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Black Like Us: A Century of Lesbian, Gay, and Bisexual African American Fiction

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Black Like Us chronicles 100 years of the African American lesbian, gay, and bisexual literary tradition. Beginning with the turn-of-the-century writings of Angelina Welde Grimke and Alice Dunbar Nelson, it charts the evolution of black lesbian and gay fiction into the Harlem Renaissance of Langston Hughes and Countee Cullen and the later postwar era, in which works by Aud Black Like Us chronicles 100 years of the African American lesbian, gay, and bisexual literary tradition. Beginning with the turn-of-the-century writings of Angelina Welde Grimke and Alice Dunbar Nelson, it charts the evolution of black lesbian and gay fiction into the Harlem Renaissance of Langston Hughes and Countee Cullen and the later postwar era, in which works by Audre Lorde and James Baldwin signal the emerging sexual liberation movements. The 40 authors featured also include Alice Walker, E. Lynn Harris, Audre Lorde, April Sinclair, Jewelle Gomez, Thomas Glave, and Jacqueline Woodson.


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Black Like Us chronicles 100 years of the African American lesbian, gay, and bisexual literary tradition. Beginning with the turn-of-the-century writings of Angelina Welde Grimke and Alice Dunbar Nelson, it charts the evolution of black lesbian and gay fiction into the Harlem Renaissance of Langston Hughes and Countee Cullen and the later postwar era, in which works by Aud Black Like Us chronicles 100 years of the African American lesbian, gay, and bisexual literary tradition. Beginning with the turn-of-the-century writings of Angelina Welde Grimke and Alice Dunbar Nelson, it charts the evolution of black lesbian and gay fiction into the Harlem Renaissance of Langston Hughes and Countee Cullen and the later postwar era, in which works by Audre Lorde and James Baldwin signal the emerging sexual liberation movements. The 40 authors featured also include Alice Walker, E. Lynn Harris, Audre Lorde, April Sinclair, Jewelle Gomez, Thomas Glave, and Jacqueline Woodson.

30 review for Black Like Us: A Century of Lesbian, Gay, and Bisexual African American Fiction

  1. 5 out of 5

    Fara Marthone

    A great anthology to own and read. it covers a wide variety of African American LGBTQ genres, from erotica to science fiction. The writer presents overviews of different eras and the prominent writers of that era. This book helps to answer any question about the contribution of queer literature in the main literary world. To have African American and LGBTQ within the same bracket is a bold move, but the reality is there are and there has been a group of African American, even Caribbean American A great anthology to own and read. it covers a wide variety of African American LGBTQ genres, from erotica to science fiction. The writer presents overviews of different eras and the prominent writers of that era. This book helps to answer any question about the contribution of queer literature in the main literary world. To have African American and LGBTQ within the same bracket is a bold move, but the reality is there are and there has been a group of African American, even Caribbean American strong enough to write about their experiences. Personally it was very insightful, dare to tell your story...some people risked their life to do so...if that's not commendable I do not what is. So from Audre Lorde to Langston Hughes, from James Baldwin to Alice Walker, one cannot deny the power of their imagination and how they continue to speak to us through time.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Danni Green

    This book was incredible, full of excellent stories from a century of brilliant writers. I appreciated the introductory backstories about each of the writers, which inspired me to look up many of them and seek out other things they've written. I loved the diversity of stories that were included, covering a wide range of genres, styles, and emotional impacts. I would highly recommend this book. As it is a significantly lengthy anthology, I enjoyed working my way through it over the course of about This book was incredible, full of excellent stories from a century of brilliant writers. I appreciated the introductory backstories about each of the writers, which inspired me to look up many of them and seek out other things they've written. I loved the diversity of stories that were included, covering a wide range of genres, styles, and emotional impacts. I would highly recommend this book. As it is a significantly lengthy anthology, I enjoyed working my way through it over the course of about 10 months.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Antares davinci

    ONE OF MY UTMOST FAVORITE BOOKS!

  4. 5 out of 5

    Natasha

    I discovered a few things about myself in reading this book. I typically don’t enjoy short stories because I prefer the deep character and plot development that is typical of novels. Therefore, my rating is a reflection of this preference and not due to the book itself. I found that I do, however, enjoy short nonfiction pieces and my interest gravitated towards the short explanatory portions that highlighted the political struggles and literary trends of each literary movement. Also, I found tha I discovered a few things about myself in reading this book. I typically don’t enjoy short stories because I prefer the deep character and plot development that is typical of novels. Therefore, my rating is a reflection of this preference and not due to the book itself. I found that I do, however, enjoy short nonfiction pieces and my interest gravitated towards the short explanatory portions that highlighted the political struggles and literary trends of each literary movement. Also, I found that I much preferred the contemporary pieces which took on difficult and heartbreaking issues in a brave and deeply vulnerable way.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Just A. Bean

