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About this collection

The Barb, 1974-1977

 

In 1974 Ray Green founded the free serial Atlanta Barb, the first LGBTQ newspaper published in Atlanta.  Metropolitan Community Churches distributed the newspaper and it received funding through advertising of local businesses, bars, and restaurants. Green changed the name of the paper to The Barb and then in 1975 sold it to Bill Smith (1948-1980), an editor at the paper. Smith helped found the Georgia Gay Liberation front, served in the Southeastern gay Coalition, coordinated the 1973 Gay Pride week in Atlanta, and was the first out gay man hired by the City of Atlanta as the Community Relations Commissioner under Mayor Massell from 1973 to 1976.  The Barb was published until 1977.

 

The Barb contained articles on a variety of subjects for its Atlanta LGBTQ audience. Subjects included arts and entertainment, health, politics, social events, and the LGBTQ community. Most articles focused on Atlanta, but some extended to the south or the rest of the United States. Bill Smith wrote a column on community activities, politics, and how laws affected the gay community. Other regular columns included movie and theater reviews, updates on local drag shows and competitions, classified and personals, and health and sex advice. Issues also contain advertisements and announcements from local businesses, particularly bars and restaurants.

 

The Kenan Research Center’s collection of The Barb contains over 600 pages of text and photographs within 40 issues published over four years. To make the collection complete, three of the included issues are posted with permission from the University of California, Davis Shields Library (vol. 3, no 5) and Cornell University Library (Division of Rare and Manuscript Collections (vol. 3, no. 2 and vol. 4. No. 5). Please contact them for publication rights of those issues.

 

The Kenan Research Center is located at 130 West Paces Ferry Road, Atlanta, Georgia 30305. Our hours of operation are 10:00 AM – 5:00 PM, Tuesday – Saturday. You may contact us by calling 404.814.4040 or emailing at reference@atlantahistorycenter.com.

 

The digitization and publication of this collection is made possible with support from Martin Padgett. Padgett is a journalist and non-fiction author, he has written and edited for publications including The Car Connection, Motor Authority, and Green Car Reports, amongst others. He is also the author of the upcoming book about Atlanta’s LGBTQ civil rights movement, Midnight at the Oasis.

 
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