Sweet Tea

Sweet Tea

Black Gay Men of the South

Book - 2008
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Blackwell North Amer
Giving voice to a population rarely acknowledged in southern history, Sweet Tea collects life stories from black gay men who were born, raised, and continue to live in the southern United States. E. Patrick Johnson challenges stereotypes of the South as "backward" or "repressive," suggesting that these men draw upon the performance of "southernness" - politeness, coded speech, and religiosity, for example - to legitimate themselves as members of both southern and black cultures. At the same time, Johnson argues, they deploy those same codes to establish and build friendship networks and find sexual partners and life partners.
Traveling to every southern state, Johnson conducted interviews with more than seventy black gay men between the ages of 19 and 93 - lawyers, hairdressers, ministers, artists, doctors, architects, students, professors, and corporate executives, as well as the retired and unemployed. Sweet Tea is arranged according to themes echoed in their narratives. Chapters explore unique experiences as well as shared ones, from coming out stories and church life to homosex and love relationships.
The voices collected here dispute the idea that gay subcultures flourish primarily in northern, secular, urban areas. In addition to filling in a gap in the sexual history of the South, Sweet Tea offers a window into the ways that black gay men negotiate their sexual and racial identities with their southern cultural and religious identities. The interviews also reveal how they build and maintain community in many spaces and activities, some of which may appear to be antigay. Through Johnson's use of critical performance ethnography, Sweet Tea validates the lives of these black gay men and reinforces the role of storytelling in both African American and southern cultures.

The University of North Carolina Press
Baker explores the 1951 miners' strike in Hanover, New Mexico, in which the Mexican American miners were prohibited from picketing. When their wives picketed for them, leading to a victory for the miners in 1952, the miners' union was forced to consider gender equality in their struggle for justice. Baker also explores the collaboration between mining families and blacklisted Hollywood filmmakers that resulted in the controversial 1954 film Salt of the Earth. She shows how this worker-artist alliance gave the mining families a unique chance to clarify the meanings of the strike in their own lives and allowed the filmmakers to create a progressive alternative to Hollywood productions.

Giving voice to a population too rarely acknowledged, Sweet Tea collects more than sixty life stories from black gay men who were born, raised, and continue to live in the South. E. Patrick Johnson challenges stereotypes of the South as "backward" or "repressive" and offers a window into the ways black gay men negotiate their identities, build community, maintain friendship networks, and find sexual and life partners--often in spaces and activities that appear to be antigay. Ultimately, Sweet Tea validates the lives of these black gay men and reinforces the role of storytelling in both African American and southern cultures.



Publisher: Chapel Hill : University of North Carolina Press, c2008
ISBN: 9780807832097
080783209X
Branch Call Number: 306.7662 J6315s 2008
Characteristics: xiii, 570 p. : ill., map ; 25 cm

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A Recommended Read from the Pima County Public Library LGBT Committee


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Solace1985
Nov 13, 2015

Really beautiful work. A lovely collection of oral histories.

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