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Brother To Brother: New Writings by Black Gay Men Paperback – August, 1991


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 275 pages
  • Publisher: Alyson Books; 1st edition (August 1991)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 155583146X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1555831462
  • Product Dimensions: 5.1 x 0.7 x 7.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,489,788 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Believing that the "gay community . . . operates from a one-eyed, one gender, one colorstet without hyphens. sg perception of community ," Beam and Hemphill have compiled a volume of writings that addresspk the emerging black gay sensibility in all of its glory, pain and promise. The strength of the book's politics, however,pk is undermined by offerings of dubious literary merit.pk Generally, the short fiction is only adequately written, depicting young closeted men afraid to come out to their abusive parents and peers. One exception is John Keene Jr.'s "Adelphus King," a sweet tale about a man who falls head over heels for his cousin's boyfriend, a charismatic jazz musician. The poems in the collection speak routinely about sex and love; the most touching deal with the loss of loved ones to AIDS. By far, the most satisfying writing is Ron Simmons's incisive "Some thoughts on challenges facing black gay intellectuals," which exposes the homophobic views of many black writers and calls for the development of "an affirming and liberating philosophical understanding of homosexuality that will self-actualize black gay genius." Hemphill is a poet; Beam, who edited In the Life , died in 1988.
Copyright 1991 Reed Business Information, Inc.

About the Author

Poet, editor, and activist Essex Hemphill was born April 16, 1957, in Chicago, Illinois. Hemphill's first books were the self-published chapbooks Earth Life (1985) and Conditions (1986). He first gained national attention when his work appeared in the anthology In the Life (1986), a seminal collection of writings by black gay men. In 1989, his poems were featured in the award-winning documentaries Tongues Untied and Looking for Langston. In 1991, Hemphill edited Brother to Brother: New Writings by Black Gay Men, which won a Lambda Literary Award. In 1992, he released Ceremonies: Prose and Poetry, which won the National Library Association's Gay, Lesbian, and Bisexual New Author Award. His poems appeared in Obsidian, Black Scholar, Callaloo, Painted Bride Quarterly, Essence, and numerous other newspapers and journals. His work also appeared in numerous anthologies including Gay and Lesbian Poetry in Our Time (1986) and Life Sentences: Writers, Artists and AIDS (1993). He was a visiting scholar at The Getty Center for the History of Art and the Humanities in 1993. On November 4, 1995, Hemphill died from complications relating to AIDS. Biography courtesy of Poets.org, the web site of the Academy of American Poets. Used by permission. --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

11 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Brian Yates on April 11, 2000
Format: Paperback
Brother to Brother is an outstanding collection of stories. Anyone (gay or not) can relate to the akwardness of a first kiss or frustration with the "single club scene". These are some of the themes in Brother to Brother. In San Francisco there is a theatre show called "Up Jumped Springtime" that puts some of the stories from this book on stage. Three fine actors do justice to every word. Neither the book nor the show are to be missed. Both are engageing, sexy and will have you in the floor laughing!
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Format: Paperback
Powerfully conveyed expressions of the unique abundance that life has to offer the strong black man who is proudly gay; these brothers from the past have lessons of strength, beauty, hope and pride sorely missing from the contemporary dialog. With their raw and brutal honesty about the conditions imputed upon them with conspicuous contempt by the established societal structures of law and family, and the established ostracism of the black and gay communities, they nevertheless leave the reader with a sense of the indelible integrity they nurtured among each other, and the guidelines for the brothers of today to get it back.
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3 of 24 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on December 30, 1998
Format: Paperback
I am a white gay man who dates black men exclusively. This book is a beautiful insight to one of the most oppressed and misunderstood segements of American society. With the knowledge and insight I have gained from reading this book, I feel I am better able to please my men.
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