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Sue Lemos

PhD Research

'Pioneers of Our Own Future': Historicising the 'Black Lesbian and Gay Movement' in Britain, 1960s-1990s

My PhD project aims to illuminate what was termed the 'Black Lesbian and Gay Movement' in late twentieth century Britain (c. 1980s-1990s). It uses community historical production and oral history to not only expand the historical record, but also to highlight the agency of queer and trans Black people and people of colour in the preservation of their histories. By analysing the politics and community formations of queer and trans Black people and people of colour within a constellation of Black politics, 'gay liberation', the women's movement, transgender politics and queer politics in post-war Britain, it seeks to reconfigure prevailing narratives of political activism in modern British history.

In what ways did queer and trans Black people and people of colour form communities in late twentieth century Britain? How did queer and trans Black people and people of colour reconfigure the 'political'? How was the political signifier of 'Black' used to articulate solidarity between queer and trans Black people and other marginalised people? And more generally, how does Black Queer and Trans British History allow us to tell an 'alternative story' of radical politics and the African Diaspora in Britain?

Academic Background

PhD History, University of Warwick, (in progress)

2020, MA Social Science Research (Economic and Social History), University of Warwick

  • Dissertation: 'For ourselves, by ourselves': Historicising 'queer Black and Brown' solidarity in the Black Lesbian and Gay Centre (Project), 1985-1995

2018, BA History, University of Warwick

Awards & Prizes

Olivette Otele Prize, Institute of Historical Research, 2021

MA Dissertation Prize, History Department, University of Warwick, 2019-2020

ESRC (1+3) Doctoral Training Partnership Studentship, 2019-2023


October 2021, History Matters Presents: 2nd New Perspectives on the History of African and Caribbean People in Britain Conference

  • 'Feeling a strength in numbers': The London Black Lesbian and Gay Centre (Project), 1985-1995

September 2018, 3rd Annual Black Feminism, Womanism and the Politics of Women of Colour in Europe Conference, Berlin, Germany

  • Black Sisterhood and its Fragments: The Organisation of Women of Asian and African Descent

June 2018, Social History Society Conference

  • History & Diversity Plenary Panel (invited by Dr Meleisa Ono-George to co-present)

Public Engagement

Volunteer, Haringey Vanguard, 2018-2021

  • December 2019, ‘An Intergenerational Dialogue: Uncovering the Black Lesbian Movement in Britain’, Provoke: 17th Annual History and Archives Conference, London Metropolitan Archives

Volunteer, Young Historians Project, 2018-2019

  • November 2019, ‘The Young Historians Project’, Sociology in the Archives: Black and Asian Activism by and for young people Workshop, The British Library

Sue Lemos