Sacred Ministry: The Black Gay DJ During the AIDS Crisis


"In the background, the toll of the AIDS epidemic impacted the Black gay community and other vulnerable communities in the 80’s and early 90’s. Black gay men often flocked to a sacred space - the dancefloor - if only for a few hours. Safer than the sex they were often afraid to have, they could move, sweat, laugh, cry, relinquish, replenish and take a trip with the pulsating beat of the club as soundtrack." from Black Gay Men Of The AIDS Generation Invented Your Party

Sacred Ministry is a workshop that discusses how three Black gay DJ's emerged during the AIDS crisis, inspired a new genre of music, and helped a generation of men cope with the devastation of AIDS to a beat.


Sacred Ministry will discuss the history of House Music through three pioneers, and it’s connection to Black gay joy and early AIDS activism.

Participants should learn:

  • Black gay men’s connection to the creation of House music;

  • Learn about DJ’s Frankie Knuckles, Larry Levan and Ron Hardy;

  • Learn how early AIDS activism included DJs and nightclubs.