    As with most anthologies, it's a mixed bag. The historical essays were great for setting up the context, but then the inclusion of stories written before 1950 was very slim, and not much more before 1980 either. I also wish there had been more short stories and fewer novel excerpts (especially ones depicting graphic rape and on-page gay bashing leading to death). However, I also found a lot of great new-to-me authors, and revisited some old favourites. As with most anthologies, it's a mixed bag. The historical essays were great for setting up the context, but then the inclusion of stories written before 1950 was very slim, and not much more before 1980 either. I also wish there had been more short stories and fewer novel excerpts (especially ones depicting graphic rape and on-page gay bashing leading to death). However, I also found a lot of great new-to-me authors, and revisited some old favourites.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Nathan

    Quite simply, this is an anthology everyone should have in their collection. Powerfully gripping and moving, it is powerful to read these pieces and be taken on a journey of discovery of a "parallel" America to one that I grew up learning about. Inspiring would be an understatement. Quite simply, this is an anthology everyone should have in their collection. Powerfully gripping and moving, it is powerful to read these pieces and be taken on a journey of discovery of a "parallel" America to one that I grew up learning about. Inspiring would be an understatement.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Chanel Chéri

    So much in this, definitely something to read twice.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Vanessa

    An incredible collection.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Angelika

    A brilliant anthology.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Angélique (Angel)

    This is the book I wish someone had handed me when I first came out. It is one of the most validating books I've read as a Black bisexual writer, due both to the eclectic mix of Black writers and narratives and the section introductions that took into consideration Black, feminist, and LGBTQ+ political and literary movements individually and interactionally. I'd highly recommend this book be used in English classes in both secondary and post-secondary schools because of the power it has to affir This is the book I wish someone had handed me when I first came out. It is one of the most validating books I've read as a Black bisexual writer, due both to the eclectic mix of Black writers and narratives and the section introductions that took into consideration Black, feminist, and LGBTQ+ political and literary movements individually and interactionally. I'd highly recommend this book be used in English classes in both secondary and post-secondary schools because of the power it has to affirm Black SGL/LGBTQ+ students (particularly writers) and to challenge the limited narrative about Black experience and writing that exists in English classes.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Christina Cathcart

    How different my life might have been if I had known of these amazing authors earlier. Absolute classics. As someone embracing the fluidity of their sexuality later in life, it is a comfort to read the stories of others with the same lived experiences. Knowing what previous generations had to overcome definitely puts your worries in perspective.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Michelé

    The work done to contextualize and introduce the collected work is phenomenal. This is an amazing resource for students of Black lgbt/quare/queer subjects who seek to get a grasp on intuitional and cultural formations related to Black quare subjectivity and (artistic) production. You may already know the primary work but the commentary within this text is impactful.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Korri

    The contextualizing essays at the beginning of each section were informative and interesting. The quality of the stories varied--it was nice to have excerpts from canonical works alongside lesser known authors. But I'm finding it slow going and am returning it to the library for a while. 6 June - 5 August 2012 The contextualizing essays at the beginning of each section were informative and interesting. The quality of the stories varied--it was nice to have excerpts from canonical works alongside lesser known authors. But I'm finding it slow going and am returning it to the library for a while. 6 June - 5 August 2012

  14. 5 out of 5

    Shy

    Great book, many of the stories really good, some were sad and others were just okay. It's a must read. Great book, many of the stories really good, some were sad and others were just okay. It's a must read.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Alex

    This is like an anthology of lgbt related stories by some noted Authors of color. It's been a while since I read it, but from what I remember, it was GREAT. This is like an anthology of lgbt related stories by some noted Authors of color. It's been a while since I read it, but from what I remember, it was GREAT.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Aaron Gibson

    strange excerpts that really only give a skewed glimpse of the whole stories. I see why they packaged it, but I don't like how it was done. strange excerpts that really only give a skewed glimpse of the whole stories. I see why they packaged it, but I don't like how it was done.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Leslie

    Have read some of this. Excellent. Need to finish.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Monique Thomas

    Every voice that I admire is featured throughout the pages. Loved it!

  19. 5 out of 5

    Z.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Kimba Tichenor

  21. 5 out of 5

    K Mack

  22. 4 out of 5

    Brittany Jones

  23. 4 out of 5

    Jacob

  24. 4 out of 5

    Amber Atiya

  25. 4 out of 5

    Dawn Wells

  26. 4 out of 5

    J. Andrew Brantley

  27. 4 out of 5

    Eboni Sade

  28. 5 out of 5

    Kelly

  29. 5 out of 5

    Dionna Johnson

  30. 4 out of 5

    Eric

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