Free Book Friday: Sweet Tea: Black Gay Men of the South

Free Book Friday, from UNC PressUpdate, 4:05 pm:Comments are now closed. We had just one commenter here on blog real estate, but 4 comments over on the Facebook post about it. I decided to throw everyone’s name in the bowl (and will make rules more clear next time!), but Linda, you are our winner! Congratulations! I’ll contact you by email for shipping instructions. Thanks, all. And happy weekend.–ellen

Happy Free Book Friday, everybody! As we celebrate African American History Month, we wanted to use this month’s giveaway to celebrate a book that gives voice to a population too rarely acknowledged in writings about African American history and the South.

Traveling to every southern state, E. Patrick Johnson conducted interviews with more than seventy black gay men between the ages of 19 and 93. The voices collected in Sweet Tea: Black Gay Men of the South: An Oral History dispute the idea that gay subcultures flourish primarily in northern, secular, urban areas. In addition to filling 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 narratives also reveal how they build and maintain community in many spaces and activities, some of which may appear to be antigay.

A new paperback edition of the book is now available, and we’re delighted to have one to give to a reader today. To read a sample from the book, browse through the pages here.

E. Patrick Johnson is not just sharing these voices via his book; he’s taken the material on the road in wonderful one-man shows across the country. You can see him perform some of these oral histories in videos at the Sweet Tea website. We posted this video of his preparation in New York a couple of years ago, but it’s worth posting again because it gives you a great sense of the project.

In an exciting development, for the first time in its 100+ year history, The Crisis Magazine, the official magazine of the NAACP, includes in its most recent issue a feature on the LGBT community and the arts, including E. Patrick Johnson. Step by step, Johnson is helping shine new light on a vibrant yet often overlooked community.

If you’d like to win a free paperback copy of Sweet Tea, before 4pm EST today, tell us in the comments which one of the characters Johnson performs in the videos at the Sweet Tea website is your favorite. OR, tell us if you’ve been to see one of Johnson’s live performances. We’ll put all the commenters’ names in a bowl at 4pm and draw one lucky winner and announce it in an update at the top of this post.

The fine print: when you comment, we’ll add your email address to our eNews list for gay & lesbian studies so you can be notified (and get a discount!) when we publish new books or when we have them on sale. Employees of UNC Press or Longleaf Services are not eligible. U.S. residents only, please.

Books are available for purchase in hardcover ($36.95) and paperback ($27.50).

Check back in at 4 p.m. and we’ll publish an update to announce the winner. Aaaaaaand go!