A list of contributing authors in For Colored Boys.
Darian Aaron is the author of When Love Takes Over: A Celebration of SGL Couples of Color. His work has appeared in The Advocate, The Daily Voice, the Los Angeles Times, and CLIK Magazine to name a few. He is also the creator of the award-winning urban gay blog Living OutLoud with Darian.
Chaz Barracks graduated from the University of Richmond in 2011, where he majored in criminal justice and fulfilled an interest in theater and dance by writing and starring in a play about his life story. Since college, he has have traveled the world, worked in Japan, and fulfilled his passion to work with ex-offenders and children dealing with adversity.
Hassan Beyah, a native son of Brooklyn and former Marine, is a self-taught writer and photographer. “To Colored Boys…” is his first published poem. He is currently working on pursuing a Masters degree in Education, as well as completing a larger collection of poetry and writing a children’s book. An avid music lover, he attributes much of his artistic inspiration to Lauryn Hill and Nina Simone, in addition to the literary works of Langston Hughes, Ralph Ellison, and Junot Diaz and the photography of Gordon Parks. He occupies a small piece of Internet real estate at blackboyblues.blogspot.com.
Keith Boykin (Contributor/Editor) is an author of four books, including the New York Times bestseller, Beyond The Down Low: Sex, Lies & Denial in Black America. 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. Since 2008, he has served as a political commentator for CNN, MSNBC, and CNBC.
Phill Branch is a graduate of the American Film Institute (MFA, Screenwriting) and an Assistant Professor of English and Film Studies at his undergraduate alma mater Hampton University. Branch is a recent National Association of Television Program Executives (NATPE) Diversity Producing Fellow. In 2007, he was awarded a Screenwriting Fellowship from the National Association for Multi-Ethnicity in Communications (NAMIC). Branch created and serves as a writer-producer on the award-winning web series The PuNanny Diaries.
David Bridgeforth is a communicator, writer, television personality, and poet. Raised in a poor neighborhood in Indianapolis, David’s speaking career began at the age of sixteen with the help of his mentor and friend, world-renowned communicator Les Brown. In 2009, Maya Angelou affirmed his status as a poet after he presented her with a celebration poem for her eighty-first birthday. David is the publisher and editorial director of DBQ Magazine, a new quarterly LGBT lifestyle publication. He speaks nationally, holds personal empowerment workshops, writes poetry, and coaches clients on speaking professionally. He lives and attends college in Indianapolis.
Antonio Brown holds a Ph.D. from the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor, and is an honored recipient of numerous academic awards and fellowships. Brown has been a featured speaker at various conferences around the world and serves on boards of directors and consults with social justice and community-based organizations. Brown also is the award-winning independent producer of the feature films Tru Loved and Coffee Date, popular with LGBT audiences.
Jamal Brown serves as a Confidential Assistant in the Obama White House. He previously served as the Senior Legal Assistant at Gay & Lesbian Advocates & Defenders and on the Board of Directors of MassEquality. Educated at Dartmouth, Jamal has spoken to audiences about the intersections of race and sexuality and LGBT issues in sports. A former D1 sprinter, Jamal was featured on ABC World News Tonight as a part of Jeff Sheng’s “Fearless” photography exhibit to combat anti-LGBT prejudice in sports. In 2008, Jamal was named to Out Magazine’s “Out 100″ list.
La Marr Jurelle Bruce (Editor) is a doctoral candidate in the Department of African-American Studies and Program in American Studies at Yale University. Recently inducted as Carter G. Woodson fellow at the University of Virginia, he is completing a dissertation on madness and twentieth-century African American art. Among his hobbies are time travel, nature documentaries, freedom fighting, self-parody, and portable love.
Topher Campbell is a director of film, television and theatre. He is also a writer and social commentator and part- time actor. He is currently the artistic director of The Red Room Theatre Company . He is also member of the Board of UK Black Pride. Topher is a recipient of the 2005 Jerwood Directors Award.
Clay Cane (Contributor/Editor) is an award-winning writer whose work has appeared in a variety of outlets from urban to mainstream press: The Advocate, TheGrio.com, Men’s Fitness, The Root, AOL Music, and Essence.com. An honors graduate of Rutgers University, Clay has interviewed various celebrities, including Denzel Washington, Beyoncé Knowles, Janet Jackson, and Hilary Swank. He has provided commentary for BET Networks and TV One, and is a member of the New York Film Critics Online and the Broadcast Television Journalists Association. You can read more of his work at claycane.net.
