In the aftermath of the historic 1993 March on Washington for gay and lesbian rights, Keith Boykin, in One More River to Cross, clarifies the relationship between blacks and gays in America by portraying the "common ground" lives of those who are both black and gay.
Against a backdrop of civil rights and the black experience in America, Boykin interviews Baptist ministers, gay political leaders, and other black gays and lesbians on issues of faith, family, discrimination, and visibility to determine what differences--real and imagined--separate the two communities. Boykin points to evidence of African and precolonial same-sex behavior, as well as figures like James Baldwin and Bayard Rustin, to dispel the myth that homosexuality is a "white thang," while his research suggests that blacks are less homophobic than whites, despite the rhetoric of rap and religion. With stories from his own experience as well as that of other black gays and lesbians, Boykin targets gay racism and black homophobia and suggests that conservative forces have substituted the common language of racism for homophobia in order to prevent a potentially powerful coalition of blacks and gays.
By portraying what it means to be black and gay, One More River to Cross offers an extraordinary window into a community that challenges this country's acceptance of its minorities, both racial and sexual.
About the Author
Boykin is a graduate of Harvard Law School who served two years in the White House as a Special Assistant to President Clinton. He is the former Executive Director of the National Black Gay & Lesbian Leadership Forum.