“As a black male who is also gay, I and my brothers and our black lesbian sisters are considered ‘disposables’ throughout the world, throughout time past and present, in our own black communities and in white ones. This is clearly the case in Jamaica and most other Caribbean nations, and it is certainly true in the supposedly more ‘progressive’ United States. What will the force of this virulent hatred mean for our futures, and who will decide once again which of us is disposable? And: will we stand together when the time comes for us to face that machine-gun fire? All of us? Beyond our prejudices?”
In these lyrical and powerful essays, Thomas Glave draws on his experiences as a politically committed, gay Jamaican American to deliver a searing condemnation of the prejudices, hatreds, and inhumanities that persist in the United States and elsewhere as both official policy and social reality. Exposing the hypocrisies and contradictions of liberal multiculturalism, Glave offers instead a politics of heterogeneity in which difference informs the theory and practice of democracy. At the same time, he experiments with language and form, blurring the lines between fiction and nonfiction, to provide a compelling model of creative writing as a tool for social change and humanity.
From the death of black gay poet Essex Hemphill to the revelations of abuse at Abu Ghraib, Glave puts forth a deeply moral and ethical understanding of human rights to make vital connections across nations, races, genders, and sexualities.
Thomas Glave is assistant professor of English at SUNY Binghamton. He is author of Whose Song? and Other Stories.