Mark Corece (Contributor/Editor) is a graduate assistant for the Men of Color Initiative at DePaul University in Chicago. Mark studied film and movie directing at DePaul, where he graduated in 2010. Originally from Saint Louis, Missouri, Mark currently lives in Chicago.
Wade Davis played professional football in the NFL with the Tennessee Titans, Seattle Seahawks, and Washington Redskins. He is currently the assistant director of job readiness and career exploration at the Hetrick-Martin Institute, where he heads their youth advisory board and teaches a male empowerment class. He is also on the sports advisory board of GLSEN.
Kenyon Farrow is a black gay activist and writer living in Brooklyn, NY. He is the former Executive Director of Queers for Economic Justice, and the co-editor of two anthologies, Letters From Young Activists: Today’s Rebels Speak Out (Nation Books 2005) and Stand Up! The Shifting Politics of Racial Uplift (South End Press 2012). His work has appeared in Alternet, Colorlines, The Huffington Post, and Black Commentator, and he blogs at Kenyonfarrow.com.
Daren J. Fleming is a classically trained actor who began appearing in commercials, catalogues and theatrical productions at the age of nine. He starred as Terry in Logo’s first original feature film The Ski Trip. Fleming has also been known to dazzle audiences on the New York drag/cabaret scene as Miss Grenadine Ross. Daren graduated from the American Musical and Dramatic Academy in New York and earned a Bachelor of Science degree from The New School, where he majored in creative writing and graduated magna cum laude. For more information visit www.DarenFleming.com
L. Michael Gipson, an award-winning writer, public health, and youth advocate, has worked on HIV/AIDS, youth and community development programming on the local, state, and national level since 1992. His short stories, speeches, public health and socio-political essays have also been published in three recent anthologies: Poverty & Race in America: The Emerging Agendas (Lexington Books), Health Issues Confronting Minority Men Who Have Sex with Men (Springer), and Mighty Real: Anthological Works By African American SGLBT People. Michael holds a BFA in Writing from Goddard College and resides in Washington, D.C.
Jason Haas is a digital media consultant and human rights activist. In 1996, his landmark case—represented by the Gay and Lesbian Advocates & Defenders—won critical resources for LGBT students in the Boston Public School System. A graduate of Hamilton College, Jason received his BA in Government and Communications and was awarded scholarships by the Posse Foundation and the Jackie Robinson Foundation.
James Earl Hardy is the author of the bestselling B-Boy Blues series: B-Boy Blues (praised as the first gay hip-hop love story and a Lambda Literary Award finalist); 2nd Time Around; If Only For One Nite (an American Library Association Gay Novel of the Year honoree); The Day Eazy-E Died; Love The One You’re With; and A House Is Not a Home. He’s also co-author of Visible Lives: Three Stories in Tribute to E. Lynn Harris. He contributed the new introductory essay to the reissue of the groundbreaking Black gay male anthology, In The Life, and his one-man show about adult film actor Tiger Tyson, Confessions of a Homo Thug Porn Star, won the Downtown Urban Theater Festival’s Best Short Prize.
An honors graduate of Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism, his work as a cultural affairs reporter/essayist has been recognized by the National Association of Black Journalists, the E.Y. Harburg Arts Foundation, the American Association of Sunday & Feature Editors, the Educational Press Association, and the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation. His first short story collection, Can You Feel What I’m Saying?, will be released this summer.
Indie Harper was raised in the great state of Minnesota where he learned how to shoot, skin, and cook a variety of animals that used to be alive. Growing up, he wanted to be an ice cream truck ’cause he thought that’s where all the popsicles came from. He spent two years in Los Angeles before moving back to Minneapolis to finish his studies in English with an emphasis in twentieth-century American Literature and Creative Writing. He now lives and works in New York City.
Lorenzo Herrera y Lozano is a queer Xicano writer of Rarámuri descent born in San José, California, and raised in Estación Adela, Chihuahua. A St. Edward’s University Masters of Liberal Arts graduate, he is the author of the Lambda Literary Award-nominated Santo de la Pata Alzada: Poems from the Queer/Xicano/Positive Pen (Evelyn Street Press), co-author of Tragic Bitches: An Experiment in Queer Xicana & Xicano Performance Poetry (Kórima Press), editor of Queer Codex: Chile Love and Queer Codex: ROOTED! (allgo/Evelyn Street Press), as well as the forthcoming Joto: An Anthology of Queer Xicano & Chicano Poetry (Kórima Press).
