Mini Cini … Ethel Waters … St Kitts and Nevis

News

Mini Cini

We hired the Mini Cini – a 36 seat luxury cinema – at Ducie Street Warehouse to show a programme of LGBT+ short films to members of Out In The City.

The programme was:

Stonewall Forever 

The Beauty President 

Back In The Closet – Lifesolation

Manchester Pride Parade: The Movie 

Albert’s Story

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vao-nZIoQv

We can repeat the experience, so if you have any suggestions for films to show (feature films or shorts) please let us know here.

Ethel Waters

Ethel Waters, born in crushing poverty, escaped to Baltimore and began a new life as “Sweet Mama Stringbean,” a slender and glamorous blues singer on the southern vaudeville circuit. Her technical and emotional agility quickly made her one of the major stars of the Harlem Renaissance era.

She was also well-known for being “in the life” with dancer Ethel Williams. Although she married three times, during the 1920s Waters was involved in a romantic relationship with Ethel Williams. The two were dubbed “The Two Ethels” and lived together in Harlem.

She was the first singer to confront racism in a popular song (“Suppertime”) in 1933, the same year she introduced “Stormy Weather” at the Cotton Club. Waters was the first black woman to receive equal billing with white stars on Broadway.

The Two Ethels

In Hollywood she would also become the first black woman to establish herself as a major American dramatic actress and only the second African-American to be nominated for an Academy Award – for her supporting role in the film “Pinky” (1949).

In 1950 she won the New York Drama Critics’ Circle Award as Best Actress for her luminous performance on Broadway as the maid Berenice in Carson McCullers’s “Member of the Wedding,” a role she reprised on film to further acclaim two years later. In her later years Waters redefined herself as an evangelical Christian. She gave her last performances as a member of Billy Graham’s crusade. She died on 1 September 1977.

St Kitts and Nevis sodomy law struck down

A judge has ruled a law that criminalises consensual same-sex sexual relations in St Kitts and Nevis is unconstitutional.

A person convicted of the “abominable crime of buggery” was liable for imprisonment up to ten years with hard labour.

Justice Trevor M Ward of the High Court of Justice in St Kitts and Nevis struck down Sections 56 and 57 of the country’s Offenses Against the Person Act.

“Section 56 of the Offenses Against the Person Act, Cap. 4.21 contravenes Sections 3 and 12 of the Constitution of the Federation of Saint Christopher and Nevis, namely, the right to protection of personal privacy and the right to freedom of expression, and, as such, is null and void and of no force and effect to the extent that it criminalizes any acts of constituting consensual sexual conduct in private between adults,” said Ward in his decision.

Ward further said Section 57 of the law violates “the right to protection of personal privacy and the right to freedom of expression” in the country’s constitution.

Jamal Jeffers, a gay man, and the St Kitts and Nevis Alliance for Equality, a local LGBTQ and intersex rights group, challenged the law.

“This decision strongly establishes that a person’s sexuality should never be the basis for any discrimination,” said St Kitts and Nevis Alliance for Equality Executive Director Tynetta McKoy. “We welcome the recognition of this fact, one for which we have long advocated.” 

Last July a judge struck down Antigua and Barbuda’s colonial-era sodomy law. However, former British colonies Barbados, Dominica, Guyana, Grenada, Jamaica, St Lucia and St Vincent and the Grenadines still retain similar laws.

Theresa May, then Prime Minister, in 2018 said she “deeply” regrets colonial-era criminalisation laws the UK introduced. Nick Herbert, a member of the House of Lords said that his country has a “historic responsibility for these laws and their legacy.”

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