Greg Day

Ms Africa relaxing at his Charleston apartment
Photograph
11 x 14”
1978, Charleston, South Carolina
(left 2 photos Diana Martin, right 3 vertical photos Greg Day)
Work in Exhibition:

Ms Africa relaxing at his Charleston apartment
Photograph
11 x 14”
1978, Charleston, South Carolina
(Close-up above. This image was exhibited at S.F. LGBT Community Center)

Ms Africa dressing for the pageant at his Charleston apartment
Color digital prints from transparencies
framed 11 x 14 or 16 x 20
1978, Charleston, South Carolina
(This image was shown at the S.F. LGBT Center)

Ms Africa on Meeting Street in Charleston
Color digital prints from transparencies
framed 11 x 14 or 16 x 20
1978, Charleston, South Carolina
(Pictued in gallery view. Top image)

Ms Africa in front of an antebellum mansion on Charleston’s Battery
Color digital prints from transparencies
framed 11 x 14 or 16 x 20
1978, Charleston, South Carolina
(Pictued in gallery view. Middle image)

Ms Africa, standing on the Charleston Battery, looking out at Ft. Sumter where the Civil War Began.
Color digital prints from transparencies
framed 11 x 14 or 16 x 20
1978, Charleston, South Carolina
(Pictued in gallery view. Bottom image)

“Africa” The First Black Ms Gay Charleston, South Carolina, 1978

In 1978, against great odds and entrenched racism, Brian Seabrook (Ms Africa) became the 20th annual and the first black Ms Gay Charleston, South Carolina. At the entrance to the pageant a dozen former Ms Charlestons sat behind a long table shaking their heads in disbelief and shouting. “No way a N….. is gone be Ms Chasston!”  

Ms Africa, age 19, ignored them all and gave a stellar performance as Glenda the Good Witch in the Wizard of OZ, dancing and singing the score. His mother, who made his dresses, was present as were many fans. His performance brought the entire audience both black and white to their feet screaming. Africa won the title by popular vote and the City that had once championed slavery and started the Civil War was forever changed.

Ms Africa also created Momma’s Brown Sugar, a drag performance trio that toured
Charleston’s historic district wearing antebellum attire and riding in a horse draw carriage. Eventually Brian’s talent caught the eye of Atlanta’s Sweet Gum Head and Charleston’s hero left town to perform on the nightclub’s famous velvet swing.

Date & Location: 1978, Charleston, South Carolina
Medium: Color digital prints from transparencies
Size: framed 11 x 14 or 16 x 20

-- Greg Day

Artist's website: http://www.gregdayphotography.com/