Boykin, a former Clinton White House aide, syndicated columnist, and AIDS activist, breaks new ground by going beyond the media hype with the first responsible, eye-opening look at the down low sensation, referring to the secretive phenomenon of closeted black men who have sex with other men.Boykin, a former Clinton White House aide, syndicated columnist, and AIDS activist, breaks new ground by going beyond the media hype with the first responsible, eye-opening look at the down low sensation, referring to the secretive phenomenon of closeted black men who have sex with other men.Read Less
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Publishers Weekly, 2005-01-24 In the past year, J.L. King's On the Down Low: A Journey into the Lives of "Straight" Black Men Who Sleep with Men, a New York Times Magazine piece and Oprah attention helped make a cultural phenomenon out of life "on the DL." Here, writer and activist Boykin (One More River to Cross) addresses what he sees as the implicitly racist and homophobic undertones of the media's coverage. He offers a point-by-point refutation of King's take on the DL-King's book, Boykin says, suffers from overgeneralizations, inconsistencies and distortions-and accuses King of serving up another "stereotypical image of black men as pathological liars, surreptitiously satisfying their primitive sexual cravings by cheating on their wives." But the heart of Boykin's argument is that the media, which often blame closeted black men for transmitting HIV to their female partners, are avoiding the opportunity to responsibly discuss the realities of sexuality, gender, race and AIDS. Boykin lucidly draws on science as well as personal experience in this important book. And while many of the cultural manifestations of black sexuality that Boykin documents here are fascinating-e.g., references to the DL (which Boykin defines as cheating on a partner regardless of one's sexuality) in popular music-the power of his book comes from his impassioned call to examine the real facts of sexual behavior and HIV transmission. (Feb.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
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