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The History and Power of Queer Black Friendships

Four legendary creative collaborations

Toni Morrison with Susan Taylor, Rita Dove, Oprah Winfrey, Angela Davis, Maya Angelou, and others in Winston-Salem, NC on September 6, 1994. Photo: Will Mcintyre/The LIFE Images Collection/Getty Images

he first time I knew my words had triggered something deep in someone was when I finished a two-week summer writers workshop when I was 15. I climbed into my mother’s car, read her one of my poems, and watched her face change as she heard it. If my own flesh and blood could not wrap her head around my work, then I…