Keith Boykin is the editor of The Daily Voice online news site, a CNBC contributor, a BET TV host and a New York Times best-selling author of three books.
Educated at Dartmouth and Harvard, Keith attended law school with President Barack Obama and served in the White House as a special assistant to President Bill Clinton.
Keith has been actively involved in progressive causes since he worked on his first congressional campaign while still a student in high school. He is a veteran of six political campaigns, including two presidential campaigns, and he was named one of the top instructors when he taught political science at American University in Washington.
He was a star on the 2004 Showtime television series American Candidate and has since appeared on numerous national media programs, including Anderson Cooper 360, The O'Reilly Factor, The Tyra Banks Show, The Montel Williams Show, Judge Hatchett and The Tom Joyner Morning Show.
A founder and first board president of the National Black Justice Coalition, Keith has spoken to audiences, large and small, all across the world. He delivered a landmark speech to 200,000 people at the Millennium March on Washington and he gave a stirring speech about the AIDS epidemic in front of 40,000 people in Chicago's Soldier Field in July 2006.
Each of Keith's three books has been nominated for a Lambda Literary Award, including his most recent book, Beyond the Down Low: Sex, Lies and Denial in Black America. Keith won the Lambda Literary Award for his second book, Respecting The Soul, while his first book, One More River to Cross, is taught in colleges and universities throughout the country.
Keith is an associate producer of the 2007 feature film Dirty Laundry and is working on his fourth book. Born and raised in St. Louis, Missouri, Keith currently lives in New York City.
To contact the author by mail, write to:
P.O. Box 1229
New York, NY 10037
Keith Boykin (Editor)
Paperback: 300 pages
Publisher: Magnus Books (March 13, 2012)
In 1974, playwright Ntozake Shange published a choreopoem called For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide When The Rainbow Is Enuf. The book/play/poetry would go on to inspire legions of women for decades and would later become the subject and title of a hugely popular movie in the fall of 2010. While the film was selling out movie theaters, young black gay men were literally committing suicide in the silence of their own communities.
In the same time period, a young Rutgers University student named Tyler Clementi took his own life after a roommate secretly videotaped him in an intimate setting with another young man. In response, syndicated columnist and author Dan Savage created a YouTube video with his partner Terry to inspire young people facing harassment. Their message, It Gets Better, turned into a popular movement, inspiring thousands of user-created videos on the Internet. Savage's project targeted people of all races, backgrounds and colors, but Boykin has created something special "for colored boys." The new book responds to the crisis of youth development and suicide in the black community, and more specifically among young gay men of color. For Colored Boys is designed to educate and inspire those seeking to overcome obstacles in their lives
Book trailer For Colored Boys Who Have
Considered Suicide When the Rainbow is Still Not Enough
Beyond the Down Low: Sex and Denial and Black America
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Format: Hardcover, 256pp
Pub. Date: February 2005
Publisher: Avalon Publishing Group
Bolstered by national television exposure on Oprah and a cover story in the New York Times Magazine, the "down low"-a term used to refer to "straight" men who have sex with men-was thrust into the open in 2004. Keith Boykin, a former Clinton White House aide, goes beyond the hype with the first responsible, eye-opening look at the down low sensation. Unlike all previous accounts on the topic, Beyond the Down Low presents the DL not merely as a problem of gay and bisexual men living in the shadows, but more as an example of America's unwillingness to engage in critical but uncomfortable conversations about black sexuality. Boykin details how society has helped to create an environment where black gay and bisexual men feel compelled to lead double lives. Meanwhile, the dialogue that has taken place in the black community encourages an unhealthy battle of the sexes, ignores the complexity of the closet, demonizes bisexuality, disempowers women, and misdirects public resources and attention. This book is a timely and well researched answer to the question, "Why are so many black men on the DL?" More importantly, it is an essential tool to pry open the closet door in black America.
