February is the designated month during the year when we take time out to celebrate the contributions of great African-Americans, but the history of Black same-gender loving people and our contributions are largely ignored, not to mention our relationships. Our friends at No More Down Low TV have reminded us of an amazing photo collection we discovered online a while ago from historian Trent Kelly that captures same gender affection among Black men dating as far back as the 19th century.
No More Down Low TV interviewed Kelly via Skype from his home in Houston regarding his brilliant collection.
"I want the world to see the photographs. I want the black gay community to see the photographs and men in particular so they know they have a history to be proud of," says Kelly
Kelly has uploaded dozens of beautiful images of what appears to be Black same-gender loving couples in various states of embrace or implied closeness on his Flickr page and has appropriately named the collection "Hidden In The Open", most likely referring to the discretion the men had to utilize during a more conservative era.
While viewers of the photographs may or may not see two black men in love, Kelly reveals the inscriptions on the back of a photo of two sailors to be a little more descriptive.
"On the back of that particular photo he introduces the person sitting next to him as his "special friend", so it's pretty obvious the relationship between the two."
Watch No More Down Low TV's latest episode featuring the photo collection of Trent Kelly below: