Jason Howard Green

Jason Howard Green

Sunday, February 21, 2021

Celebrate Black Queer Voices: Feb 21 - Jewel's Catch One


I remember my first visit to Jewel’s Catch One.  It was L.A.’s Black Pride weekend.  We had mapped out our plans for the weekend before getting on the road.  Friday night, Friday afternoon arrive in L.A. and check into the hotel.  Friday evening, head to Malibu beach (where most of the weekend festivities would be happening).  Friday night, go to “The Catch.”

People who frequented this infamous black gay club called it simply the Catch.  I have to tell you, walking into that bar was like walking into the Promised Land. Everywhere there were black same-gender loving folks dancing, chatting, smiling – just living their authentic lives.  The dj was playing the hottest house music.  And that night, I saw Martha Wash perform live on stage.  It was a night I will never forget.

Sometime later I heard that the Catch had become a straight bar.  And the next thing I heard was that it was actually closing down.  I knew that this signaled the end of something very special.  The Catch was a place where many LGBTQ black folks went to find something.  Some went to find sex.  Some went to find friends.  Some went to find a congregation of like-minded folks where they could get lost in the crowd and just be. 

The documentary Jewel’s Catch One, sits down with Jewel Thais Williams, the founder of the Catch One and examines the rise and fall of the establishment and Jewel’s opening and management of the non-profit organization the Village Health Foundation.  It is currently streaming on Netflix.  You cans see the trailer below:

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