In the Life Archive (ITLA) Miscellaneous Collections

Span Dates: 1950-2010
Bulk Dates: 1990-1999
Volume: 17.92 linear feet including 7 folders related to religion


There are seven folders in this wide ranging miscellaneous collection related to African American gay and lesbian faith traditions. Unity Fellowship Church, 1990-1992 File includes bulletins from Unity Fellowship Church services, promotional materials for church events, and news items discussing the church. The Unity Fellowship Church was founded in Los Angeles, California, in 1985, by Reverend Carl Bean. The church believes in the principle that "we are the very essence of Love as is all creation regardless of race, creed, color, religious affiliation, sex, sexual orientation, or class" and that "God is love" and "Love is for everyone".Getting All My Inner Light Ministries, undated File includes a pamphlet describing the organization. One folder is titled: Inner Light Ministries was founded by Bishop Kwabena Rainey Cheeks in Washington, D.C., in 1993. Inner Light worked to "create an African centered house of Worship that is open to and ministers to a diverse community, in particular gay, lesbian, bisexual and trans-gendered persons of color". Initially under the auspices of the Unity Fellowship Movement, Inner Light became an independent ministry in 2002. Brothers Aware, 2002-2004 File includes a pamphlet describing the group and schedules of meetings with the topics to be discussed. Getting All My Brothers Aware was founded in Chicago, Illinois, at the Harambee Wellness Center. The group was "an ongoing open forum for same gender loving en of African descent to discuss/express their concerns and views on various issues, such as race relations, religion, relationships, sexuality, intimacy, community and HIV with other SGL men of African descent". Subject files: Religion, 1999-2006 The newspaper pieces, magazine articles, and press releases in this series document homophobia and discrimination within religions and religious organizations. Many of the articles address former football player and part-time minister Reggie White's incendiary comments about homosexuals. Three subject files/folders with titles: Christianity, Islam, and Spirituality

Hist/Bio Note

The In the Life Archive (ITLA), originally known as the Black Gay and Lesbian Archive (BGLA), was created by Steven Fullwood in 1999, to aid in the documentation and preservation of cultural materials produced by and about Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer people of African descent.

Finding Aid

A detailed online finding aid is available.


Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, Manuscripts, Archives and Rare Books Division, The New York Public Library To request access to materials in the Manuscripts, Archives and Rare Books Division, please visit the following website.


Bean, Carl | Unity Fellowship Church Movement | Chicago | Illinois | Black