Old Black Dyke Hopes To Unite LGBT Virginians With Touring Show
Premier Show: Old Black Dyke
Gaye Adegbalola is a performer, musician, composer, presenter, writer, mother, and teacher. She is also an old black dyke.
A true Renaissance woman, Adegbalola has won a number of awards for her many musical and performing endeavors, including being named an OUTstanding Virginian by Equality Virginia for championing GLBT equality in 2011.
Born and raised in Fredericksburg, Virginia, Adegbalola graduated from the then-segregated Walker-Grant High School as valedictorian. She went on to receive a degree in Biology with a minor in Chemistry from Boston University. She also received a Master’s in Educational Media with a concentration in photography from Virginia State University.
She began performing 25 years ago in a band called Saffire – the Uppity Blues Women. The band performed in Richmond quite a bit before ending in 2009. “All of us started different projects,” says Adegbalola. With a passion for activism and a whole lot to say, Adegbalola’s latest project is invoking lots of laughter and eyebrow raising.
Adegbalola will be streaming her own live show Old Black Dyke on Monday, February 24. Sign up in advance to view it here.
You can watch a few of the teaser videos she has put together in the meantime.
“Old Black Dyke is about taking away the stigma from being old, being black, and being a dyke,” says Adegbalola. She aims to offer her own perspective and “let people see an old black dyke close-up.” Adegbalola, along with a team of several others, feel that mass media doesn’t really give a voice to her group which she views as a marginalized people. So they wanted to put together a show that will continue, they said, if people show enough support.
Anybody and everybody is invited to view the show, especially a gay and lesbian audience. She hopes the show will create an avenue for a lot more voices to be heard. “I especially want little baby dykes to get advice from us,” Adegbalola says, “Because we’ve been there. We’ve been through it. Things are much easier now in many ways, but it’s not over.”
Activism has always been a central part of Adegbalola’s life: she was involved with the Black Power movement, participated in sit-ins, picketed in the 60′s, protested against the war in Vietnam, and, as she’s grown into her acceptance of being a lesbian, she’s also been fighting for gay rights. Growing up in the Civil Rights Era, Adegbalola faced oppression not only for being black, but also for being gay, being a single parent, being a woman, and now for being an old person.
“I want us to be ok with who we are. We have to embrace and love ourselves before we can love anybody else,” she says. Old Black Dyke provides a necessary and important voice for underrepresented groups. “When you think about television today, how many shows feature old people?” Adegbalola asks, “Very few. And of those, how many feature old black people? Very, very few. How many feature old black dykes—or old dykes of any color? None. So I think we have something valid to offer the world.”
Each OBD show will have a Top Ten list, a rant, dance moves from an old black dyke, health tips from a doctor who will be a recurring guest on the show, as well as songs on gay and lesbian topics.
Adegbalola also stresses the importance of humor in the performance. “I hope that people will love us and accept us,” shes says, “My mission is always simply joy. That’s what an old black dyke can give you.”
To see the Premier Show of Old Black Dyke on Monday, February 24, check out this link.
There is a pay what you can policy, with a minimum fee of $5. That can either all go to OBD, or you can use any portion of it towards the extensive list of concerts that Stageit offers. Watch any show for one note or fifty notes. You get 50 notes for that $5.00.
In relation to her upcoming premier show, Adegbalola will also be speaking at James Madison University on Thursday. She will be addressing civil rights both in the context of race relations and sexual orientation: “I’m doing a comparison of the struggle for black civil rights to the struggle for gay civil rights—how the fights are similar, and how they are very different. Some of that will also be in OBD, too.”
Here’s the dates for her tour.
I’m Lindsay Hawk. I am currently studying Sculpture + Extended Media at VCU, along with Biology and Gender, Sexuality and Women’s Studies. I enjoy making art about social issues, nudity, and sexuality. If I’m not in the studio, I’m probably exploring the outdoors, visiting art openings, talking to strangers, or chowing down on some local RVA cuisine. Find more of my work at www.lindsayhawk.com
Performer, musician, composer, presenter, writer, mother, teacher and ‘Old Black Dyke,’ Gaye Adegbalola, is coming back to Richmond this Friday for the VMFA’s First Friday, and she’s brought some friends. Adegbalola has been touring on her own for some time – we profiled her earlier this year and she detailed her history with activism, and [...]July 28, 2014
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