I initially saw this story on KeithBoykin.com.
The yearbooks were finally printed and ready to be picked up by students at Newark’s East Side High School — but not before some officials snapped open their correcting pens to edit out a picture of two males kissing. The New York Times wrote:
Andre Jackson, a senior at East Side High School, leaned over his boyfriend’s shoulder one day several months ago and kissed him on the lips. He took a picture of the smooch with his digital camera.
Like other students, Mr. Jackson later paid $150 to have his own special page of photos in the school yearbook. He decided to include the picture of the kiss, to make not a political statement, but a personal one.
“I didn’t intend to say, ‘Oh hey, look at me, I’m gay,’ ” said Mr. Jackson, 18. “It was just a picture showing my emotion, saying that I’m happy, you know, whatever. It was to look back on as a memory.”
On Thursday evening, when the seniors gathered at a restaurant here for the Senior Banquet, students received the yearbooks they had bought for around $85. But the picture of Mr. Jackson kissing his boyfriend was gone. School officials had blacked it out. Roughly 250 yearbooks were distributed, and all of them had a black-marker splotch covering every inch of the photo.
“I was upset,” Mr. Jackson said. “I was hurt. I felt embarrassed and abused.”
It’s interesting to me largely because I just movd back to Jersey City, NJ, which is sorta in-between Manhattan, NY and Newark, NJ. I recently determined to get more involvd in Black LGBT work here in NJ, because most of the young people (at least half) found hanging out on Chrstopher Street’s West Village are from New Jersey–mostly Newark. So many of us do all our work in NYC, which has its value, but why not invest some time in NJ, since I do live here? And I feel like there is so much happening with Black LGBT community in Northern NJ–like this high school story, and the case of the 4 lesbians now doing time.
So check out the story. And black queers–get involved in your community.