Melvin Boozer, you deserve far more recognition that you have ever received.
I recall your memorable speech before the Democratic National Convention in 1980, as you became the first African American and first gay man to be placed in nomination for the Vice Presidency of the United States from the floor of the convention.
We were both activists in Washington in the late 1970s. Melvin was at my home to come to meetings of the DC Coalition of Black Lesbians and Gays, but he was mostly committed to other efforts, including the Langston Hughes-Eleanor Roosevelt Democratic Club. I hosted a meeting at my home, between the Black lesbian and gay community and the then National Lesbian and Gay Task Force’s Executive Director, Virginia Apuzzo, after he was fired and replaced by Jeff Levy.
In April 1983, Melvin was among those present at my home, when I showed the Black gay men gathered there the CDC’s “Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report” with information indicating that Black folks were identified as 20% of AIDS cases. We were only 12% of the United States’ population. Most of the men gathered there that day, like Melvin, are no longer alive due to AIDS.
Melvin was simply brilliant, really good with words, a good speaker, with evident critical thinking ability. There is far much more to be said about Melvin …