G. Winston James is a Jamaican-born poet, short fiction writer, essayist, and editor. A former fellow of the Millay Colony for the Arts, he holds an MFA in Fiction from Brooklyn College, City University of New York, and is the author of the Lambda Literary Award finalist collections Shaming the Devil: Collected Short Stories and Lyric: Poems Along a Broken Road.
Erick Johnson was born in Jacksonville, Florida, in August 1967. For the past fifteen years, he’s worked in the event management industry on events all across the country as well as in Sydney Australia, Doha Qatar, Kingston, and Montego Bay, Jamaica and Vancouver BC. He currently manages a restaurant in Jacksonville, Florida, is openly gay, and attends Christ Church of Peace in Jacksonville.
Jonathan Kidd earned his Bachelor’s degree with honors from The University of Michigan (1997) in African Studies, African American Studies, and English. He received his Master’s of Art, Master’s of Philosophy (2002), and Doctoral degree from Yale University in African American Studies and English Literature in 2004. As a Hollywood writer, his credits include ABC’s The Whole Truth, TNT’s Memphis Beat, and FOX’s Touch. Dr. Kidd is currently penning a biopic of Shirley Chisholm.
Rodney Terich Leonard is the founder of The Harlem Artists Salon, a series showcasing the talent of poets, writers, visual artists, musicians and scholars. Rodney served four years in the US Air Force and holds degrees from the New School University and NYU Tisch School of the Arts. His poems, articles, interviews and profiles have appeared in the New York Times, the New York Amsterdam News, the Margie Review, Callaloo, the Red River Review, Clean Sheets, the Grand Forks Herald, and other publications. Born in Coosa County, Alabama, Rodney currently lives in Harlem.
Shaun Lockhart is president and CEO of Shaun Lockhart Apparel & Promotions (SLAP), a marketing communications company located in Louisville, Kentucky. His marketing career began more than a decade ago with an internship in The Tennessean Newspaper’s advertising and copywriting department. He holds a Bachelor of Science in Management with a concentration in Sales & Marketing from Kaplan University.
DeMarco Majors came from humble and tumultuous beginnings in Evansville, Indiana, to captain of the gold-medal winning San Francisco Rockdogs at the 2006 Chicago Gay Games. After winning gold, DeMarco went on to become the first pro-mens basketball player (ABA) to come out while still playing, and was selected by Out Magazine for its “Out 100″ list.
David J. Malebranche, MD, MPH, is an Associate Professor of Medicine at Emory University’s School of Medicine and has a joint appointment with the Rollins School of Public Health in Atlanta, Georgia. Dr. Malebranche is known as a dynamic speaker nationwide and has appeared in documentaries on CNN, ABC News Primetime, TV One, and Black Entertainment Television (BET) for his expertise on HIV in the black community. Dr. Malebranche also served as a member of the President’s Advisory Council on HIV/AIDS (PACHA) from 2006–2008, and is the current HIV/AIDS expert on webmd.com.
Rod McCullom has written and produced for ABC News, New York City’s ABC 7, Chicago’s NBC 5, EXTRA, and others. He is a frequent contributor to EBONY, was a columnist, featured contributor and wrote two cover stories for The Advocate, and his work has appeared at the Los Angeles Times, Out.com, NPR, MTV/LOGO, After Elton and many others. His work has been nominated for several GLAAD Media Awards.
Rod has extensively reported on HIV/AIDS issues from across the Black Diaspora—including reporting from AIDS 2010 in Vienna, ICASA 2011 in Ethiopia and the 2011 Black Diaspora MSM Consultation in the Dominican Republic. He is also a contributor to the anthology Obama and the Gays: A Political Marriage. Rod blogs on gay news, pop culture and politics at the award-winning Rod 2.0.
Alphonso Morgan is an author, producer, and entertainment attorney originally from Minneapolis, Minnesota. He received his BA from Howard University and his law degree from Georgetown University Law Center. His first novel, Sons, was released in 2005 to critical acclaim—being nominated for two Lambda Literary Awards among others. He is currently in New York preparing for the publication of his next novel, Americano.
