Ashley Coleman Taylor
- Assistant Professor
- University of Texas at Austin
For decades Atlanta, Georgia has been a southern hub for queer and trans individuals seeking liberation through social justice work and community building. Nicknamed the “black mecca” and later the “black gay mecca,” the LGBT legacy is embedded in Atlanta’s history as a southern center for civil rights advocacy, social movement building, and political change. This project redresses racist and homophobic practices of erasure through queer oral histories that center the creative strategies of resistance and social justice activism of Black LGBT elders in the Atlanta area. It features geospatial digital humanities components alongside oral histories and participant observation. “Atlanta as Black Queer Place” is in conjunction with Counter Narrative Project, an organization committed to shifting “narratives about Black gay men to change policy and improve lives.” Both the project and CNP remain committed to highlighting and amplifying the voices of Black LGBT people in the southern metropolis. Additionally, this work demonstrates the profound importance of university/community collaborations; it further supports ongoing efforts at the University of Texas to help doctoral students gain the knowledge, training, and expertise needed to explore diverse career options.