From his website:
At his yearly, highly anticipated Gay Pride Day Concert in San Francisco in the late 1970's, Sylvester, reveling in his role as a local superstar, ignited the crowd. As shown in the Academy Award winning documentary The Times of Harvey Milk, Sylvester inspired all the clones, fairies, leather guys, and even the preppies, to dance like they were one big, happy, multi-racial family of queens. He even lured a surprisingly demure Harvey Milk onto the dance floor...
...at a time when the rallying cry of the gay liberation movement was "Come out of the closet," to see a black queen on stage, "being real," altered perceptions, changed attitudes and helped many thousands of fans feel better about themselves. What's more, Sylvester helped all gay people of color gain a measure of visibility that was often elusive in the world of muscled white men. Today Sylvester endures as an inspiration- and still shows all of us that we all have the power to pursue our own "realness."
Mighty Real - the official documentary:
Sylvester James (6th September 1947 – 16th December 1988)