|Intro||American singer-songwriter and activist|
|Is||Singer Writer Songwriter Military personnel Musician Activist LGBT rights activist|
|From||United States of America|
|Field||Activism Literature Military Music|
Blackberri is an American singer-songwriter and community activist. His music focuses on various social issues including civil rights, LGBT rights, sexism, and pollution.
Charles Timothy Ashmore was born in Buffalo, New York and raised in Baltimore. He was discharged from the United States Navy in 1966 for being gay. On his discharge, Blackerri stated that "I was placed under investigation because one of my shipmates turned me in. they put a tail on me, and when they thought they had enough evidence, they arrested me, went through my personal belongings and found incriminating letters and other things." His discharge left him stranded in New York City where he washed dishes and turned to drugs. Blackberri reportedly got high once with Timothy Leary. He later studied voice at University of Arizona and began singing in a local blues band. In Tucson, he started a rock band called Gunther Quint. The first song he wrote was called "Frenchie." It was about a boy he had a one-night stand with before he was kicked out. The other bandmates were straight but supported and defended Blackberri. While living in a feminist collective, he adopted the name Blackberri and later changed his name legally.
Blackberri later went solo and performed in coffee houses original queer related songs. He moved to San Francisco in 1974 and joined the band Breeze. Blackberri turned to busking to earn money. He began dating Reiner, a blues guitar player from the East Coast. In 1981, he released Blackberri and Friends: Finally on his own music label, Bea B. Queen. He began to regularly perform at Pride parades and LGBT music festivals. During the AIDS epidemic, Blackberri shifted his focus from music to community support. He has worked for causes impacting the LGBT and African American communities including anti-eviction charities, HIV education, and Black Lives Matter. The first National Third World Lesbian and Gay Conference's theme song was "When Will The Ignorance End." In 2002, received a Lifetime Achievement AIDS Hero Award at the San Francisco Candlelight Vigil.
In 2019, Blackberri's song, "Eat the Rich" was included in Patrick Haggerty's Lavender Country.