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The Gayest Generation Ep. 4 - Maxi Chanel

Wed, 10/14/2020 - 1:38pm

Welcome to The Gayest Generation, where we hear LGBTQ Elders speak for themselves. Every episode, we sit down with a different member of the LGBTQ community who laid the foundation for the freedoms we have today. Stories—their stories—make noise where there is silence and that silence has lived for far too long. It is time we let their voices fill the room.

In this episode, we get to know Washtenaw County drag legend Maxi Chanel. We’ll hear about her experiences growing up in Nigeria, what it was like to be a part of Ann Arbor’s soon-to-be-forgotten gay club scene, and the purpose of drag, which is all the more important during these grim times. Due to adult situations and language, viewer discretion is advised. This is the Gayest Generation.

We want to give a special shout out to Maxi Chanel and the Boylesque drag troupe. To keep up with their events, be sure to follow them on Facebook at facebook.com/boylesque.michigan.

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The Gayest Generation Ep. 3 - Bob Enszer and Rick Farrand

Fri, 09/25/2020 - 10:06am

Welcome to The Gayest Generation, where we hear LGBTQ Elders speak for themselves. Every episode, we sit down with a different member of the LGBTQ community who laid the foundation for the freedoms we have today. Stories—their stories—make noise where there is silence and that silence has lived for far too long. It is time we let their voices fill the room.

In this episode, we sit down with Bob Enszer and Rick Farrand. We’ll hear about what it is like to be a closeted parent raising a lesbian child, the magic of falling in love later in life, and how small town communities came together to support those suffering with HIV/AIDS. Due to adult situations and language, viewer discretion is advised. This is the Gayest Generation.

Special thanks to Bob and Rick, as well as everyone who makes The Gayest Generation a reality. 

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The Gayest Generation Ep. 2 - Randy Hasso

Wed, 09/09/2020 - 9:07am

Welcome to The Gayest Generation, where we hear LGBTQ Elders speak for themselves. Every episode, we sit down with a different member of the LGBTQ community who laid the foundation for the freedoms we have today. Stories—their stories—make noise where there is silence and that silence has lived for far too long. It is time we let their voices fill the room.

In this episode, we speak with Randy Hasso. He shares his experiences in Tunisia as a member of the Peace Corps, growing up on a pickle farm, and what it was like to care for AIDS patients in small town America during a time where even the President wouldn’t say the word AIDS publicly. Due to adult language and situations, viewer discretion is advised. This is the Gayest Generation.

This episode features the following music:
Prospects by Chris Juergenson

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The Gayest Generation Ep. 1 - Pat Buerkel

Thu, 08/13/2020 - 11:25am

Welcome to The Gayest Generation, where hear LGBTQ elders speak for themselves. Every episode, we sit down with a different member of the LGBTQ community who laid the foundation for the freedoms we have today. Stories—their stories—make noise where silence has lived for far too long. What if who we call The Greatest Generation, also happens to be the gayest?

In this episode, we speak with Pat Buerkel. She shares her experiences working on the line at GM in the 70’s, her lifelong friendship with a transgender trailblazer, and crossing “going to jail” off her bucket list. Viewer discretion, due to adult language and situations, is advised. This is The Gayest Generation.

This episode features the following music:

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Exploring the Mind | That's the Power of Love: Compassion, Love and Transformation in Urban America

Thu, 05/21/2020 - 10:07am

Join Professor Jacqueline S. Mattis of the University of Michigan's Department of Psychology for a presentation on her research into the transformative power of everyday encounters with love and human goodness, including the impact of altruism, compassion, empathy, forgiveness, and optimism among urban-residing African American people.

The words "urban" and "inner city" typically conjure up images of densely populated neighborhoods, crime, mean streets, isolation, and human struggle. Popular media plays on these representations. Missing from this familiar story are the everyday stories of goodness that occur in cities. This presentation draws on interviews with people who live in urban areas, including highly under-resourced urban areas, to explore how the human capacity for love, forgiveness and compassion emerges in everyday life in urban America.

Jacqueline S. Mattis, Ph.D., focuses her research on the role of religion and spirituality in the lives of African American and Afri-Caribbean youth and adults, and on the factors that are associated with positive psychological development of urban residing African Americans and Afri-Caribbeans. 

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Author Event | Ebony Roberts: The Love Prison Made and Unmade: My Story

Tue, 01/07/2020 - 8:05am

Author Ebony Roberts is joined by Ashley Lucas, Director of the Prison Creative Arts Project at the University of Michigan, for a discussion of Ebony's new memoir, The Love Prison Made and Unmade: My Story. As a little girl growing up in Detroit, Ebony witnessed her parents’ brutal physical fights, often fueled by her father’s alcoholism. Her experiences as a child shaped her views on love and set the pattern for her future romantic relationships. She found herself drawn to men who cheated; verbally abused her; and disappointed her. 

When she met Shaka Senghor, a man in prison for second-degree murder, she felt an intense spiritual connection, but struggled with the idea that this man behind bars could be the love God had for her. Ultimately she ignored other people’s fears and took a chance. Through letters and visits, they fell deeply in love. Once Shaka came home, they thought the worst was behind them, but Shaka’s release was the beginning of the end.

The Love Prison Made and Unmade is heartfelt. It reveals powerful lessons about love, sacrifice, courage, and forgiveness; of living your highest principles and learning not to judge someone by their worst acts. Ultimately, it is a stark reminder of the emotional cost of American justice on human lives—the partners, wives, children, and friends—beyond the prison walls.

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Shockwaves from Stonewall: Gay Liberation in Michigan

Mon, 07/29/2019 - 12:42pm

In the first few years following the Stonewall Uprising in New York, Michigan experienced a surge in gay liberation activism, what today might fall under the umbrella of the LGBT movement.  Historian Tim Retzloff explores the multiple queer organizations that sprang up in Metro Detroit and elsewhere in the early 1970s and key events from that time that sent political and social shockwaves through the state still felt today.

Tim Retzloff teaches history and LGBTQ studies at Michigan State University.  He earned a B.A. in history from the University of Michigan and his Ph.D. in history in from Yale University.  His scholarship has appeared in the anthology Creating a Place for Ourselves, the journal GLQ, and the collection Making Suburbia.  He is finishing his first book, Metro Gay, about gay and lesbian life and politics in Metro Detroit from 1945 to 1985.

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AACHM Oral History: Walter Blackwell

Sun, 07/21/2019 - 3:33pm

Walter Blackwell was born in 1930 in Petersburg, Virginia. He shares memories of growing up there as well as in Mount Vernon, New York before serving in the army during the Korean War. He worked for 30 years at the Ann Arbor VA hospital, where he enjoyed helping fellow veterans. After experiencing discrimination in housing and employment, Mr. Blackwell fought for civil rights in Ann Arbor as a member of the Congress of Racial Equality (CORE) and mentored black children in his neighborhood.