Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Justice for all? Chicago forum examines justice for black gay men

via  EDGE, by Joseph Erbentraut

On the heels of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s, birthday, author, speaker and activist Keith Boykin headlined a Chicago forum that addressed the issue of justice for black gay men.Titled "Justice for All?," the forum, which the Chicago Black Gay Men’s Caucus, the Communities of Color Collaborative and other groups organized, was intended to debate the meaning of justice while strategizing for lasting change for gay men of color. It drew a standing-room only crowd to the University Center on Thursday night, but the discussion turned almost immediately to solutions, rather than problems.

Boykin, a television host and author of "One More River to Cross: Black and Gay in America" and "Beyond the Down Low: Sex, Lies and Denial in Black America," identified the mood of the room as one of hunger--for information, conversation and, most importantly change. He encouraged attendees to overcome a "fear-based society" with love and self-empowerment to face their biggest challenge: Themselves.

"[Fifteen years ago,] I felt at that time that the biggest concern for black gay men was the issue of racism from the white community and homophobia from the black community: I no longer believe that," Boykin said. "I think the biggest issue we face today is our our internalized prejudice. The most important thing we can do is to come out ... and be open and honest about who we are."

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