March 13th People

March 13th

03-13-1894 – 02-02-1935 Clara Smith – Born in Spartanburg County, South Carolina. She was an African American blues singer. She was billed as the “Queen of the Moaners.” In 1923 she settled in New York, appearing at cabarets and speakeasies. The same year she made her first successful gramophone recordings for Columbia Records. Smith took a fancy to Josephine Baker and insisted that the manager, Bob Russell, of the Booker T. Washington Theatre hire her. According to an associate of Russell’s, Baker was Smith’s “lady lover.” Smith also played a significant role in Baker’s career by introducing her to “black glamour.” Smith died of heart disease in 1935.

03-13-1892 – 11-07-1978 Janet Flanner – Born in Indianapolis, Indiana. She was an American writer and journalist who served as the Paris correspondent of The New Yorker magazine from 1925 until she retired in 1975. She wrote under the pen name “Genët.” She also published one novel, The Cubical City, set in New York City. Flanner went to Paris with her female lover, Solita Solano (Sarah Wilkinson). They met in Greenwich Village, and the two became lifelong lovers, although both became involved with other women throughout their relationship. Solita Solano was drama editor for the New York Tribune and also wrote for National Geographic. The two women are portrayed as “Nip” and “Tuck” in the 1928 novel Ladies Almanack, by Djuna Barnes, who was a friend of Flanner’s. Flanner was a prominent member of the American expatriate community, which included Ernest Hemingway, F. Scott Fitzgerald, John Dos Passos, e. e. cummings, Hart Crane, Djuna Barnes, Ezra Pound, and Gertrude Stein.

03-13-1936 – 01-05-2013 Mary McIntosh – Born in Hampstead, England. She was one of the leaders of the feminist movement and was also one of the founders of the gay and lesbian movement. She worked as a graduate student and teaching assistant in the sociology department at the University of California, Berkeley from 1958 to 1960. After being arrested for protesting the House Un-American Activities Committee, she was deported. Once in England, she taught at the University of Leicester and Borough Polytechnic. In 1972 she became a research fellow at Nuffield College, Oxford. Her paper The Homosexual Role (1968) argued that homosexuality was not a clinical pathology and that historical and cultural influences affected same-sex relations. She helped set up the UK Gay Liberation Front. On January 5, 2013, she died of a stroke. She was survived by her partner of 23 years, Angela Stewart-Park. 

03-13-1937 — 10-02-2007   Joyce Warshow – American, place of birth unknown. She came from an activist Jewish background, although she was not religious. Warshow was a renowned feminist, filmmaker, psychologist, educator, author, and activist. A champion for LGBT rights, she conducted sensitivity training with the New York City Police Department. She was a leading spokesperson against ageism in the LGBT community and was honored by Senior Action in A Gay Environment (SAGE) with its Lifetime Achievement Award. Her films, Some Ground to Stand On (1998) and The Biography of Blue Lunden and Hand on the Pulse (1992), a documentary about Joan Nestle, profiled older lesbian activist. She died at home with her beloved partner of 25 years, Dorothy Sander, at her side. 

03-13-1950 David Bergman – (Place of birth unknown) He is an American gay writer and English professor at Towson University, in Towson, Maryland. He received the George Elliston Poetry Prize for his work Cracking the Code. In 2000, he and Karl Woelz won the Lambda Book Award for editing Men on Men 2000. He is openly gay.

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