Founded in 1985, Lavender Light is a mixed chorus (women and men). Although the group encompasses many ethnic and spiritual backgrounds, the choir provides a special ministry to black lesbians and gays, who have historically been pressured by their communities to choose between their blackness and their gayness. Our repertoire includes gospel (old and new), spirituals, and anthems. We produce two full concerts a year and frequently appear as guests at community functions from church services to Gay Pride rallies.
Past appearances have included Urban Bush Women's "Praise House"; the pilot episode of "In the Life"; the People of Color Joint Kwanzaa Ceremony; Mayor David N. Dinkins' Tribute to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., at City Hall; and Empire State Pride Agenda's 1999 annual fundraiser with keynote speakers President Bill Clinton and Senator Chuck Schumer.
Lavender Light Gospel Choir is dedicated to keeping alive the black gospel music tradition in an environment supportive to lesbian and gay people, with a special ministry to black lesbians and gays. Through our performances and recordings, we seek to uplift, entertain and educate. We strive to be a visible force in this world, offering strength, peace and hope to our members and to our audiences.
In the modern gay movement, lavender is generally attributed to be the color most closely associated with gayness. As the colors red and blue make purple, pink--the color traditionally representing that which is female in our society--and blue--the color traditionally representing that which is male--make lavender. Lavender symbolizes a blending of women and men, a oneness that makes us a special kind of community.
Members of Lavender Light wear sashes made of Kente cloth, a textile whose origins date back many centuries to the Ashanti people of West Africa. Historically, Kente has been regarded as the cloth of regality; today, it is probably best known as the national cloth of the West African nation of Ghana. Lavender Light wears Kente as a reminder of our connection and indebtedness to Africa, that the Gospel music we sing is rich in the African American tradition.
Lavender Light's logo was designed by Cinte Morales in the late 1980s. We are privileged to be able to use his design as a symbol of our continuing efforts to offer strength, peace, and hope to our members and our audiences.