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Freedom in this Village : Black Gay Men's Writing

The ConfessionThe Confession ~ James McGreevey (Author) (Hardcover - September 1, 2006) Other Editions: Audio CD, LARGE PRINT: Paperback ~ After resigning in a gay sex scandal, former Gov. James McGreevey writes a tell-all memoir about his meteoric rise and spectacular fall in politics.
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Best Black Gay Erotica by Darieck Scott
Beyond the Down Low by Keith Boykin, E. Lynn Harris ~ Bolstered by national television exposure on Oprah and a cover story in the New York Times Magazine, the "down low"—a term used to refer to "straight" men who have sex with men—was thrust into the open in 2004. Keith Boykin, a former Clinton White House aide, goes beyond the hype with the first responsible, eye-opening look at the down low sensation. Unlike all previous accounts on the topic, Beyond the Down Low presents the DL not merely as a problem of gay and bisexual men living in the shadows, but more as an example of America's unwillingness to engage in critical but uncomfortable conversations about black sexuality. Boykin details how society has helped to create an environment where black gay and bisexual men feel compelled to lead double lives. Meanwhile, the dialogue that has taken place in the black community encourages an unhealthy battle of the sexes, ignores the complexity of the closet, demonizes bisexuality, disempowers women, and misdirects public resources and attention. This book is a timely and well researched answer to the question, "Why are so many black men on the DL?" More importantly, it is an essential tool to pry open the closet door in black America.
Black Christian Singles Guide to Dating and Sexuality, The by Chris Jackson (Paperback - January 1, 1999)
Black, Gay & Christian: (An Inspirational Guidebook to Daily Living) by Herndon L. Davis (Author) (Paperback - 2004) Black, Gay & Christian is a 16 chapter, gay/lesbian affirming, biblically based, spiritual empowerment tool. Over the course of 320 dynamic pages, it provides spiritual direction, motivational support and Christ-centered guidance to practicing Black Gay/Lesbians on how to live proud and fully committed, joy-filled, prosperous, and blessed lives as GLBT Christians without changing their orientation or behavior. In addition, there are two chapters targeted directly towards the Black Clergy and Families on how to reconcile, love and minister to loved ones/parishioners who are Gay/Lesbian.
Dirt, Greed, and Sex: Sexual Ethics in the New Testament and Their Implications for Today by L. William Countryman (Author) (Paperback - October 1990) While no book is going to be the final word on what the Bible means and how to apply it to one's life, this book provides insight into the cultural mindset of the authors of both the Jewish and Christian scriptures and helps one get behind arcane regulations and statements to what their intended purpose actually was. Note: although homosexuality is a hot button topic in today's society, the book is not primarily on that subject. It is a good resource on the overall subject of sex and the relationships which revolve around it. Additionally, the primary thesis opens up the understanding of how God's Law regulated purity and ownership issues and thus can open up one's understanding of the Bible in other areas beyond the subject of sex.
Dirt, greed, and sex: Sexual ethics in the New Testament and their implications for today by Louis William Countryman (Author) ~ More: Hardcover | Paperback - November 2001
Freedom in this Village : Black Gay Men's Writing 1969 to the Present by E. Lynn Harris (Paperback - November 9, 2004)
How to Ruin the Perfect Child by Antonio Le Mons
I'm on My Way by Christopher David ~ Christopher David in I'm on My Way has written a first novel that demands respect and attention. Rarely has a young writer pounced on the scene with such a pungent, searing understanding and commitment in writing a book about a slice of life that has for years been no man's land. Other African American writers have addressed gay life in their community from James Baldwin, Lee Hayes, Caesar Brunswick et al, but as far as placing the reader deeply within the milieu, the language, the special struggles that surround the gay black man, Christopher David has the edge.
In Search of Pretty Young Black Men : A Novel by Stanley Bennett Clay (Hardcover - January 4, 2005) Other Editions: Hardcover - May 2001 | Paperback | Digital (Microsoft Reader) | Digital (Adobe Reader)
Last Rights by Marvin K. White (Paperback - September 2004) Other Editions: Paperback

