Evidence of Being: The Black Gay Cultural Renaissance and the Politics of Violence

Evidence of Being: The Black Gay Cultural Renaissance and the Politics of Violence

by Darius Bost

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Evidence of Being opens on a grim scene: Washington DC’s gay black community in the 1980s, ravaged by AIDS, the crack epidemic, and a series of unsolved murders, seemingly abandoned by the government and mainstream culture. Yet in this darkest of moments, a new vision of community and hope managed to emerge. Darius Bost’s account of the media, poetry, and performance of this time and place reveals a stunning confluence of activism and the arts. In Washington and New York during the 1980s and ’90s, gay black men banded together, using creative expression as a tool to challenge the widespread views that marked them as unworthy of grief. They created art that enriched and reimagined their lives in the face of pain and neglect, while at the same time forging a path toward bold new modes of existence. At once a corrective to the predominantly white male accounts of the AIDS crisis and an openhearted depiction of the possibilities of black gay life, Evidence of Being above all insists on the primacy of community over loneliness, and hope over despair.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780226589961
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
Publication date: 12/21/2018
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 192
File size: 1 MB

About the Author

Darius Bost is assistant professor of ethnic studies in the School for Cultural and Social Transformation at the University of Utah.

Table of Contents

INTRODUCTION: On Black Gay Being
ONE: The Contradictions of Grief: Violence and Value in Blacklight Magazine 
TWO: Loneliness: Black Gay Longing in the Work of Essex Hemphill
THREE: Postmortem Politics: The Other Countries Collective and Black Gay Mourning
FOUR: “The Future Is Very Uncertain”: Black Gay Self- Making in Melvin Dixon’s Diaries
Epilogue: Afterimage

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