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Touching Up Our Roots: B

Bivins, Willis

Interviewee: Willis Bivins
Interviewer: Dave Hayward
Date of Interview: February 3, 2011
Extent: 1 compact disc



A patron of the Stonewall Inn before the raid in July of 1969 Willis Bivins also marched in the first Pride March in New York City in 1970.  In Atlanta, Bivins was one of the founding members of Black and White Men Together Atlanta (BWMT). Established in the early 1980s, BWMT is a "gay multiracial, multicultural organization committed to fostering supportive environments wherein racial and cultural barriers can be overcome and the goal of human equality realized". BWMT engages in educational, political, cultural, and social activities as a means of dealing with racism, sexism, homophobia, HIV/AIDS discrimination and other inequities.

More recently, in an effort to move beyond color and specific racial designations, to a more community-based organization with a focus on cultural interaction, Bivins co-founded Atlanta Men for All Cultures (AMAC).



Boykin, Berl

Interviewee: Berl Boykin
Interviewer: Dave Hayward
Date of interview: February 3, 2011
Extent: 41 minutes

Excerpt: Berl Boykin talks about meeting with Jimmy Carter after the governor had outlawed lesbianism.

Excerpt: Dave Hayward talks about quadruple carding policies as a form of discrimination against blacks and women.

Excerpt: Berl Boykin talks about President Carter's support of Civil Unions in 2004.

Excerpt: Berl Boykin talks about the first Pride March in 1971.

Excerpt: Berl Boykin talks about the police raid at a screening of Andy Warhol's film, Lonesome Cowboys.

The first openly gay playwright in Georgia, Berl Boykin was present at the creation of the Georgia Gay Liberation Front in August 1969. Newly emboldened by the Stonewall riots six weeks before, LGBTQ activists organized the GGLF when the Atlanta police raided a screening of Andy Warhol’s “Lonesome Cowboys”.

Serving as a marshal for Atlanta’s first Pride March in 1971, Berl shepherded the 125 marchers down the sidewalks when the city refused the GLF a permit to march. Then on July 14, 1971, Berl and the late Bill Smith and the late Klaus Smith lobbied Governor Jimmy Carter to come out for lgbt rights legislation – to a chorus of Carter’s resounding “Nos!” Boykin and Dave Hayward contacted President Carter in 2004 to ask him to support civil unions. That time, Carter responded positively.


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