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Sweet TeaBlack Gay Men of the South$
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E. Patrick Johnson

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780807872260

Published to North Carolina Scholarship Online: July 2014

DOI: 10.5149/9780807882733_johnson

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Some Bitter and Some Sweet

Some Bitter and Some Sweet

Growing up Black and Gay in the South

(p.24) 1 Some Bitter and Some Sweet
Sweet Tea

E. Patrick Johnson

University of North Carolina Press

This chapter shows that southern black gay men's lives are no different from other black southerners' lives. They are full of memories, both good and bad, that speak to the region's fraught history and its relation to the rest of the country. The narrators in this book speak with candor about being children of the South—of the joy of having open fields to run and play in; the comfort of southern food, family gatherings, and church functions; the onerous nature of family chores and the strain of witnessing family dramas; dealing with homophobia and experiencing racism and segregation. The chapter title is from the description of his Southern childhood by Gerome, one of the narrators quoted: “When I stop now and look back at it . . . it's like some bitter and some sweet.”

Keywords:   black gay men, black southerners, children of the South, southern food, homophobia, racism, segregation

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