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For Colored Boys Who Have Considered Suicide When the Rainbow is Still Not Enough: Coming of Age, Coming Out, and Coming Home [Paperback]

Keith Boykin
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)

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Book Description

Aug. 28 2012 1936833158 978-1936833153
In 1974, playwright Ntozake Shange published For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide When The Rainbow Is Enuf. The book would go on to inspire legions of women for decades and would later become the subject and title of a hugely popular movie in the fall of 2010. While the film was selling out movie theaters, young black gay men were literally committing suicide in the silence of their own communities.

When a young Rutgers University student named Tyler Clementi took his own life after a roommate secretly videotaped him in an intimate setting with another young man, syndicated columnist and author Dan Savage created a YouTube video with his partner Terry to inspire young people facing harassment. Their message, It Gets Better, turned into a popular movement, inspiring thousands of user-created videos on the Internet. Savage's project targeted people of all races, backgrounds and colors, but Boykin has created something special "for colored boys."

The new book, For Colored Boys, addresses longstanding issues of sexual abuse, suicide, HIV/AIDS, racism, and homophobia in the African American and Latino communities, and more specifically among young gay men of color. The book tells stories of real people coming of age, coming out, dealing with religion and spirituality, seeking love and relationships, finding their own identity in or out of the LGBT community, and creating their own sense of political empowerment. For Colored Boys is designed to educate and inspire those seeking to overcome their own obstacles in their own lives.

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About the Author

Keith Boykin is a popular TV commentator, inspirational speaker, and New York Times best-selling author. Keith has provided political commentary for CNN, MSNBC, and CNBC, and he previously co-hosted the weekly TV series "My Two Cents" on BET Networks.

Educated at Dartmouth and Harvard, Keith attended law school with President Barack Obama and served in the White House as a special assistant to President Bill Clinton, where he helped organize and participated in the nation's first ever meeting between a sitting president and leaders of the LGBT community.

Keith has traveled extensively across four continents, and was appointed by President Clinton, along with Coretta Scott King and Rev. Jesse Jackson, to the U.S. presidential trade delegation to Zimbabwe.

He was a star on the Showtime television series American Candidate and has since appeared on numerous national media programs, including Anderson Cooper 360, The O'Reilly Factor, The Tyra Banks Show, The Montel Williams Show, Judge Hatchett and The Tom Joyner Morning Show.

A founder and first board president of the National Black Justice Coalition, Keith has spoken to audiences, large and small, all across the world. He delivered a landmark speech to 200,000 people at the Millennium March on Washington, and he gave a stirring speech about the AIDS epidemic in front of 40,000 people in Chicago's Soldier Field.

All of Keith's first three books were nominated for a Lambda Literary Award, including his third book, Beyond the Down Low: Sex, Lies and Denial in Black America. Keith won the Lambda Literary Award for his second book, Respecting The Soul, while his first book, One More River to Cross, is taught in colleges and universities throughout the country.

Keith was an associate producer of the feature film Dirty Laundry, and he currently writes a weekly column for BET.com.

He was a star on the 2004 Showtime television series American Candidate and has since appeared on numerous national media programs, including Anderson Cooper 360, The O'Reilly Factor, The Tyra Banks Show, The Montel Williams Show, Judge Hatchett and The Tom Joyner Morning Show.

A founder and first board president of the National Black Justice Coalition, Keith has spoken to audiences, large and small, all across the world. He delivered a landmark speech to 200,000 people at the Millennium March on Washington and he gave a stirring speech about the AIDS epidemic in front of 40,000 people in Chicago's Soldier Field in July 2006.

Each of Keith's three books has been nominated for a Lambda Literary Award, including his most recent book, Beyond the Down Low: Sex, Lies and Denial in Black America. Keith won the Lambda Literary Award for his second book, Respecting The Soul, while his first book, One More River to Cross, is taught in colleges and universities throughout the country.

Keith is an associate producer of the 2007 feature film Dirty Laundry and is working on his fourth book. Born and raised in St. Louis, Missouri, Keith currently lives in New York City.

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5.0 out of 5 stars sincere and empowering June 14 2013
Format:Paperback
When I first saw the book, I had my suspicion that a collection of writings about queers of colour could be a bit tiresome and redundant. But having gone over the entire book, I find the writings to be very sincere, and often empowering. Perhaps one of the reasons is that the editor has chosen a great collection of very articulate writers, some of them are unknown, unpublished, up and coming but talented, knowledgeable and diverse individuals. So the book does not sound like a broken record. Instead, they are a wide range of voices reconfirming important stories of segregation and isolation, racism and homophobia which still exist after all these years of civil rights and gay liberation movements. Like the title of the reggea song referred to by one of the essayist André St. Clair Thompson, it reminds me that there are still "many rivers to cross."
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Amazon.com: 4.7 out of 5 stars  26 reviews
11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Something For Everyone Oct. 3 2012
By Maximillian Matthews - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
There are young gay men of color out there dealing with loneliness, isolation, fear, self-esteem, family, suicidal thoughts, coming out, seeking love, identity, health, spirituality, etc. If you fall into any of those categories, this book is for you. I am one of the many colored boys who dealt with all of the things that this book addresses. I must note that this book isn't only for boys. Everyone will take away insight into the experiences of gay men of color, food for thought, and powerful life lessons from reading this book. There is something in it for everyone.

"For Colored Boys" is a collection of essays from various authors about their life experiences. These authors deserve to be commended for the extraordinary courage with which they share their deeply personal stories. Keith Boykin has not left any rock unturned. You will read about how one colored boy ended up homeless going through garbage for food. You will read about how another colored boy was raped by a stranger through seeking love in the wrong place. You will read about how another colored boy who is a preacher's kid reconciled his faith and sexuality. The miraculous and promising thing about every story that you will read is the fact that these authors survived their circumstances to tell their story. I assure you that you will draw encouragement and strength from at least one story. I know I did.

My favorites are "Chicago" by Phill Branch, "No Asians, Blacks, Fats, or Femmes" by Indie Harper and "Religious Zombies" by Clay Cane. Little did I know when I received my copy of this book that its pages would end up highlighted all over like my Bible. I see myself revisiting and turning to this book when I need a reminder that I'm not alone and when I need inspiration. Much thanks to Boykin and all those who contributed to the book. There is no doubt in my mind that you all have saved at least one life with your work.

Purchase this book to let publishers know that stories like this desperately need to be heard!
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A great read. July 1 2013
By TJ - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Great book. As an African American gay man I could definitely relate. I love how he represented difference aspects and perspectives of gay men.
8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars the Good Book Sept. 10 2012
By JRush - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I really enjoyed the stories in this book...I wish it had been published years ago and I needed a reference when I began to embark on this journey of discovering who I am.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Book That Will Wake You Up Dec 7 2013
By Torrie - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
If you know little or nothing of the African American gay experience this is the best book I can imagine to start with. I not only learned from this book, but it also opened up in me a compassion for black gays who suffer far more agony than their white counterparts for just trying to be who they are. Although we need more good literature on this poignant topic this book is a great begining.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Book June 12 2013
By Demetrius Gregory - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This was a great read and the stories I could really relate. If you haven't had the chance to read this book please do.
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