FOF #2759 – The Time When Ms. Joan Jett Blakk Ran for President

Jul 3, 2019 · 2109 views

One of these Joans is not like the others: political activist Terence Alan Smith and Oscar winning screen writer Tarell Alvin McCraney (far right) bring Joan Jett Black to life in 1992 and 2019. Photos: MediaBurn.org, Mark Freitas, Michael Brosilow.

The early 90s was an exciting but difficult time to be a queer person in the United States. The AIDS crisis was still claiming so many lives and after 8 years of President Regan not even mentioning the word AIDS and 4 years of President Bush’s inaction, LGBTQ folks felt invisible, and our visibility was a matter of life and death.

In the spirit of making a political statement, and shocking the squares, Joan Jett Blakk, backed by Queer Nation, launched her bid to become President of United States with the catchy slogan “Lick Bush in ’92.”

This bold political performance art would had been just a delightful footnote in the history of queer activism until this year when Broadway director Tina Landau and Moonlight Oscar winner Tarell Alvin McCraney presented their new play, “Ms Blakk for President,” now playing at the Steppenwolf Theater.

Today Terence Alan Smith, the artist behind the drag personage of Joan Jett Blakk joins us to talk about that amazing time when a black drag queen ran for President of the United States and how 27 years later she’s back making a big splash. Will she run again in 2020?

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