FOF #1189 – Sweet Tea and Sympathy

May 11, 2010 · 35686 views

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Writer and oral historian E Patrick Johnson spent two years traveling the South to interview almost a hundred men for his extraordinary book Sweet Tea: Black Gay Men of the South. He’s now briging these men’s stories to life with a theatrical adapation of the book.

Listen as we talk about the responsibility of performing these men’s powerful stories and on the unnerving use of slur words in books, films and theater.

    Comments

  1. Brent says:

    Hesthe1 is not demonizing, hateful, or fearmongering.

    After years and years of public health campaigns that have not worked, this is real talk.

  2. charlesver33 says:

    Wish I lived in Chicago to come see E. Patrick’s Johnson’s show. Thanks for the podcast guys!

    I think people who use embrace slur words sound pretty stupid to me. Why bother with words that have such an ugly past? Move forward.

    Didn’t Mark Twain say, “Better to keep your mouth closed and be thought a fool than to open it and remove all doubt.”

  3. Curtis says:

    What I’m hearing in your discussion of the word Faggot, especially in it’s use for the title of the documentary you’re featured in, sounds TO ME like an anxiety you have with the word personally. You haven’t found the power in that word. That’s not a failing, it’s just the place you’re at with regards to it.

    I think all the stuff about “negativity” vs “positivity” and internet filtering and such is a red herring and misses the point. Your suggested retitling for the film (I’ll give you the credit that it was likely spontaneous and not well thought out before you said it) was clumsy and unappealing, whereas for me I was immediately attracted to it to the 50 Faggots title. It communicated immediately to me that it was a project about fierce male queers with some kind of rebellious outlaw status. What I’ve seen from the trailers of the project show that that is indeed what the film is about.

    Embrace the Faggot Fausto! We have nothing to fear from powerful language.

    I know for me, that Faggot is a word I embrace, I embody, I live, and I never ever see as a negative. In my opinion seeing that word as a negative reveals more about the person who perceives it that way than anything inherent in the word itself.

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