"Giving voice to a population rarely acknowledged in southern history, Sweet Tea collects life stories from black gay men who were born, raised, and continue to live in the southern United States. E. Patrick Johnson challenges stereotypes of the South as 'backward' or 'repressive, ' suggesting that these men draw upon the performance of ...
"Giving voice to a population rarely acknowledged in southern history, Sweet Tea collects life stories from black gay men who were born, raised, and continue to live in the southern United States. E. Patrick Johnson challenges stereotypes of the South as 'backward' or 'repressive, ' suggesting that these men draw upon the performance of 'southernness'--politeness, coded speech, and religiosity, for example--to legitimate themselves as members of both southern and black cultures. At the same time, Johnson argues, they deploy those same codes to establish and build friendship networks and find sexual partners and life partners. Traveling to every southern state, Johnson conducted interviews with more than seventy black gay men between the ages of 19 and 93--lawyers, hairdressers, ministers, artists, doctors, architects, students, professors, and corporate executives, as well as the retired and unemployed. Sweet Tea is arranged according to themes echoed in their narratives. Chapters explore unique experiences as well as shared ones, from coming out stories and church life to homosex and love relationships. The voices collected here dispute the idea that gay subcultures flourish primarily in northern, secular, urban areas. In addition to filling in a gap in the sexual history of the South, Sweet Tea offers a window into the ways that black gay men negotiate their sexual and racial identities with their southern cultural and religious identities. The interviews also reveal how they build and maintain community in many spaces and activities, some of which may appear to be antigay. Through Johnson's use of critical performance ethnography, Sweet Tea validates the lives of these black gay men and reinforces the role of storytelling in both African American and southern cultures"--Publisher description.
Good. Item may contain a pass code or key code that has been used or scratched off, name written on the edges.....slight creasing at the cover corners, name written on inside cover, light staining on the edges, sticker on the cover.
Publishers Weekly, 2008-06-09 This fascinating--if excessively detailed--oral history subverts countless preconceptions in its illustration of black gay subcultures thriving in just about every imaginable rural and religious milieu in the South. Johnson (Appropriating Blackness) has an obvious fondness for the 63 men he interviews. Unfortunately, these interviews suffer from his failure to ask follow-up questions to revelatory or troubling responses and his adherence to set questions, for example, his insistence on asking his churchgoing subjects why they are attracted to the choir, keeps him from exploring the more interesting intersections (and contradictions) of their faith and sexuality. Responses are arranged by topics ("Coming Out"; "Love and Relationships"), an organization that provides thematic coherence, but makes it difficult to follow each recurring narrator. Still, the courage and honesty of Johnson's interviewees humble, and readers will find much to treasure in the stories of Stephen, who adopts the mannerisms of straight classmates because he lacks masculine gay role models; proudly effeminate Lamar, transgendered Chastity and gay men in every state in the South falling in love, growing up and growing old, negotiating and redefining their identities. (Sept.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
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