The Persistence of Baldwin

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Voices RisingVoices Rising:  Celebrating 20 Years of Black Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender Writing
Edited by G. Winston James
Redbone Press. 583 pages, $25.

 

THE DEDICATION PAGE of Voices Rising bears a quotation from James Baldwin’s 1979 novel Just Above My Head. “Our history is each other. That is our only guide.” The book goes on to provide the raw material out of which such history is formed, including 101 short stories, poems, essays, interviews, and excerpts from novels and plays by 65 black gay men, lesbians, bisexuals, and transsexuals. Voices Rising is the third volume of black queer writing to be produced by Other Countries, a workshop established by Daniel Garrett in 1986 in New York to encourage literary expression in this community. The two previous volumes, Other Countries: Black Gay Voices (1988) and Sojourner: Black Gay Voices in the Age of AIDS (1993), created a space that’s revisited in Voices Rising, expanded this time to include the work of lesbians.

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