New York Times bestselling author and television commentator Keith Boykin is accepting submissions through July 20 for a new anthology: For Colored Boys Who Have Considered Suicide When The Rainbow Is Still Not Enough. The book project was launched in the wake of numerous "young Black gay men literally committing suicide in the silence of their own communities," writes Rod 2.0 friend Keith Boykin.
The immediate inspiration for the book was your web site. As you know, I've retired from black gay activism, I'm not as involved as I used to be and your web site is the first place I go to find out news about our community. Then last fall I remember seeing all those sad articles on your site about young black gay men who were committing suicide, and I was concerned that those stories weren't getting as much attention as other stories in the mainstream media. That's when I sent off an email to Don Weise, the publisher at Magnus Books, suggesting that he should get somebody to do an inspirational book for black gay men in light of all the suicides going on.
Since we announced the book on Thursday, we've already been flooded with submissions. I can tell this is going to be a lot of hard work figuring out what to include, but I think it's going to be an amazing book, and probably the most important book I've ever done.
Boykin adds: "Although some assume that suicide is not a major problem in the black community, a study published in April 2008 found that young black men aged 13 to 24 were more likely to commit suicide than their white counterparts. Unfortunately, recent news events have confirmed that suicide does affect the black community."
Boykin also credits R&B recording artist Marsha Ambrosius and her "groundbreaking" music video for Far Away for helping to raise awareness. The video presents two Black gay men in love and explores homophobia, gay bashing and LGBT youth suicide in the black community.
We are looking for inspirational stories centered around any one of the following four major themes: faith, family, love and work. Submissions should be between 1000 and 5000 words. Some of the essays published in the finished book will be long and some will be short. Send your submission to [email protected]. Please include your name, email address, phone number, brief 1-paragraph bio and a jpeg photo with your submission.
We also want to tell the stories of real people (ordinary and extraordinary) who have dealt with, or are still dealing with, adversity in their lives. Of course we intend to include essays from gifted writers, published authors and well known public figures who have overcome obstacles. But we are also looking for college students, suicide survivors, and those who have faced bullying or harassment in their lives.
For Colored Boys Who Have Considered Suicide When The Rainbow Is Still Not Enough will be published in March/April 2012.