Talesha Wilson, Founder of Diversity at the Table, Director of Community Engagement and Human Resources at Change Today, Change Tomorrow
Meet Tala: I am a community organizer and content creator from the West End of Louisville with a passion for social and political change for all Black people, specifically Black women, femmes, and Transgender and gender non-conforming people. In this fellowship I hope to gain a clearer understanding of Louisville history and feel more connected to my city. I also expect to learn about some hard truths that many white people in power have failed to tell and the impacts of those realities on Black peoples’ lives. My organization creates conversations in and between the communities I serve and where I exist: at the intersections of West End, Black, Woman, Poor/Working class, and Queer/Lesbian. In this fellowship I’m working on a project focusing on the many forms of Black love. This history is difficult to find—for many reasons, it is hard to locate love letters between Black enslaved people or between individuals who were forbidden from loving one another. But we need to build this history. Black love is revolutionary, and now more than ever, Black people need to be able to love themselves and each other out loud. With this project, I hope to give a space where Black people aren’t always on guard from this racist world, a place where they know that we are allowed gentle and soft love, even—and especially—if we only get it from one another.
Tala’s Community History Project: The Black Gay Tymes
Talesha Wilson of West End Louisville created The Black Gay Tymes out of the Community History Fellows program as her way to begin archiving the current historical events of the LGBTQ+ community. As a Black lesbian herself, the initial idea for the project was to capture Black Queer Love across generations. This proved difficult as older generations are often uncomfortable disclosing intimate parts of themselves with the public. Tala also found a disconnect from her lived experience and the lack of Black Queer representation in the historical record. The Black Gay Tymes of Louisville is a project dedicated to making space for the urban Black, Gay community to talk about their unique experiences and establish a place to document the Black Queer community of Louisville for future generations.
The Black Gay Tymes of Louisville houses stories and interviews with urban, Black, LGBTQ+ people from Louisville, Kentucky. In this virtual space, you will engage with stories about the Black Gay experience in white, Queer spaces, the obstacles of being a Black, Queer party promoter, local freedom fighters, struggles with accessing proper healthcare, Black, Queer love, intimacy, relationships, and family dynamics.
Check out the Black Gay Tymes here: https://www.blackgaytymes.com/
Photos from the launch party for and panel discussion with contributors to The Black Gay Tymes on November 12, 2022, at the Filson Historical Society.