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literature

Alpha Index:  A-B  C-F  G-K  L-Q  R-S  T-Z

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African-American Literature: Gay Male  
 
page: 1  2  3  4  

But even more compelling because of their emotional immediacy are the numerous testimonial narratives and poems--by writers such as David Frechette, Assoto Saint, Bobby Smith, Donald Woods, and many others--that bear witness to illness and death, mourn the loss of friends and lovers, and memorialize the many thousands gone.

Some of the most talented black gay writers of the post-Baldwin generation, including Melvin Dixon, Craig Harris, Joseph Beam, Essex Hemphill, and Assoto Saint, among others, have already died of AIDS-related illnesses. Still others are fighting personal battles against the infection. Contemporary black gay writing, therefore, reflects a mounting sense of emergency while it continues to give voice and visibility to black gay men living through these treacherous times.

Sponsor Message.

Emmanuel S. Nelson

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social sciences >> Overview:  African Americans

Glbtq African Americans frequently experience racism in predominantly white glbtq communities and homophobia in heterosexual black society, but the multiple oppressions faced by black glbtq people are now being recognized.

literature >> Overview:  AIDS Literature

In the twenty years since its first appearance in the West, AIDS has been the subject of a large body of literature, most of it written by gay men and much of it designed to expose readers as closely as possible to the emergency of the epidemic and the suffering of affected individuals.

literature >> Overview:  American Literature: Gay Male, 1900-1969

Although largely invisible to the general public, a large body of twentieth-century gay male literature by American authors was published prior to Stonewall, some of it positive but most of it tinged with misery or bleakness as the price of being published and disseminated.

literature >> Overview:  American Literature: Gay Male, Post-Stonewall

After Stonewall, gay male literature became focused as a movement, aided by the development of gay newspapers, magazines, and quarterlies and the founding of serious gay and lesbian bookstores.

literature >> Overview:  The Harlem Renaissance

The Harlem Renaissance, an African-American literary movement of the 1920s and 1930s, included several important gay and lesbian writers.

literature >> Baldwin, James Arthur

James Baldwin, a pioneering figure in twentieth-century literature, wrote sustained and articulate challenges to American racism and mandatory heterosexuality.

literature >> Cullen, Countee

Countee Cullen, an important member of the Harlem Renaissance, has coded references to homosexuality in much of his poetry.

literature >> Delany, Samuel R.

Writer of science fiction, memoirs, erotica, cultural studies, and postmodern criticism, and winner of multiple Nebula, Hugo, and Lambda Literary Awards, Samuel R. Delany is widely regarded as one of the finest science fiction writers of his generation.

literature >> Duplechan, Larry

Lambda Award-winning author Larry Duplechan is best known for Blackbird (1987), a coming of age novel about a black teenager growing up in the bland outer suburbs of Los Angeles in the 1970s.

literature >> Harris, E. Lynn

In page-turning novels that appeal to a broad and diverse audience, E. Lynn Harris exposed the bisexuality and homosexuality within the black middle class.

arts >> Heath, Gordon

African-American actor, director, and folk-singer Gordon Heath appeared in theater, film, television, and radio productions, but is best known as a Parisian cabaret performer.

literature >> Hemphill, Essex

Despite his relatively brief literary career, Essex Hemphill became arguably the most critically acclaimed and best known openly gay contemporary African-American poet.

literature >> Hughes, Langston

Langston Hughes, whose literary legacy is enormous and varied, was closeted, but homosexuality was an important influence on his literary imagination, and many of his poems may be read as gay texts.

literature >> Kenan, Randall

African-American writer Randall Kenan delineates the richly nuanced internal landscapes of the diverse inhabitants of his fictional community, Tims Creek, N. C.

literature >> Locke, Alain

As midwife to the Harlem Renaissance, Alain Locke played a crucial role in the development of African-American literature; his homosexuality informed his plea for respect of sexual and cultural diversity.

literature >> McKay, Claude

Jamaican-born bisexual African-American poet, novelist, and essayist Claude McKay made compelling contributions to the development of the Harlem Renaissance; in his works, he put forward a revolutionary agenda of racial, class, and sexual liberation.

literature >> Saint, Assotto

Through his contributions to literary and popular culture, Haitian-born American poet, performance artist, musician, and editor and publisher Assotto Saint increased the visibility of black queer authors and themes during the 1980s and early 1990s.


    Bibliography
   

Beam, Joseph, ed. In the Life: A Black Gay Anthology. Boston: Alyson, 1986.

Corbin, Steven. Fragments That Remain. Boston: Alyson, 1993.

Flannigan-Saint-Aubin, Arthur. "'Black Gay Male' Discourse: Reading Race and Sexuality Between the Lines." Journal of the History of Sexuality 3.3 (Spring 1993): 468-490.

Heath, Gordon. Deep Are the Roots: Memoirs of a Black Expatriate. Amherst: University of Massachusetts Press, 1992.

Hemphill, Essex, ed. Brother to Brother: New Writings by Black Gay Men. Boston: Alyson, 1991.

Nelson, Emmanuel, ed. Contemporary Gay American Novelists: A Bio-Bibliographical Critical Sourcebook. Westport, Conn.: Greenwood Press, 1993.

_____, ed. Critical Essays: Gay and Lesbian Writers of Color. New York: Haworth Press, 1993.

Other Countries: Black Gay Voices. New York: Other Countries Collective, 1988.

Phillips, Carl. In the Blood. Boston: Northeastern University Press, 1992.

Saint, Assoto, ed. Here to Dare: 10 Gay Black Poets. New York: Galiens Press, 1992.

_____, ed. The Road Before Us: 100 Gay Black Poets. New York: Galiens Press, 1991.

Stanford, Adrian. Black and Queer. Boston: Good Gay Press, 1977.

 

    Citation Information
         
    Author: Nelson, Emmanuel S.  
    Entry Title: African-American Literature: Gay Male  
    General Editor: Claude J. Summers  
    Publication Name: glbtq: An Encyclopedia of Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual,
Transgender, and Queer Culture
 
    Publication Date: 2002  
    Date Last Updated November 15, 2006  
    Web Address www.glbtq.com/literature/african_am_lit_gay.html  
    Publisher glbtq, Inc.
1130 West Adams
Chicago, IL   60607
 
    Today's Date  
    Encyclopedia Copyright: © 2002-2006, glbtq, Inc.  
    Entry Copyright © 1995, 2002 New England Publishing Associates  
 

 

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