Keith Boykin, a former Clinton White House aide, syndicated columnist, and AIDS activist, breaks new ground by going beyond the hype with the first responsible, eye-opening look at the down low sensation. Unlike all previous accounts on the topic, Beyond the Down Low refreshingly presents the DL not merely as a problem of gay and bisexual men living in the shadows and endangering women, but more broadly as a telling example of the African-American community's overall failure to engage in critical but uncomfortable conversations about sexuality. Boykin details how the virtual silence from black leaders on sex matters has helped to create an environment where gay and bisexual men feel compelled to lead double lives. Meanwhile, the dialogue that has occurred both inside and out of African-American circles encourages an unhealthy battle of the sexes, ignores the complexities of the closet, demonizes homosexuality and bisexuality, disempowers women from personal responsibility to protect themselves from STDs, and misdirects public resources and attention at vilifying down low men.
|Publisher:||Da Capo Press|
|Product dimensions:||5.50(w) x 8.10(h) x 1.00(d)|
About the Author
Keith Boykin is one of America's leading commentators on race and sexual orientation. He has appeared on CNN, Fox News, and NPR, and been featured in the New York Times, Washington Post, and USA Today, among many other publications. Boykin is currently a contestant in the Showtime reality show American Candidate, which airs nationally in Fall 2004. A graduate of Harvard Law School, the author served as special assistant to President Clinton on gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender issues. Today Boykin is president of the National Black Justice Coalition, an organization established in 2003 to marshal African-American support for same-sex marriage rights. He is the author of One More River to Cross: Black and Gay in America and Respecting the Soul: Daily Reflections for Black Lesbians and Gays. He lives in New York City.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
I love books that deal with the "DOWN LOW" topic!!! This is definitely worth reading!!
Author Keith Boykin has come up with a credible and sensible discourse that addresses the new hysteria over a cultural norm that is as old as culture itself. The recent media hype over black men on the down low has once again found a commercial way to heighten fear and loathing of the black man in America, this time with a new psychological twist on the old black-on-black crime scenario. Before Boykin¿s calming low down on the down low scare, money-making misinformation once again pitted black women against black men, black straights against black gays, and the black church against itself. In ¿Beyond The Down Low: Sex, Lies, and Denial in Black America¿ Boykin quickly dispels the myth that the down low is an exclusive `pathology¿ of African American men who secretly have sex with men while also having sex with women. Though some may debate the morality of homosexuality and bisexuality, their existence throughout time are well documented, as is infidelity, none of which, the author points out, are exclusive to any one race, nationality, and/or gender. Having gotten this rather simplistic but often ignored point out of the way, Boykin goes for solutions by first challenging the `clockability¿ of men on the so-called down low. His book lives up to its title by going beyond the blame game and calling upon those in the black community to share in the responsibilities of healing and ultimately uniting a house so many are hell-bent on dividing. He reminds us of the indomitable strength of the black woman, a power some would neutralize by reducing her to a helpless victim. He reminds us of the against-all-odds power of the black man in an America that skews statistics and media crucifies for self-serving perception. Still, he does not let the black community off the hook, hastening us toward responsibilities we are divinely obligated to assume collectively and individually. His advice is tough, sound, and user-friendly. Finally, Boykin reminds us that in this fight for our lives, the enemy is not the black man, is not the black woman, is not the black church, and is not the down low. The enemy is beyond the down low. The enemy is AIDS, abetted by denial, ignorance, bigotry, and hysteria.