Historian Trent Kelly has collected 146 rare vintage photographs of black male couples from the past 150 years.

Although the large majority of the pictures depict gay couples, the collection also includes images of families and friends but they all have one thing in common: they capture images of love.

Below is a snippet of why Kelly started the collection along with a few photos from his archive.

Historically, the Afro American gay male and couple has largely been defined by everyone but themselves. Afro American gay men are ignored into nonexistence in parts of black culture and are basically second class citizens in gay culture. The black church which has historically played a fundamental role in protesting against civil injustices toward its parishioners has been want to deny its gay members their right to live a life free and open without prejudice. Despite public projections of a “rainbow” community living together in harmonious co-habitation, openly active and passive prejudices exist in the larger gay community against gay Afro Americans.

Romantic Afro Male Couples_0008

Afro Male Couples_0012

Romantic Afro Male Couples_0001

Romantic men, 1920s
1920s


Romantic Afro Male Couples_0009

Romantic-Affectionate Men

Ubangi Club, Harlem 1934-37


Passionate African American men, early 1980s1990s

Lastly, if you skip to the 4:30 minute mark you can see an interview with the historian who’s archived this collection of images.


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Read this online at http://colorlines.com/archives/2012/01/hidden_in_the_open_a_photographic_essay_of_140-years_of_afro-american_male_couples.html


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