This is brilliant. For Colored Boys Who Have Considered Suicide When The Rainbow Is Still Not Enough has won the American Library Association's Stonewall Book Award-Israel Fishman Non-Fiction Award. The critically acclaimed anthology was released in August and edited by New York Times bestselling author/television commentator Keith Boykin. The award winners were announced this morning.
The ALA's Stonewall Book Awards were founded in 1971 and are the nation's "[oldest] and most enduring awards" for LGBT literature. The awards are quite prestigious. Recent winners of the Israel Fishman Non-Fiction Award include The Fabulous Sylvester by Joshua Gamson, Lost Prophet: The Life and Times of Bayard Rustin by John D'Emilio and A Queer History of the United States by Michael Bronski.
For Colored Boys collects the writings of more than three dozen Black LGBT writers—read the full list and bios—media personalities, activists, scholars and other thought leaders. The book was launched in the wake of numerous "young Black men literally committing suicide in the silence of their own communities" such as Carl Joseph Walker-Hoover, Jaheem Herrera, Raymond Chase, Joseph Jefferson and others reported on Rod 2.0, Boykin announced in 2011.
The reception to the book has been "fantastic", Boykin told Rod 2.0 this afternoon.
"In the past 6 months, I've heard from Black gay men, college students, parents and suicide prevention counselors," said MSNBC/CNBC contributor Boykin, a former aide to President Bill Clinton. "And they almost all say the same thing: 'I wish this book had been around when I was younger.' I'm glad this book is out there now."
For Colored Boys is "going to make a huge difference for many people," Boykin told R20 last August when the book was released. "So much has happened [in 2012]. President Obama endorsing same-sex marriage, Frank Ocean's new CD and many other news stories fit right into the themes of the book."
For Colored Boys includes 44 contributions from 42 authors. "The contributors' ages range from 23 to 63. We have at least 5 writers in their 20s," added Boykin.
Many of the names should be familiar to R20 readers. For Colored Boys includes contributions from myself, Darian Aaron, Jamal Brown, Topher Campbell, Wade Davis, Kenyon Farrow, L. Michael Gipson, Lorenzo Herrera y Lozano, James Earl Hardy, DeMarco Majors, David Malebranche, Alphonso Morgan, B. Scott, Will Sheridan, Rob Smith, André St Clair, Kevin E. Tayor, Craig Washington, Tim'm West, Nathan H. Williams, Emanuel Xavier, Victor Yates and others. In addition to Keith Boykin, the editors include La Marr Jurelle Bruce, Clay Cane, Mark Corece and Frank Leon Roberts.
The award will be presented in June at the American Library Association Annual Conference in Chicago. So proud to be a contributor to this game-changing anthology. Bravo and congratulations to everyone involved!