm, Giselle Morgan, Ace Shi, Vickie Aravindhan, AJ Strout, Josh Winklholfer
  40. – Xorri, didn’t get the memo # Hey Majorca! Julian Göthe
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