September 26, 2019 at 5:59 am EDT | by Staff reports
Looking back: 50 years of the Blade
Jesse Jackson, gay news, Washington Blade
Jesse Jackson spoke to HRCF 36 years ago, calling for unity among ‘the rejected.’ (Washington Blade archive photo by Jim Marks)

Thirty-six years ago in September of 1983, the Blade’s lead story focused on a rousing speech delivered by Rev. Jesse Jackson to the Human Rights Campaign Fund in New York.

Jackson called for gay rights legislation and a meaningful dialogue between the civil rights and gay movements, “and urged Gays to go ‘beyond yourselves’ to support a broader political agenda.”

Jackson received a warm welcome and was interrupted 25 times with applause. He called for a “Rainbow Coalition of the rejected” that would come to power via the ballot.

The Blade reported the event raised $50,000 for HRCF.

Peruse the Blade’s one-of-a-kind 50-year archive of LGBTQ news in partnership with the D.C. Public Library at

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