Living Out Loud BY Tommie L. Watkins JrLiving Out Loud by Tommie L. Watkins Jr ~ Dr./Rev Tommie L. Watkins Jr, an African-American ordained minister. As a proponent of AIDS ministries in his church – he is convinced HIV/AIDS will not be properly dealt with until the church addresses it – he’s found it very hard to get the community to open its eyes, accept gays and accept the current AIDS situation. They even assume because he’s gay and wants to talk about HIV, that he is positive; but Watkins says he doesn’t have to have HIV in order to educate about it. “The AIDS rate in the African-American culture is one in 46 blacks have HIV, and one in three gay black males are infected,” Watkins says. “I’ve been trying to work with the black churches to build, fund and sustain their own HIV ministries. “It’s not just a gay disease, and even if they don’t agree, they need to leave their options open,” he continues. “With people of color – Asian, Hispanic, Afro-Caribbean, etc. – the church is one of the most influential aspects of their culture. “There’s some that even believe – because they don’t trust the government – that AIDS is manufactured by the government. When the pastors are silent because they don’t want to talk about sex, sexuality, and orientation, it keeps a lot of misinformation [out there] about AIDS and about gay culture." Denial and the spread of misinformation seem to be a trend in several communities of color when it comes to discussions of AIDS and/or sexual orientation. What does it mean to be a minority with the GLBT minority?

The Good Book: Reading the Bible with Mind and Heart by Peter J. Gomes (Author) (Paperback - April 2002) More: Hardcover | Paperback | Audio Cassette: Abridged | Hardcover: Large Print ~ As an Episcopalian and a Black woman , I am constantly searching for inspiration and insight into the Bible. The Good Book is indeed an experience. Although I did find it difficult in terms of some Biblical and historical references--it sent me to the dictionary--it also was thought provoking and inspirational for us all to look at the life of Christ and his message of compassion, mercy and love as a way to live our daily lives. It is a strong rebuke to the fundamental Christians who supported enslavement of Black Americans, condemn homosexuals and who feel that woman are inferior. My spiritual life has been enriched by Brother Gomes book, a must read.
Nothin' Ugly Fly by Marvin K. White (Paperback - September 2004)
Out of BoundsOut of Bounds: Coming out of Sexual Abuse, Addiction, and My Life of Lies in the NFL Closet by Roy Simmons and Damon DiMarco (Author) (Paperback - Dec 6, 2006) Others: Kindle Edition, Paperback, Hardcover ~ Roy Simmons' has lived one crazy life and he shares it with us in his great book Out of Bounds. It starts with the story of his childhood in poor Savanah and his rape at the hands of a neighbor, his realization of his homosexuality, right through his awesome career as a football player and his fight with drugs. It is one rollercoaster ride that you shouldn't miss. Gay or straight, jock or not, this is one great book. Lets just hope that other gay athletes start to step forward and tell their stories because only the truth will set us free.

The Penis (Gay Erotic Art Photography, Volume 4)The Penis (Gay Erotic Art Photography, Volume 4) by Norman Hatton (Author) (Hardcover - Sep 2001)

What the Bible Really Says About Homosexuality by Daniel A. Helminiak (Author)(Paperback - April 2000) More: Paperback - May 1994~  The author of this intellectually honest book, himself a Reverend, embraces both the Bible and the Brother (or Sister) who may be gay. Yes, it is possible to embrace both; indeed it is necessary. The Adam-and-Eve versus Adam-and-Steve argument is specifically addressed. Did she not read the book she reviews? Let me share a song I've been singing lately. "Every guy grab a girl, everywhere around the world. There'll be Dancing in the Streets." Now, there is no reason to believe homosexuality was anywhere near the songwriter's mind. His point was simply EVERYBODY dance! The songwriter simply used the most common example ("Every guy grab a girl"). So it is with the Bible's Creation story of Adam and Eve. To mistake this for a condemnation of homosexuality is simply to miss the point. To use this Bible text to condemn gays is to misuse the Bible.
One of the Children: Gay Black Men in Harlem (Men and Masculinity, 2) by William G. Hawkeswood, Alex W. Costley (Paperback - February 1997) Other Editions: Hardcover | Paperback
Sons Like Me by Damon Murphy
Freedom in this Village : Black Gay Men's Writing 1969 to the PresentFreedom in this Village : Black Gay Men's Writing 1969 to the Present charts for the first time ever the innovative course of black gay male literature of the past 25 years. Starting in 1979 with the publication of James Baldwin's final novel, Just Above My Head, then on to the radical writings of the 1980s, the breakthrough successes of the 1990s, and up to today's new works, editor E. Lynn Harris collects 47 sensational stories, poems, novel excerpts, and essays.

