The landmark book that established Robert Reid-Pharr as one of America's most exciting and challenging left intellectuals
At turns autobiographical, political, literary, erotic, and humorous, Black Gay Man spoils our preconceived notions of not only what it means to be black, gay and male but also what it means to be a contemporary intellectual. Both a celebration of black gay male identity as well as a powerful critique of the structures that allow for the production of that identity, Black Gay Man introduced the eloquent voice of Robert Reid-Pharr in cultural criticism.
At once erudite and readable, the range of topics and positions taken up in Black Gay Man reflect the complexity of American life itself. Treating subjects as diverse as the Million Man March, interracial sex, anti-Semitism, turn of the century American intellectualism as well as literary and cultural figures ranging from Essex Hemphill and Audre Lorde to W.E.B. DuBois, Frantz Fanon and James Baldwin, Black Gay Man is a bold and nuanced attempt to question prevailing ideas about community, desire, politics and culture. Moving beyond critique, Reid-Pharr also pronounces upon the promises of a new America.
"Repeated readings are richly rewarded." ~CHOICE
"Startling and provocative. . . . Reid-Pharr presents a cogent analysis that combines the personal with the political, the intellectual with the emotional and the erotic. . . . Reid-Pharr's ability to move these works-and their themes-from the limited analysis of the academy into a broader realm of lived experience and social context that makes them, as well as Reid-Pharr's own thoughts, vital and genuinely consequential." ~Publisher's Weekly
"Considering political events, publications, social movements and cultural developments that emerge from the early 1960s through the end of the twentieth century, Robert Reid-Pharr looks outward so as to interrogate the very self he is understood to comprise. The result is a sort of anti-memoir of black gay male experience—a sustained rumination that so insistently inhabits the terms of that identity that it explodes them from the inside, making it impossible for any of us to bear them in quite the same way that we previously had." ~Phillip Brian Harper,author of Private Affairs: Critical Ventures in the Culture of Social Relations
"Reid-Pharr brilliantly puts the ambivalences of bodily pleasure back into the serious business of identity politics." ~Project Muse Book Review
"A wonderful thing of work and play, feeling and thought, that moves through my brain as though I needed to be reminded of why I chose life as an intellectual. Reading Black Gay Man I realized once again that we all do indeed need to be reminded that to think, write, and read about identity, in this moment of fear and hysteria around a & different' world, is to assist a necessary articulation: the new trying to make itself out ofnot separate fromthe carcass of the old." ~Wahneema Lubiano,Duke University