Documenting Black Queer + Sapphic Spaces & Collectives
Name: De Poonani Posse
Address: P.O Box 156, Station P, Toronto, Ont., M5S 2S7
Neighborhood: The Annex
Notes/Points of interest: Collaboration with Fireweed, in their 49th issue titled “Da Juice, a Black Lesbian Thang” published in Summer ‘95 + With the help of Courtnay McFarlane and BAND they were commemorated through Myseum’s Intersectional festival, through an exhibit called Legacies in Motion.
Media: Archival promo/poster, found in Inside Out’s LGBT film festival guide from 1996* + Photo by Grace Channer for Vancouver’s Kinesis in June 1995
Creator(s): Sherece Taffe, TJ (Tonia) Bryan, Nicole Redman
Biography: (Quote from Inside Out Guide) The wimmin of DE POONANI POSSE are Sherece Taffe, Tonia Bryan, and Nicole Redman. We are committed to takin’ BLACK lesbians lives OUT of poverty and away from government control. Primarily, we seek to create links with other BLACK lesbians, creating an atmosphere where there is enough room for us to come as we are, with all our differences and human imperfections. Our visible, literary, and verbal presence actively counters all “isms” (You know the list).
*Found on page 14.
Address: Born in 101 Dewson St + Held at The 519, Pine Room
Neighborhood: Dufferin Grove + The Village
Notes/Points of Interest: Ties to Dewson + The first group for Black and West Indian lesbian and gays + With the help of Courtnay McFarlane and BAND they were commemorated through Myseum’s Intersectional festival, through an exhibit called Legacies in Motion.
Media: Film photo by Leif Harmsen of Zami members in March 1984, from the Arquives + Scan of an Xtra’s 1984 December issue with Zami on the front page, from the ArQuives
Creator(s): Doug Stewart
Biography: In the midst of queer 80’s activism, Doug Stewart resolved to address the intersections of homophobia and racism through a group for Black and West Indian diaspora, centering gays and lesbians, in order to come together to organize, as well as socialize and connect to community. It was one of the multiple groups that came out of that time to support queer folks of colour, like Lesbians of Colour (LOC) and Gay Asians of Toronto.
Name: Dewson House Collective / Sister Vision Educational Press
Address: 101 Dewson St, Toronto, ON, M6H 1H4
Neighborhood: Dufferin Grove
Notes/Points of interest: The birthplace of Zami + temporary (?) home of Sister Vision Press + With the help of Courtnay McFarlane and BAND they were commemorated through Myseum’s Intersectional festival, through an exhibit called Legacies in Motion.
Creator(s): Makeda Silvers and partner, Stephanie Martins
Biography: A home for Black and Caribbean youth, as well as grounds for organizing and community. It was a space created by Black lesbians, surrounded by a community of, mainly, other Black lesbians/sapphics, a space that bridged the connection between activism and pleasure, a place that doubled as a home and a dancefloor, an environment that nurtured both love and politics.