Bernard McAllister

Bernie McAllister, looking seriously at the camera with his hand near his chin.
Recorded by:
Interview Date(s):Wednesday, October 2, 2019, Friday, October 25, 2019, Friday, April 23, 2021
Location:Rutgers University-Newark, Zoom
Bernard "Bernie Jourdan Ebony" McAllister was born and raised in the city of Newark. He is the second of two children born to a single mother. He was raised by an extended family of grandparents, uncles, aunts, and many others who helped mold him into the man he would later become. He came out to his family at the age of fourteen. He was embraced by his family yet prepared by them for what the world had in store for an openly gay black man. Having come from a background where no one was ever turned away for being different, he easily gravitated towards the ballroom scene which welcomed young blacks and Latinos. He joined the several houses before settling in with the house of Jourdan.  Bernie with the help of his house family (The Jourdans) created a legacy which is arguably unmatched by any known organization in the city of Newark. The house of Jourdan was a grassroots organization that had no affiliation to anyone but the needy in the city of Newark! Twenty years of feeding the homeless, 20 years of fighting for the rights of gay and lesbian youths, speaking in front of the state senate in Trenton about the AIDS epidemic over 25 years ago, thousands of cans from food drives and hundreds of coats from coat drives. Bernard has been the subject of or included in several documentaries from the public broadcasting station (PBS) to the Logo Channel. He was also part of Drew University’s "Time Capsule."