What is Black & White Men Together?
BWMT Atlanta is a gay multiracial, multicultural organization committed to fostering supportive environments wherein racial and cultural barriers can be overcome and the goal of human equality realized. To these ends we engage in educational, political, cultural, and social activities as a means of dealing with racism, sexism, homophobia, HIV/AIDS discrimination and other inequities in our community and in our lives. All who share our goals are welcome.
In 1981, four men who wanted to improve race relationships in Atlanta's gay community came together at what was Crazy Ray's Restaurant (same location as the present Burkhart's in Ansley Square) to talk about founding a local BWMT chapter modeled after the San Francisco group founded by Mike Smith. One of the four of us is still alive and living in Atlanta. Our first and successive meetings were at the Atlanta Gay Center which was then in an old house on Ponce de Leon Avenue. The atmosphere in Atlanta in 1981 was hardly open in the sense that it is now, and racial discrimination in many of the bars was blatant. People of color were frequently carded (sometimes requiring as many as 4 or 5 i.d.'s), so the need for political action was primary in our minds.
Our first meeting was on a cold November evening, and was well attended since we had run ads in the ETC magazine. We soon evolved into a political AND social group. I well remember the rap groups as being very lively with a stimulating and group therapy kind of format. We also started the tradition of potlucks in individual members' homes, and we even published a newsletter (for which I was the movie critic). I am proud to say that we were the main catalysts for the passage of a city ordnance banning discriminatory carding in the bars. We did that with the help of a young future mayor Bill Campbell, who attended a large benefit with us at the Fox Egyptian Ballroom. Then came the AIDS pandemic in the late 1980's and early 90's. As with many other groups, we were hit hard and lost many beloved original founders. We persevered and steadily added new members throughout the 1990's and 2000's, even though at times membership waivered. BWMT Atlanta continues to be a thriving institution in Atlanta's LGBT community and is the nation's largest chapter of the National Association of Black and White Men Together.
What makes up the National Association of Black and White Men Together (NABMWT)?
The NABWMT is a collective nationwide network of affiliated and developing chapters in over 30 cities that identify themselves as Black and White Men Together (BWMT), Men of All Colors Together (MACT), or People of All Colors Together (PACT) in keeping with the cultural dynamics of their respective areas.
What is NABWMT about?
We are committed to fostering respect, honesty, and communication among people of different races and cultural backgrounds. We are a gay, multi-racial, multi-cultural organization for all people. We welcome people of all racial, ethnic and cultural backgrounds, and all gender identities and sexual orientations. We operate the Bush-Mallon Institute for Social Justice conducts day-long workshops which have been developed to achieve specific anti-racism objectives. (Occasionally, shorter workshops are conducted to fit specific needs.) Regardless of length, the content of every Institute workshop has been carefully developed by a team of experienced anti-racism trainers with the overriding goal of empowering the workshop audience to effectively deal with the effects of racism in our communities and in our lives. Resisting Racism: An Action Guide Edited by Gerald L. Mallon, Ed.D. This 157 page manual is filled with Workshop Outlines, Resource Materials, and Essays. For further information visit: www.nabwmt.org