Jarrett Neal earned a BA in English from Northwestern University and an MFA in Writing from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. A 2010 fellow at the Lambda Literary Writer’s Retreat for Emerging LGBT Voices, his writing has appeared in Q Review, Nolos, and Lucid Moon. He is assistant director of the Center for Teaching and Learning at Aurora University and lives in Oak Park, Illinois.
Antron Reshaud Olukayode is a walking, breathing, revolutionizing poet, playwright, songwriter, actor, visual and performance artist, and HIV/AIDS activist. Born Antron Reshaud Brown on April 26, 1984, he has self-published three books, Bohemian Rebel Naked and Exposed Vol. 1, The Rising Vol. 2, and Fearless Revolution Vol. 3.
Curtis Pate III was born in Peru, Indiana in 1977, but his family relocated to New Jersey before his first birthday. A true Jersey boy, he lived with his family (mom, dad, older bro) until he graduated from high school in 1995, then left home to attend Hampton University for a year and half before transferring to Rutgers University in New Jersey. It was there he acquired two BAs and the love of his life.
Robert E. Penn is a writer/filmmaker. In 2012, he produced and directed eight Video Memoirs in support of personal reconciliation of sexuality and religion for the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Faith Leaders of African Descent website. Penn’s documentary “Art from Adversity” premièred in June 2011. His cinematography for Kewulay Kamara’s film about Sierra Leone screened in April 2011. Penn produced and directed six Public Service Announcements promoting HIV-testing for New Jersey’s 2010 “Status is Everything” campaign. His story “Learning to Speak Heterosexual” appears in Voices Rising (Redbone Press, 2007). New York State Council on the Arts awarded Penn a 2006 Individual Artist Grant in Film and Video/New Media Technologies. Penn is the author of The Gay Men’s Wellness Guide (Henry Holt & Company, 1998).
Frank Roberts (Editor) is a co-founding member of the National Black Justice Coalition. A doctoral candidate in the humanities at NYU, he is a recipient of the Ford Foundation Doctoral Dissertation Fellowship. Along with writing and teaching at NYU, he has also held academic appointments at Emory University and Spelman College. Prior to graduate school, he worked briefly as a research assistant to the late civil rights attorney Johnnie Cochran. A proud native New Yorker, he lives in downtown Manhattan. Visit www.frankrobertsonline.com.
B. Scott: multimedia maven, mogul, and activist. Best known as one of the first internet celebrities to successfully transition into television and radio. With his comforting, festive personality and signature gender-bending glamour, B. Scott has become a household name in just 5 short years.
Since the launch of lovebscott.com in 2007, his videos have been seen by millions across the world. B. Scott has interviewed numerous A-List celebrities including his good friend, Mariah Carey, Jennifer Lopez, Ne-Yo, and Chaka Khan. B. Scott’s television appearances include guest spots on HLN’s Dr. Drew, BET’s 106 & Park, Access Hollywood, Extra, The Tyra Banks Show and both seasons of Oxygen’s Hair Battle Spectacular. He also hosted his own hugely successful Sirius/XM Satellite Radio show, The B. Scott Show on Jamie Foxx’s channel, The Foxxhole. B. Scott has recently expanded his brand to include music, beauty products, clothing, additional websites and featured Ask B. Scott columns in different publications.
Will Sheridan Jr. played college basketball for the Villanova Wildcats from 2003 to 2007. After graduation, he played as an international basketball player in Italy. He is now a singer, musician, and recording artist signed with Royal Advisor Records. He is also a businessman and manager in a company in the fashion industry.
José David Sierra, better known as Jessica Wild, is a Puerto Rican drag queen, dancer, actor, choreographer, professional makeup artist, singer, and reality television personality who has been performing since 1997. Sierra was born in 1980 in Caguas, Puerto Rico and appeared on the second season of Logo’s popular reality series RuPaul’s Drag Race. In March 2011, Jessica Wild (in collaboration with DJ Ranny) released her first dance single “YOU LIKE IT WILD.”
