The Salsa Soul Sisters, Third World Wimmin Inc Collective was the first “out” organisation for lesbians, womanists, and women of colour in New York City and is now the oldest black lesbian organisation in the USA. They grew out of the Black Lesbian Caucus of the Gay Activist Alliance, officially splitting in 1974 and inviting Latina women to join (they would also later include Native American and Asian members). Original collective member Candice Boyce said that there “was no other place for women of color to go and sit down and talk about what it means to be a black lesbian in America”.
They also published Azalea: A Magazine by Third World Lesbians from the years 1977- 83. The magazine was an important embodiment of the collective’s belief that “some of us (and the numbers continue to grow) are speaking of being lesbians — autonomously, collectively, emotionally, historically. Not only are Black lesbians writing, but we are writing – sharing – with other 3rd world lesbians as well… Native American, Asian, Latina and Black dykes are nourishing ourselves with ideas and feelings. Although there are many factors that keep us from each other – divert our energies – we are still able to do our own work. An enormous need exists for 3rd world lesbians to communicate among ourselves.”
Azalea’s editorial policy took on a daring stance: “we print what you send – work that is important to us as 3rd world lesbians. In order to keep the magazine non-elitist and non hierarchical, WE DO NOT EDIT YOUR WORK.” Azalea represented experimental publishing methods and meeting the needs of a community, all in order to empower the marginalised.
Read More: Our Legacy: Six Lesbian Magazines From The Then Before Now – https://www.autostraddle.com/six-lesbian-magazines-that-changed-the-world-and-then-disappeared-140806/ (Quote and Featured Image Source)
Salsa Soul Sisters – https://lgbt.wikia.org/wiki/Salsa_Soul_Sisters
–Charlotte ‘Fozz’ Forrester