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Black Queer Writers Remembered: Philly’s Black Queer Community Reads Anita Cornwell and Adrian Stanford

February 10, 2023 @ 6:30 pm - 8:00 pm

Come and experience Black queer Philadelphia’s literary history through voices of today’s Black queer community. In an evening of live readings and performance, members of Philadelphia’s Black queer community revive rare works by prolific Philadelphia writers Anita Cornwell and Adrian Stanford.

Published in 1983, Anita Cornwell’s Black Lesbian in White America was the first essay collection by a Black lesbian to be published in the U.S. Cornwell, who came out as a lesbian in the 1950s, has also been published and anthologized as a journalist, fiction writer, and poet.

Poet and essayist Adrian Stanford compiled Black and Queer in 1977. It was the first collection of poetry edited by an out Black gay male in America, and it inspired Joe Beam and Essex Hemphill.

Friday, Feb. 10, 2023

6:30 pm

Parkway Central Library, Auditorium (ground floor)

1901 Vine St.

The readers and performers:

Oreoluwa Akinyode (they/them), The Living Breathing archive of what was, what is, and what will be. Through the use of images, moving images, and text, Oreoluwa crafts worlds where their multitudes have a place to love, cry, and feeeeel. One of Oreoluwa’s main goals is to encourage other Black youth to archive their own lives, the lives of their loved ones–to be their own archivist. To be the holder of you and your loved ones archives is to care for your existence beyond life and death. Utilizing lens based practices, words, and imagination, Oreoluwa wades through the world in conversation with their reflection and what is reflected onto them. The goal of their work is to invite each viewer to reflect on their lives and the forces that guide them through the world. Their work exists as a living prayer, a portal that acts as an enzyme for change.

David Bazemore (he/him) is a native of Philadelphia, graduate of Shenandoah Conservatory (BFA, Musical Theatre) and proud member of AEA. He last appeared as Oshoosi in “The Brothers Size” at South Camden Theatre Company. Past production credits include; “Reverie” (Jordan, Azuka Theatre Co.) “This Bitter Earth” (Jesse, InterAct Theater Company), “The Scottsboro Boys” (Olen, Philadelphia Theatre Co., Barrymore Award winner), “The Wiz” (Scarecrow, Theatre in the X), “Salt, Pepper, Ketchup (Tommy, InterAct Theatre Co., Staged Reading), “A Sense of Purpose: Fighting for Our Lives” (Bullock Productions), and “Dreamgirls” (C.C., Signature Theater). Check him out in the Tiktok comedy “The Deloach and Gene Show” @deloachandgeneshow 🙂 



Vanessa Chandler (she/her) is a Philadelphia based creative. She finds her passion in supporting local artists, curating community art shows and MCing live music events. Born in Norristown PA, Vanessa has lived in Philadelphia since attending Temple University in 2015. Vanessa holds a Bachelor’s of Science in Tourism and Hospitality Management with a focus in event leadership. Off the clock, you’ll find her exploring new restaurants around Philadelphia, thrifting new finds for her apartment or taking a leisurely stroll through her quaint Germantown neighborhood.




Sabrina Pantal (they/them) is a queer non-binary Haitian artist and self-taught musician. As an innovative and experimental creator, storytelling shows up in every aspect of their life. They are devoted to the art of play, embodied joy, and expansive questioning. Right now, they are working towards creating a sustainable farm and community center in Costa Rica centering black queer and trans folx all over the world.





Ayanna Woods (she/they) is a writer, filmmaker, artist, and scholar currently based in Philadelphia. Their art deals with Black life, love, history, and spirituality through various mediums, exploring themes of becoming, way-finding, expansiveness, and belonging. Their research explores manifestations of Black Feminist tenets in the lives, writings, and creations of Black women. Ayanna is currently writing a chapter for a forthcoming collaborative book of essays of the work of author Gloria Naylor, in which they investigate Black women’s use of kinship as an act of resistance through the letters in Gloria Naylor’s archive. They are also working in film in the Philadelphia region and writing original screenplays for future production.



February 10, 2023
6:30 pm - 8:00 pm
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