Ron Simmons is a photographer, teacher, and community activist who earned his Bachelor and Master degrees from the State University of New York at Albany and his doctorate in Mass Communications from Howard University. He served as the still photographer and the Washington, DC, field producer on Tongues Untied (1989), the award-winning black gay documentary film. In 1991, he authored the noted essay “Some Thought on the Challenges Facing Black Gay Intellectuals” in the anthology Brother to Brother: New Writings by Black Gay Men. Since 1992, Simmons has served as the President/CEO of Us Helping Us, People Into Living, Inc.
Rob Smith served for five years in the United States Army and deployed to Kuwait and Iraq, eventually earning the Army Commendation Medal and Combat Infantryman Badge. A freelance writer and graduate of Syracuse University, he has lectured about “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” (DADT), coming out, and homophobia at various colleges and universities across the country. His articles and opinion pieces about various gay political issues have appeared at The Huffington Post, USA Today, Metro Weekly, and Salon.com among others.
Charles Stephens was born and grew up in Atlanta, Georgia. A graduate of Georgia State University, he works in the nonprofit sector. His writing has appeared in the anthologies Think Again and If We Have to Take Tomorrow, and the online literary journal Loose Change. Currently he is co-editing a collection of writings on the legacy of Joseph Beam and In the Life.
Kevin E. Taylor is the Pastor of Unity Fellowship Church, New Brunswick, which he founded in January 2001. He is a publisher, author, and an empowerment coach. Kevin is also an award-winning TV producer, having worked with BET since 1991 and through his own video production company, where he created such programs as Access Granted, Notarized, Testimony, VideoLink and Lyrically Speaking and interviewed such artists as Natalie Cole, Tina Turner, Stevie Wonder, Aaliyah, Lenny Kravitz, and Mariah Carey.
André St. Clair Thompson is a professional in production and creative management and an interdisciplinary artist. He holds a M.F.A. in Acting from California Institute of the Arts (CalArts), a M.A. in Performance Studies from New York University/Tisch School of the Arts and an Honors B.A. in Sexuality and Society from Brown University. As a black, gay, cross-dressing male, immigrant of working class upbringing, and a new American citizen, he is interested in producing art that nurtures non-mainstream voices and promotes cultural and aesthetic diversity of viewpoint and experience.
Craig Washington was born and lovingly raised by Anna and Leon Washington in Queens, New York and has lived in Atlanta since 1992. He has been living with HIV for more than twenty-five years. Craig has been engaged in community organizing and writing for social change and HIV advocacy for many years. He has written various articles and editorials for the Atlanta Voice, Southern Voice, Atlanta Journal Constitution, the Washington Blade and the anthology Not In My Family: AIDS in the African American Community.
Tim’m T. West is a critically acclaimed author, poet, activist, and rapper who is Cincinnati-born and raised in Arkansas. He has degrees from Duke, The New School, and Stanford Universities and has spent much of his adult professional life between secondary and post-secondary teaching and youth advocacy and HIV education and prevention. Tim’m taught Philosophy and English at Houston Community College before relocating in the summer of 2011 to Chicago, IL. More information about his vast body of creative work can be found at: www.reddirt.biz.
Nathan Hale Williams is an award-winning TV/film producer, writer, entertainment attorney, and TV personality. He is the star of Sundance Channel’s hit docu-series, Girls Who Like Boys… and has also appeared on Showtime’s American Candidate. Following his first film, The Ski Trip, Nathan produced the NAACP and GLAAD-nominated film Dirty Laundry. For television, Nathan has executive produced several shows, including My Model Looks Better Than Your Model, Leading Women/Men, and Inside Black Culture (Director). His popular weekly column, “Girl’s Best Friend,” appears on Essence.com.
Emanuel Xavier is an American poet, spoken word artist, author, editor, literary events curator, and actor born and raised in the Bushwick area of Brooklyn. A former homeless queer youth of color, he is one of the most significant voices to emerge from the Nuyorican spoken word poetry movement using political, sexual and religious themes throughout his work. His background is Puerto Rican and Ecuadorian. He was featured in Russell Simmons presents Def Poetry and appeared in the film The Ski Trip. Equality Forum named him a GLBT Icon for his many literary contributions and work as an activist.
Victor Yates is a freelance writer. His new book, The Taste of Scars, is set to be released by AddisonCraft Publishing. Yates is the winner of the Elma Stuckey Writing Award (first place in poetry). His writing has appeared in The Voice, The Catalyst, Prism, Windy City Times and on the website Best Gay Blogs.