This is fantastic. It was barely one month ago when the American Library Association announced that For Colored Boys Who Have Considered Suicide When The Rainbow Is Still Not Enough won the ALA 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.
For Colored Boys has been nominated as a finalist of the 25th Annual Lambda Literary Awards. The Lambda Literary Awards were announced today by the Lambda Literary Foundation in Los Angeles.
Other nominees in the LGBT Anthology category include: Here Come the Brides!: Reflections on Lesbian Love and Marriage, No Straight Lines: Four Decades of Queer Comics and Why Are Faggots So Afraid of Faggots? Flaming Challenges to Masculinity, Objectification, and the Desire to Conform.
This year's nominees faced fierce competition. The Lambda Literary Foundation "set a new record in 2013 for both the number of LGBT books submitted for Lammy consideration, 687, and the number of publishers participating, 332," said LLF's Tony Valenzuela.
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 continues to be "fantastic", editor Keith Boykin told Rod 2.0 this afternoon.
"I continue to be inspired by the words and stories of the 40+ contributors in the book," said Boykin, the MSNBC/CNBC contributor and former aide to President Bill Clinton. "This award nomination reaffirms my faith that our stories do have meaning and deserve to be told. I hope more people—and especially more young people—will pick up the book, read some of these amazing stories, and realize they are not alone."
The young authors included in For Colored Boys have said that it was important for them to speak out. “I've been open about my life for nearly a decade and each day is an opportunity to come out,” 26-year-old White House Special Assistant Jamal Brown told EBONY last August in my review and preview of the ground-breaking anthology. The Dartmouth grad was named to the OUT 100 in 2008. "Hopefully I can inspire someone who is being shamed by their peers and doesn't have the space to live their life truly free."
"Hopefully Black gay youth can see themselves in my story or any other story in this book," 24-year-old David Bridgeforth told EBONY. Bridgeforth is the editor and publisher of DBQ Magazine."It’s important for them to know that they are celebrated, loved and valued."
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, Phill Branch, Jamal Brown, Topher Campbell, Wade Davis, Kenyon Farrow, L. Michael Gipson, Lorenzo Herrera y Lozano, James Earl Hardy, G. Winston James, Jonathan Kidd, DeMarco Majors, David Malebranche, Alphonso Morgan, B. Scott, Will Sheridan, Rob Smith, José David Sierra aka Jessica Wild, Ron Simmons, Charles Stephens, 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.
Catching up with other FCB contributors: Wade Davis is interviewed at SALON and appeared on NPR's "Talk of the Nation" ... Dr. David J. Malebranche now practices at the University of Pennsylvania ... James Earl Hardy is adapting bestselling novel B-Boy Blues into a March 16 stage production directed by Stanley Bennett Clay that will co-star DeMarco Majors ... Tim'm West is profiled at the Chicago Reader and TheBody.com.
The Lambda Literary Awards will be presented on June 3 in New York City. The American Library Association Awards will be presented later that month in Chicago. So proud to be a contributor to this game-changing anthology. Bravo and congratulations to everyone involved!
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