Black Like Us: A Century of Lesbian, Gay, and Bisexual African American Fiction

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Overview


Winner of the 2003 Lambda Literary Award for Fiction Anthology

Showcasing the work of literary giants like Langston Hughes, James Baldwin, Audre Lorde, Alice Walker, and writers whom readers may be surprised to learn were "in the life," Black Like Us is the most comprehensive collection of fiction by African American lesbian, gay, and bisexual writers ever published. From the Harlem Renaissance to the Great Migration of the Depression era, from the postwar civil rights, ...

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Overview


Winner of the 2003 Lambda Literary Award for Fiction Anthology

Showcasing the work of literary giants like Langston Hughes, James Baldwin, Audre Lorde, Alice Walker, and writers whom readers may be surprised to learn were "in the life," Black Like Us is the most comprehensive collection of fiction by African American lesbian, gay, and bisexual writers ever published. From the Harlem Renaissance to the Great Migration of the Depression era, from the postwar civil rights, feminist, and gay liberation movements, to the unabashedly complex sexual explorations of the present day, Black Like Us accomplishes a sweeping survey of 20th century literature.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"This rich anthology will take your breath away." — The Advocate

"Skillfully unfolds the black queer voice." — Out Magazine

"This enormously powerful and expansive book covers the eras from 1900 to 2000 in dozens of entries that showcase writers who are household names, and others who aren’t, as America experienced sea changes around gender, race, and sexual orientation."
—The Urban News

"Black Like Us unlocks the closet of black lesbian, gay, and bisexual writing." — Keith Boykin, author of One More River to Cross

"A phenomenal pioneering anthology." — Ann Allen Shockley, author of Loving Her

"Black Like Us thoughtfully shapes and lovingly nurtures a literary tradition that has been marginalized for too long. An absorbing and enlightening encounter with compelling American literature." — John D'Emilio, author of Lost Prophet: The Life and Times of Bayard Rustin

"A vital achievement." — George Chauncey, author of Gay New York

"An exceptionally fine read and a rich resource for all of us." —Robert L. Allen, co-editor of Brotherman: The Odyssey of Black Men in America

"Black Like Us refuses to separate the histories and imaginations of Black America and Queer America. In so doing, it becomes a model for a more insightful and useful cultural discussion, one that has importance for all of American culture." —Joan Nestle, co-founder of the Lesbian Herstory Archives, author of A Restricted Country and A Fragile Union

Library Journal
The editors of this fine paperback original Carbado (law and African American studies, UCLA), Dwight A. McBride (English and African American studies, Northwestern Univ.), and Donald Weise (Gore Vidal: Sexually Speaking) here offer an overview of 100 years of African American queer fiction that affirms rather than negates the interconnections among race, gender, and sexuality. All the usual names are here James Baldwin, Langston Hughes, April Sinclair, Alice Walker, etc. but the editors also do a great service in resurrecting lesser-known writers such as Owen Dodson. Whether the 36 authors are represented by a short story or by excerpts from their novels, the selections as a whole show them to be exemplars of "black queer writing." Additionally, each of the three main sections features a lengthy critical overview of queer writing from the eras covered (the Harlem Renaissance, the postwar period, and contemporary gay life), with brief biographical information preceding each piece. Although the editors make no claims for this being a definitive study, most readers will be pleased with the collection's impressive breadth. Highly recommended for all libraries as a complement to Shawn S. Ruff's Go the Way Your Blood Beats. Anthony J. Adam, A & M Univ. Lib., Prairie View, TX Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781573447140
  • Publisher: Cleis Press
  • Publication date: 10/4/2011
  • Edition description: Second Edition
  • Edition number: 2
  • Pages: 555
  • Sales rank: 938,766
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 1.30 (d)

Table of Contents

Foreword
Preface
Acknowledgments
1900-1950: The Harlem Renaissance 1
Natalie 28
The Closing Door 39
Blessed Assurance 56
from Infants of the Spring 63
Smoke, Lilies, and Jade 73
from One Way to Heaven 88
1950-1980: The Protest Era 107
from Boy at the Window 136
from Another Country 148
from Ruby 164
from Zami: A New Spelling of My Name 176
Aye, and Gomorrah... 191
from Suzie Q 203
Symbols 217
This Is How It Happened 230
Ecce Homo 236
Women of Summer 241
1980-2000: Coming Out Black, Like Us 267
In the Life 288
Bird of Paradise 301
from The Gilda Stories 307
from Vanishing Rooms 318
Dance of the Cranes 332
from A Hundred Days from Now 348
from The Color of Trees 359
from Coffee Will Make You Black 367
from Captain Swing 378
from Invisible Life 385
from Soul Kiss 393
from The Serpent's Gift 401
The Foundations of the Earth 411
from From the Notebooks of Melanin Sun 429
from Sunday You Learn How to Box 437
from Traitor to the Race 448
Whose Song? 456
from B-Bay Blues 469
from Walking Through Mirrors 477
from Po Man's Child 487
Notes 499
Permissions 506
Bibliography 509
About the Editors 543
Index 544
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 15, 2013

    Black Like Us is an anthology that EVERYONE should invest in.  T

    Black Like Us is an anthology that EVERYONE should invest in.  The writing within this book is a crucial part of our literary history. Even if you aren't as interested in the history behind this book, you'll still enjoy the exquisite writing! Highly recommend!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 18, 2003

    This Book Was . . .

    Really impressive. I think it gave too much background history on each era which lost me in some aspects but the authors and stories touched me in a enlightening way. Most of the era of todays society I hade already read but it was interesting to know the authors and writers who live/d a life of lesbian, gay or bisexual and wrote in their respective era's about it. Some of the stories were touching while others were informative. I learned about many authors that I otherwise would not have known about.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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