LGBTQ Black Club In Bed Stuy Fights To Stay Open

Club Langston is fighting to stay open. Here’s how you can help.

The Moore Bar and Lounge in the Bedford-Stuyvesant neighborhood of New York City is the last standing Black-owned LGBTQ club in the city, according to its owner, Calvin Clark. That legacy is at risk of coming to a close, however. The bar, affectionately nicknamed Club Langston by its patrons, is currently closed and may have to close its doors forever if it’s unable to raise more than $70,000 by March 1.

 

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To try to raise the necessary money, Clark staged a demonstration outside the bar. He took a vow of silence and undertook a fast. He stood in silence in front of the bar for 24 hours with signs asking passersby to honk and donate to the cause. He plans to keep the demonstration going for 10 days in an attempt to raise funds to keep the bar open.

One of the signs Clark raised during his silent protest read, “My silence speaks loudly for those who live quietly in shame.”

 

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Clark and his business partner, Eryk Albury, opened the club in 2001, and it quickly became a staple in the Black queer community. Trey Writer, a patron of the bar, told NBC News, “Langston’s was our resolve. It was the only place we could go to let our hair down. It was my first encounter with other gay men; it was my first drink, my first kiss, my first of friendships.”

The bar also served as a site of political events and fundraisers. Jeffery Prince, a patron and friend of Clark’s said of the bar, “It was more than just drinking and dancing. It was a place to discuss the latest political news, see an acquaintance you hadn’t seen in a while. After Hurricane Katrina happened, there was an event… Langston was also very involved in fundraising to address the gay men’s health crisis.”

The bar was forced to unofficially close in December of last year due to rising rents resulting from gentrification and costs associated with taxes and business code violations. So far, Clark’s fundraising campaign has raised over $11,000 toward the cost of reopening this iconic piece of Black queer culture. You can help Club Langston stay open by donating now.


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