Two images of Black women in a pink tinged sepia tone with the words The Pleasure of Rebellion in pink across an egg shell colored background
(l-r) Cheryl Clarke and Alexis De Veaux

The Pleasure of Rebellion gathers the work of Black lesbian and feminist writers Alexis De Veaux and Cheryl Clarke and attends to their aesthetic, artistic, and political contributions to Black Studies. This exhibition maps Clarke and De Veaux’s intellectual odysseys to demonstrate how these Black queer theorists provide a critical lens to scrutinize the contours of eroticism and freedom. Through the work of Clarke and De Veaux, The Pleasure of Rebellion insists that we can move from understanding the archive as a morgue and colonial machination to valuing it as an animate reservoir by honoring the work of the living. 

Briona Simone Jones, Ph.D., is a 2023-24 Schomburg Center Scholar in Residence and Curator of The Pleasure of Rebellion. Dr. Jones is Assistant Professor of English and Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies at the University of Connecticut. She is a multi-award-winning writer, scholar, and editor of Mouths of Rain: An Anthology of Black Lesbian Thought (The New Press, 2021), the most comprehensive anthology centering Black Lesbian Thought to date. At the Schomburg, Jones is conducting archival research in Black lesbian poet and scholar Cheryl Clarke's papers to explore the personal and political contours of her work. 

Public Program and Reception

four images of four portraits of Black women
(l-r from the top) Cheryl Clarke, Alexis De Veaux, Briona Simone Jones, Alexis Pauline Gumbs

Tuesday, June 11, 2024 | 5:00 PM | Schomburg Center

Celebrating the life and work of Black lesbian and feminist writers Alexis De Veaux and Cheryl Clarke who will join Alexis Pauline Gumbs and Schomburg Center Scholar in Residence and curator, Briona Simone Jones in conversation followed by a book signing. The Pleasure of Rebellion exhibition will be on view all evening.

5PM Reception \ 6PM Public Program (Doors Open) \ 7:30PM Book Signing

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Explore the Collections

Color image of a person looking at archival collections

Cheryl Clarke Papers

Cheryl Clarke is a Black lesbian poet, writer, critic, scholar, and activist. This collection is a testament to her life's work as a Black, lesbian, feminist activist and demonstrates her commitment to promoting Black lesbian visibility and voices through writing as activism.

Alexis De Veaux Papers

Alexis De Veaux (born 1948, New York City) is a writer, poet, and playwright. The Alexis De Veaux papers, which date from the 1960s to 2020s, consist of writings, correspondence, and journals documenting her personal life and career.

Akasha Hull Papers

Akasha Gloria Hull (born 1944) is a writer, poet, and Black feminist scholar. The Akasha Hull papers, mostly dating from the 1970s to the 2000s, document Hull's writing projects, including poetry and scholarly works, her involvement in the Combahee River Collective, and her academic career as a professor of literature and women's studies, primarily at the University of Delaware and University of California, Santa Cruz.

Stormé DeLarverié Photographs

The Stormé DeLarverié photographs document DeLarverié's long career as a singer and gay rights activist from the 1950s until her death in 2014. The collection contains personal and professional photographs, including candid pictures of DeLarverié at events and parties, at home and perfomances, including her role as the Master of Ceremonies for the Jewel Box Review, the first integrated traveling, drag, nightclub act.

In the Life Archive (ITLA), 1950s-2010

The In the Life Archive (ITLA), originally known as the Black Gay and Lesbian Archive (BGLA), was created by Steven Fullwood in 1999, to aid in the documentation and preservation of cultural materials produced by and about Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer people of African descent. In 2004, the collection was donated to the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, and it was renamed around 2013. The name ITLA was inspired by In the Life: A Black Gay Anthology, edited by Joe Beam (1986).