Brother to Brother: New Writings by Black Gay Men

Front Cover
Essex Hemphill
Redbone Press, 2007 - Literary Criticism - 389 pages
2 Reviews
Literary Nonfiction. African American Studies. LGBT Studies. BROTHER TO BROTHER, begun by Joseph Beam and completed by Essex Hemphill after Beam's death in 1988, is a collection of now-classic literary work by black gay male writers. Originally published in 1991 and out of print for several years, BROTHER TO BROTHER "is a community of voices," Hemphill writes. "[It] tells a story that laughs and cries and sings and celebrates...it's a conversation intimate friends share for hours. These are truly words mined syllable by syllable from the harts of black gay men. You're invited to listen in because you're family, and these aren't secrets-not to us, so why should they be secrets to you? Just listen. Your brother is speaking." This new edition includes an introduction by Jafari Allen.

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Review: Brother to Brother: New Writing by Black Gay Men

User Review  - Michael Gossett - Goodreads

As a representation of the work of a group of AIDS-afflicted black men, this provides tremendous insight. As a collection of prose and poetry, it feels overly-sentimental. Distinguish between the two in order to avoid being frustrated and actually learn something from this book. Read full review

Review: Brother to Brother: New Writing by Black Gay Men

User Review  - Calvin Glenn - Goodreads

Excellent. It was really instrumental for me when I was just coming out more than 20 years ago. Disclosure: I am also one of the contributing authors. Read full review

Contents

Crucial Palimpsest?
xiii
Not a bad legacy brother
229
An open letter to a brother
256
Copyright

3 other sections not shown

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About the author (2007)

One of the most important new voices on the gay literary scene, Hemphill has published poetry in several anthologies and essays in the gay press, most of which have been collected in his three books. The merits of his work have been rewarded with several fellowships, including one from the National Endowment for the Arts. Hemphill has also been involved in the production of three gay African American films: Looking for Langston, which is about Langston Hughes; Tongues Untied, a celebration of African American gay identity; and Out of the Shadows, an AIDS documentary. Hemphill says that his work has been informed by his efforts to "integrate all of my identities into a functioning self" and to "articulate and politicize my sexuality" (Ceremonies 53). As he makes clear, it is not easy to accomplish this in a racist and homophobic society. He deplores the racism that he finds in the gay community, in particular the sexual objectification of black men by white men, which he argues characterizes the art of the celebrated photographer Robert Mapplethorpe. He is equally critical of the sexism and homophobia of the African American community, which he believes informs the rhetoric of the key movement, Black Nationalism. But Hemphill also celebrates his sexual and racial identities, affirming his participation in both the gay and black communities even as he critiques them and American society at large, whose prejudices they sometimes share.

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