By Steven Louis Brawley
May 30, 2021: The St. Louis LGBT History Project has launched an innovative documentary style film series that is taking an unique approach to capturing community and individual histories. The Project's new "In Our Voices" film series allows people to tell their life stories in a non-traditional and unscripted manner. The first episode features the legacy of the Zebra Lounge and The Hitching Post, African American LGBTQIA+ spaces in midtown St. Louis from the 1970s-1980s. The 30-minute episode was hosted by Craig Greene and Candance Forrest (Candy Principle) and features partons and staff of the bars sharing their memories and experiences. The cameras rolled as people reminisced, laughed, and even danced. The commentary is lighthearted and serious. Several future episodes with new topics have been filmed and are in production mode. The Project has partnered with Taber Creative Productions to help produce the film series. Stay tuned for future episodes.
May 26, 2021: This summer, the Project will be promoting a variety of exciting programs that help us further reveal St. Louis' LGBTQIA+ history. Watch our social media accounts for updates and details. The following programs are subject to change. Please reference links provided:
St. Louis LGBT History Project
State Historical Society of Missouri
Washington University in St. Louis
That Uppity Theatre Company
Trinity Episcopal Church
Chris Jackson Rewind Exhibit and Program at Chesterfield Mall
By Steven Louis Brawley
May 16, 2021: As a new trustee for the State Historical Society of Missouri (SHSMO), I am proud to be involved in promoting Missouri's Bicentennial celebration in 2021. One of these events involves documenting important legacies.
Missouri Community Legacies is a documentation initiative of the SHSMO's bicentennial commemoration. The goal of the program is to create a “snapshot” of Missouri traditions, creative expressions, meaningful places, organizations, and institutions during its bicentennial of statehood and develop a resource – built by the people of Missouri – of long-term use to students and teachers, researchers, and others interested in the rich history, life, and culture of the state.
I have written descriptions for three important St. Louis area legacies - St. Louis Pride Celebrations, Trinity Episcopal Church, and the Central West End Neighborhood. Citing amazing historical research conducted by many of the Project's contributors and partners, I provide an overview of the impact the LGBTQIA+ community has played in state and local history.
April 2, 2021: On March 31, 2021, Mary Maxfield gave a virtual presentation of her research on 1970s St. Louis lesbian activism in partnership with the St. Louis LGBT History Project. The presentation covered a range of lesbian organizing including women’s houses/ collectives, bookstores and music production companies, and the city’s first Take Back the Night March.
Mary’s article “Together We Can Make a Safe Home: Space, Violence, and Lesbian Organizing in 1970s St. Louis” will be featured in Left in the Midwest: Building Progressive Movements in 1960s and ‘70s St. Louis (eds. Amanda Izzo and Benjamin Looker), which will be released by the University of Missouri Press in 2022.
Mary is a Dissertation Fellow and Ph.D. candidate at St. Louis University (SLU), with a graduate certificate in ethnic studies and Master’s Degrees in American studies from Bowling Green State University and SLU.
Mary holds a graduate teaching assistantship at SLU and was a 2019 Divided City fellow through Washington University. Her research focuses on social justice as it relates to LGBTQ+ experiences, space and place, and digital technologies.