One of the Children: Gay Black Men in Harlem

Overview

Gay black men, a thriving subculture of the black and gay communities, are doubly marginalized. Along with other black men, they are typically portrayed in the media and literature as "street corner men"?unemployed drifters, absentee fathers, substance abusers. In the larger gay community, they are an invisible minority. One of the Children, the first formal cultural study of gay black men in Harlem, not only illuminates this segment of America's gay population but presents a far richer, more diverse portrait of ...
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Overview

Gay black men, a thriving subculture of the black and gay communities, are doubly marginalized. Along with other black men, they are typically portrayed in the media and literature as "street corner men"—unemployed drifters, absentee fathers, substance abusers. In the larger gay community, they are an invisible minority. One of the Children, the first formal cultural study of gay black men in Harlem, not only illuminates this segment of America's gay population but presents a far richer, more diverse portrait of black men's lives than is commonly perceived. Based on two years' intensive research—during which the author lived in Harlem's gay community—including extensive interviews with fifty-seven community members, this book depicts gay black men's lives in all their social, economic, and cultural complexity. William Hawkeswood takes us from the street into the homes and lives of his subjects. He describes the elaborate network of fris, called "family," that supports these men emotionally and financially, and the community's two-tiered economic structure, comprising gay men and "boys," or hustlers. Hawkeswood also explores what it means for these men to be both gay and black. In the process, he makes the surprising discovery that while the AIDS virus looms all around them, it has not yet significantly affected the community of gay blacks who choose their sexual partners exclusively from among Harlem's other gay black men.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780520202122
  • Publisher: University of California Press
  • Publication date: 4/30/1997
  • Series: Men and Masculinity Series
  • Pages: 240
  • Product dimensions: 6.03 (w) x 8.97 (h) x 0.71 (d)

Meet the Author

The late William G. Hawkeswood was Adjunct Assistant Professor of Anthropology at Columbia University, SUNY Purchase, and York College. Alex W. Costley is a doctoral candidate in anthropology at Columbia University.

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Table of Contents

Foreword
Editor's Note
Acknowledgments
Introductory Note
1 "He's Family": An Introduction 1
2 "A Host of Different Men": The Diversity of Gay Black Men in Harlem 20
3 "One Big Family": Community and the Social Networks of Gay Black Men 52
4 "Close to Home": The Organization of the Gay Scene in Harlem 67
5 "Different from Other Colors": Black Culture and Black Identity 90
6 "Gay Is Lovin' Men": Gay Identity in Harlem 125
7 "Different to Other Men": The Meaning of Sexuality for Gay Black Men 159
8 "This Epidemic Thing": Gay Black Men and AIDS in Harlem 169
9 "One of the Children": Being a Gay Black Man in Harlem 184
Glossary 194
Notes 197
References 219
Index 239
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