National Black Justice Coalition president and gay activist Keith Boykin was prevented from speaking at yesterday’s Millions More Movement March in Washington, DC. As Boykin was walking to the podium, he was at the last second turned away.
Oddly, this controversy has gone largely unreported. A Google-search suggested the only mainstream outlet that covered this was the Washington Post, though they buried the article on page A16.
At the heart of the conflict is Rev. Willie F. Wilson, the march’s national executive director who apparently made some disparaging remarks about lesbians this summer.
Boykin had this to say about the snubbing:
“This is what happened today. After I arrived at the VIP tent shortly after 8 in the morning, my colleague Donna Payne spoke directly to Rev. Willie Wilson backstage, and he informed her that no one from the National Black Justice Coalition would be speaking today. Donna told Rev. Wilson that he was violating our agreement, and Wilson replied that the agreement was void because the Coalition had not responded by Friday. That was not true.”
For those unfamiliar with Boykin, this is a Dartmouth College and Harvard Law School graduate who was part of President Clinton's trade delegation to Zimbabwe in 1997 along with Rev. Jesse Jackson, Coretta Scott King, and Transportation Secretary Rodney Slater.