Candice Boyce remembered Greenwich Village in the 1960s as a place that was not particularly welcoming for people of color. They went anyway, because it was the place where someone could be gay, and because “there weren’t many places for people of color at that time”. She explained that the opposition they faced from police at the time was, in a way, a uniting factor for the queer community because “we had somebody against us”. The night of the Stonewall riots was, for her, unique because everyone in the bar was fighting for the same thing in a movement that had been (and still very much was) divided along racial, gender, and class lines.

Her experience with mainstream gay movements at the time would be largely similar to her first experiences with the Village. In 1974, Candice Boyce said that and a group of other women left the Gay Activists Alliance to form the Third World Gay Wimin, Inc., also known as the Salsa Soul Sisters. According to Boyce, “there was no other place for women of color to go and sit down and talk about what it means to be a black lesbian in America”. It was formed to provide an inclusive space for lesbians of color, particularly Black and Latina lesbians. Candice eventually became the director of the group, which worked to provide an alternative to gay and lesbian bars. It was born out of the need for an inclusive space, one where Black and Latina lesbians could connect and work toward change. Their early activities ranged from workshops teaching vocational skills to martial arts classes to seminars on handicrafts.

Candice Boyce, via the Nubian Knights Network

She began dating Linda Rice in 1997, and they married in 2007. Boyce continued to work with The Third World Gay Wimmin, Inc., which later narrowed its focus to become the African Ancestral Lesbians United for Social Change, until she passed away in 2010. According to a friend, “if you want to honor her memory, it’s simple. Get up off your ass. Engage. Be kind.”



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