the Soul: Daily Reflections for Black Lesbians and Gays
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Author: Keith Boykin
Publisher: Avon Books
Date Published: March 1999
Format: Trade Paper
"I am the author of the book and want to share my thoughts with you about why I wrote it. There's a lot of talk about spirituality these days, but not much about the personal and spiritual needs for black people dealing with issues of sexual orientation. This book is for anyone who is dealing with these issues. It's not just for black lesbians, gays, bisexuals, and transgendered people, although they are the book's target audience. It's also for anyone who cares about a friend or loved one, has questions about these issues, or simply wants to have a more sensitive understanding of the many different types of people in our community. As I have traveled the country in recent years, I have met hundreds of black lesbians, gay men, and bisexuals starving for direction. I have learned from these experiences that the primary challenges facing black lesbians and gays are internal, not external.
For far too many of us have become stumbling blocks in the way of our own progress. Respecting the Soul can help change this reality, but only if we are willing to make our personal growth and happiness a priority in our lives. With a unique insight for each day of the year, Respecting the Soul is designed in a simple, one-a-day format to fit into even the busiest person's schedule. The approach is similar to Iyanla Vanzant's book Acts of Faith or Eric Copage's Black Pearls. Each page of the book includes a quotation at the top, a discussion in the middle, and an affirmation for the day at the bottom. No two entries are exactly alike. Some entries discuss relevant issues to the black lesbian and gay community while other entries tell inspirational stories of our achievements. Those who are quoted are straight and gay, friend and foe, and represent many different beliefs and ideas.
Included in the book are the words of well-known figures
such as Alvin Ailey, Josephine Baker, James Baldwin, Angela Davis,
Lorraine Hansberry, E. Lynn Harris, Langston Hughes, Bill T. Jones, Barbara Jordan, June Jordan,
Little Richard, Dennis Rodman, Audre Lorde, Me'Shell Ndege'Ocello,
Carl Lewis, Queen Latifah, RuPaul, Sapphire, Bessie Smith,
Sylvester, Billy Strayhorn, Linda Villarosa, Flip Wilson, and hundreds of others. To learn
more about the book, visit my website. Thanks for your time. I hope you enjoy the book,
but just as importantly, I hope you will be as blessed in reading it as I have been in
writing it for you!"
More River to Cross; Black and Gay in America
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Format: Paperback, 288pp
Pub. Date: January 1998
Publisher: Anchor Books
Edition Description: REPRINT
Boykin, who is African American and gay, presents his "perspective on the 'double jeopardy' of simultaneously identifying as a member of two marginalized groups. Boykin describes the commonalities of oppression as well as theartificial wedges often driven between the two overlapping groups. He describes racism in gay communities and homophobia in African American communities, including the role of Catholicism, the Nation of Islam, and Christianity generally."
From The Publisher
Proclaiming their mission as "a simple matter of justice," the organizers of the 1993 March on Washington for lesbian and gay rights consciously paralleled Martin Luther King's historic 1963 March on Washington. In response, black leaders and ministers across the country challenged any comparison between blacks and gays as offensive and irrational. In One More River to Cross, Keith Boykin takes us on a journey into this controversy by offering a window onto what it means to be both black and gay in America. Against a historical backdrop of civil rights and the black experience, Boykin interviews Baptist ministers, gay political leaders, and other black lesbians and gay men on issues of faith, family, discrimination, and visibility to determine what differences - real and imagined - separate the two communities. By portraying the "common ground" lives of everyday black gay people, Boykin dispels the myths that homosexuality is a "white thang" and that blacks are more homophobic than whites. With stories from his own experience as well as from other black lesbians and gay men, Boykin targets gay racism and black homophobia and suggests that conservative forces have substituted the common language of racism for homophobia in order to prevent a potentially powerful coalition of blacks and gays. The river we all face as Americans is prejudice, against whose current we must defend our democratic ideals of equality and opportunity. Will we cross this river together, Boykin asks? Or will we be divided by the forces of hate and fear? In One More River to Cross, Boykin reveals the necessity of this journey as well as the promise of the other side.