Forty-seven black gay male writers speak boldly about who they are and the world they live in in this outstanding collection of poetry, prose, essays, and fiction. Edited, compiled, and thoughtfully prefaced by best-selling novelist E. Lynn Harris, Freedom in this Village is both vital and entertaining as it dazzles with a myriad of rich literary styles and re-challenges with thought-provoking, soul-stirring discourse. How wonderful it is to revisit Essex Hemphill, regarded the premiere black gay poet in America at the time of his death from AIDS related complications in 1995. His bitter/beautiful five-part poem about love and lust in the ghetto, "Tomb of Sorrow" (1989), represents him here: "Gunshots ring out above our heads,/ a few of us are seeking romance,/ others a piece of ass,/ some--a stroke of dick./ The rest of us are killing./ The rest of us get killed." From James Baldwin's excerpted swan song "Just Above My Head" (1979) to Randy Boyd's infuriating interracial fiction excerpt "Walt Loves The Bearcat" (2004), we are treated to, shocked by, and enthralled with the literary profound and profane. Marlon Riggs' 1991 essay "Black Macho Revisited: Reflections of a SNAP! Queen". Marvin K. White's "FOR COLORED BOYS WHO HAVE CONSIDERED S-CURLS WHEN THE HOT COMB WAS ENUF" (1990) still retains its sass and sting. Don Belton's 1994 interview "Where We Live: A Conversation with Essex Hemphill and Isaac Julien," conducted on the heels of Marlon Riggs' AIDS related death, is a conversation around Marlon Riggs' film "Black Is...Black Ain't" which explores the nexes of black identity and masculinity and features appearances by Essex Hemphill, bell hooks, Michelle Wallace, Cornel West, and Angela Davis.

 Novelist/journalist James Earl Hardy, founder of the Afrocentric gay hip-hop romance genre, is represented by an excerpt from his classic "B-Boy Blues" follow-up, the satisfying but lesser "2nd Time Around" (1996), Vega by his gentle 1989 poem "Brothers Loving Brothers," while Carl Alan Johnson's 1993 "Post-Nuclear Slut" still reads as Fab-nasty as ever. This collection is too rich to ignore, too diverse to fully assess in this small space. Suffice it to say that this is a keeper to be visited often. Finally, I must echo the sentiments of a previous reviewer. Reading these wonderful pieces, knowing that so many of the authors have been taken away from us by AIDS--Essex Hemphill, Marlon Riggs, Joseph Beam, Steven Corbin, Melvin Dixon, Gary Fisher, David Frechette, Craig G. Harris, and Assoto Saint--is a sad reminder that we have been given limited access to these brilliant minds. So let us cherish this book for its rarity as much as for its insights, illuminations, and artistry. E. Lynn Harris should be commended for this tremendous undertaking and achievement.
Authors featured include Samuel R. Delany, Essex Hemphill, Melvin Dixon, Marlon Riggs, Assotto Saint, Larry Duplechan, Reginald Shepherd, Carl Phillips, Keith Boykin, Randall Kenan, Thomas Glave, James Earl Hardy, Darieck Scott, Gary Fisher, Bruce Morrow, John Keene, G. Winston James, Bil Wright, Robert Reid Pharr, Brian Keith Jackson, as well as an array of exciting new and established writers.

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