Research Catalog

Joan Jett Blakk/Lick Bush in '92 archive

Title
Joan Jett Blakk/Lick Bush in '92 archive, 1991-1996.
Author
Jett Blakk, Joan.
Supplementary Content
Finding aid

Items in the Library & Offsite


About 1 Item.
Still Loading More items...

Vol/DateFormatAccessStatusCall NumberLocation
box 1Mixed materialUse in libraryAvailableSc MG 897 box 1Schomburg Center - Manuscripts & Archives

Details

Description
.2 linear feet (1/2 archival box)
Subjects
Note
  • Video recordings transferred to Moving Image and Recorded Sound Division.
Source (note)
  • Elspeth kydd and Gabriel Gomez
Biography (note)
  • Joan Jett Blakk is the drag performance and political persona of Terence Smith, a gay Black actor and activist. Born in Chicago, Illinois, and raised in Detroit, Michigan, Smith began performing as a drag queen by the name of Teri Stuart in 1974. After relocating to Chicago, he became heavily involved in the city's gay community, and was a founding member of the Chicago chapter of Queer Nation, a nationwide LGBT organization with the goal of increasing the visibility of the LGBT community and their sociopolitical issues.
  • Smith created his Joan Jett Blakk persona when he was invited to perform in a revue with gay performance artists Gurlene and Gurlette Hussey. Blakk's first solo drag performance was at the avant-garde Club Lower Links in May 1990, and she quickly developed a following after appearing in several AIDS Coalition to Unleash Power (ACT UP) benefits and gay performance events. In 1991, Smith was asked by Queer Nation to run for mayor of Chicago against Richard Daley under his Joan Jett Blakk persona as a form of public and political drag performance. While Blakk lost the election, her campaign achieved Queer Nation's objective of bolstering LGBT awareness and combatting the rising issue of homophobia in Chicago. The mayoral race was videotaped and made into the documentary "Drag in for Votes" (1991), directed by Gabriel Gomez and Elspeth kydd.
  • In 1992, Blakk became the first drag queen to run for president, entering the presidential race on the Queer Nation Party ticket. Blakk's candidacy aimed to bring national attention to LGBT issues through public performance art, and her campaign succeeded in raising the national profile of the LGBT community by obtaining mainstream coverage on television, radio and news publications. Blakk's presidential campaign slogan, "Lick Bush in '92," inspired the title of a second documentary directed by Gomez and kydd, "Lick Bush in '92" (1993), which chronicled Blakk's year-long campaign for president. The documentary was screened at various gay and lesbian film festivals in Chicago and San Francisco.
  • Smith relocated to San Francisco after the election, where he joined the Pomo Afro Homos, a gay Black performance group, and launched his own live talk show, "Lite Nite with Joan Jett Blakk." In 1996, he ran for president as Joan Jett Black again on the Blakk Pantsuit Party ticket, campaigning to "Lick Slick Willie in 96". Blakk launched her final political campaign in 1998, running for mayor of San Francisco against incumbent Willie Brown. Smith continues to live and work in San Francisco, and has appeared in the documentaries "Pride Divide" (1997) and "Gendernauts: A Journey Through Shifting Identities" (1999).
Call Number
Sc MG 897
OCLC
943225105
Author
Jett Blakk, Joan.
Title
Joan Jett Blakk/Lick Bush in '92 archive, 1991-1996.
Type of Content
text
Type of Medium
unmediated
Type of Carrier
sheet
volume
Summary
The Joan Jett Blakk/Lick Bush in '92 Archive, ca. 1991-1996, documents Terence Smith's drag persona Joan Jett Blakk as she campaigns in the 1991 Chicago mayoral election and the 1992 presidential election. The collection consists of news articles, academic essays, campaign speeches, promotional material, and ephemera related to Blakk's political campaigns, as well as clippings, reviews, and promotional material for the documentaries "Drag in for Votes" and "Lick Bush in '92" by Gabriel Gomez and Elspeth kydd. There is also a miscellaneous folder for events attended by Blakk and a file for the play script and programs of "Womandingo", a play which featured Blakk.
Biography
Joan Jett Blakk is the drag performance and political persona of Terence Smith, a gay Black actor and activist. Born in Chicago, Illinois, and raised in Detroit, Michigan, Smith began performing as a drag queen by the name of Teri Stuart in 1974. After relocating to Chicago, he became heavily involved in the city's gay community, and was a founding member of the Chicago chapter of Queer Nation, a nationwide LGBT organization with the goal of increasing the visibility of the LGBT community and their sociopolitical issues.
Smith created his Joan Jett Blakk persona when he was invited to perform in a revue with gay performance artists Gurlene and Gurlette Hussey. Blakk's first solo drag performance was at the avant-garde Club Lower Links in May 1990, and she quickly developed a following after appearing in several AIDS Coalition to Unleash Power (ACT UP) benefits and gay performance events. In 1991, Smith was asked by Queer Nation to run for mayor of Chicago against Richard Daley under his Joan Jett Blakk persona as a form of public and political drag performance. While Blakk lost the election, her campaign achieved Queer Nation's objective of bolstering LGBT awareness and combatting the rising issue of homophobia in Chicago. The mayoral race was videotaped and made into the documentary "Drag in for Votes" (1991), directed by Gabriel Gomez and Elspeth kydd.
In 1992, Blakk became the first drag queen to run for president, entering the presidential race on the Queer Nation Party ticket. Blakk's candidacy aimed to bring national attention to LGBT issues through public performance art, and her campaign succeeded in raising the national profile of the LGBT community by obtaining mainstream coverage on television, radio and news publications. Blakk's presidential campaign slogan, "Lick Bush in '92," inspired the title of a second documentary directed by Gomez and kydd, "Lick Bush in '92" (1993), which chronicled Blakk's year-long campaign for president. The documentary was screened at various gay and lesbian film festivals in Chicago and San Francisco.
Smith relocated to San Francisco after the election, where he joined the Pomo Afro Homos, a gay Black performance group, and launched his own live talk show, "Lite Nite with Joan Jett Blakk." In 1996, he ran for president as Joan Jett Black again on the Blakk Pantsuit Party ticket, campaigning to "Lick Slick Willie in 96". Blakk launched her final political campaign in 1998, running for mayor of San Francisco against incumbent Willie Brown. Smith continues to live and work in San Francisco, and has appeared in the documentaries "Pride Divide" (1997) and "Gendernauts: A Journey Through Shifting Identities" (1999).
Connect to:
Local Subject
Black author.
Research Call Number
Sc MG 897
View in Legacy Catalog