Joan Jett Blakk

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Joan Jett Blakk is the drag persona of performer Terence Smith. Smith is an African-American actor, writer and political candidate. Blakk first garnered a measure of national attention when he ran for President of the United States in 1992.

Calling himself a blend of Divine, David Bowie and Grace Jones, Smith began performing in 1974.

In 1991, Smith, as Blakk, ran against Richard M. Daley for the office of mayor of Chicago, Illinois.[1] The campaign was chronicled in the 1991 video Drag in for Votes. Smith's next campaign was for the presidency in 1992, under the slogan "Lick Bush in '92!" and documented in the 1993 video of the same name. Smith also ran for president in 1996 with the slogan "Lick Slick Willie in '96!" In each of these campaigns Smith ran on the Queer Nation Party ticket.[2]

Following the 1992 campaign, Smith relocated to San Francisco, California and joined the African-American stage comedy troupe Pomo Afro Homos. He launched his talk show, Late Nite with Joan Jett Blakk at Kiki Gallery, under the production of Rick Jacobsen. and featuring Stephen Mounce as co-hostess Babette.[3] The talk show featured local and national persons of interest in the LGBTQ community. It became so successful it was moved to a larger venue to accommodate the sold out crowds.

In 1999, Smith, again as Blakk, announced his intention to run for mayor of San Francisco against incumbent Willie Brown.

In June 2019, a play based on Smith’s 1992 presidential campaign, Ms. Blakk for President, written by Tarell Alvin McCraney and Tina Landau and starring McCraney in the title role, will open at Steppenwolf Theater in Chicago.[4]


  1. ^ Meyer, pp. 5-6
  2. ^ Glasrud, p. 13
  3. ^ "Kiki Gallery :: SFPL :: San Francisco Public Library Mobile". Retrieved 2018-09-20.
  4. ^ "Steppenwolf Adds Tarell Alvin McCraney and Tina Landau's Ms. Blakk for President to 2019 Season | Playbill". Playbill. Retrieved 2018-09-17.

External links[edit]


  • Glasrud, Bruce A. (2010). African Americans and the Presidency: The Road to the White House. Taylor & Francis. ISBN 0-415-80391-8.
  • Meyer, Moe (1994). The Politics and Poetics of Camp. Psychology Press. ISBN 0-415-08248-X.

External links[edit]