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date: 05 July 2020

Gay Men.locked

  • Charles I. Nero

Extract

The image of gay men in black writing is complicated by homophobic values in society that make homosexuality unspeakable and gays invisible. Contributors to black gay anthologies such as In the Life (1986) and Brother to Brother: New Writings by Black Gay Men (1991 both challenge and document homophobic images of gays in black literature social theory and popular culture In the most virulent homophobic works gays are effeminate sarcastic males who lead meaningless lives they disrupt families are misogynists and are marginal to black communities and institutions Sometimes such works also offer homophobic explanations for the origins of homosexuality among black men They argue erroneously that homosexuality originates in decadent European cultures to which black men are then exposed or that it is an unfortunate condition caused by racial oppression such as imprisonment or psychological obstacles created by whites to prevent black males from becoming ...

A version of this article originally appeared in The Concise Oxford Companion to African American Literature.

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