Author(s): Essex Hemphill


The landmark collection of verse and commentary by one of the mos provocative authors ever to chronicle African American gay life. With Ceremonies, Essex Hemphill offers an eloquent testament charged with the pure sexual force of pride.

"I speak for the thousands, perhaps hundreds of thousands of men who live and die in the shadows of secrets, unable to speak of the love that helps them endure and contribute to the race...

Their kisses of sweet spit and loyalty are scrubbed away by the propaganda makers of the race, the "Talented Tenth" who would just as soon have us believe Black people can fly, rather than reveal that Black men have been longing to kiss one another, and have done so for centuries...

But these sacred constructions of silence are futile exercises in denial. We are not going away with our issues of sexuality. We are coming home." (From Loyalty)


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Poet, essayist, activist Essex Hemphill is best known for his appearances in the films Black is/Black Ain't and Tongues Untied. He edited Brother to Brother: New Writings by Black Gay Men.

General Fields

  • : 9781573441018
  • : Cleis Press
  • : Cleis Press
  • : books

Special Fields

  • : 192
  • : English
  • : Essex Hemphill