cover image One More River to Cross

One More River to Cross

Keith Boykin, Golden. Doubleday Books, $23.95 (272pp) ISBN 978-0-385-47982-0

Boykin, who is black and gay, came out of the closet in 1991 at age 25 while attending Harvard Law School, then went on to serve as special media assistant to President Clinton (1993-1994) as a liaison with the African American and homosexual communities. His important, bridge-building report stakes out common ground between blacks and gays, who share a burden of fighting oppression, negative stereotypes and internalized self-hatred. Boykin discovered an enormous amount of denial--both by heterosexual blacks who deny the existence of large numbers of black lesbians and gays, and by the white homosexual community, which, he says, excludes or patronizes African Americans, minimizing their contributions to the gay political movement and reinforcing straight society's prejudice. He constructively airs such issues as the black community's failure to address AIDS-related problems, the hostility gay interracial couples face, and the pervasive silence and denial concerning homosexuality by both Christian and Muslim ministers and congregations. Boykin is executive director of the National Black Gay and Lesbian Leadership Forum. (Sept.)