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Black History Month Tribute: avery r. young, Celebrating Chicago's First Poet Laureate and LGBTQ+ Icon

Illustration of avery r. young

In honor of Black History Month, it's crucial to recognize the profound contributions of Black LGBTQ+ artists who have enriched our cultural tapestry. Their stories and artistry are an integral part of Black history, illustrating the diversity and depth within the community. One such luminary is avery r. young, Chicago's first Poet Laureate, whose work exemplifies the intersection of Black and LGBTQ+ experiences.

avery r. young, a native of Chicago, has established himself as a multifaceted artist whose work traverses the realms of poetry, music, performance, and education. His appointment as the inaugural Poet Laureate of Chicago is a milestone that speaks volumes about his impact on the city's cultural landscape. This role, endowed with a mission to commission new works and create public programming, especially for youth, highlights his commitment to fostering a nurturing environment for the next generation of artists.

young's artistry is deeply intertwined with his identity, bringing to the forefront the narratives of the Black LGBTQ+ community. His acclaimed book "neckbone: visual verses" is a testament to his poetic brilliance and his ability to weave complex themes into his work. Theaster Gates, in his foreword to young's book, hails him as "one of our greatest living street poets," a title befitting an artist who captures the pulse of urban life and its intricacies.

As a cultural activist, young's creativity goes beyond mere artistic expression. He challenges societal norms and addresses pressing social issues, using his platform to advocate for change and uplift marginalized voices. His approach to art is not just about aesthetics; it's about making a statement and engaging communities in meaningful discussions.

young's role as Chicago's first Poet Laureate during Black History Month is particularly significant. It underscores the importance of acknowledging and celebrating Black LGBTQ+ history as an essential component of Black history. His journey, marked by artistic excellence and social activism, is a beacon of inspiration, demonstrating the powerful impact of Black LGBTQ+ artists in shaping our collective narrative.

As we celebrate Black History Month, let's honor the contributions of Black LGBTQ+ artists like avery r. young. Their stories, struggles, and triumphs are pivotal in understanding the full spectrum of Black history and the richness it brings to our understanding of the world.

avery r. young's tenure as Poet Laureate is not just a personal achievement but a symbol of progress and inclusivity, reflecting the diverse tapestry of voices that make up the fabric of our society. His work continues to resonate with soul and purpose, serving as a reminder of the vital role that Black LGBTQ+ artists play in our cultural and historical landscape​​​​​​​​​​.

1 Comment

Feb 01

Thanks for all that you do avery!

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