E. Patrick Johnson, "Sweet Tea: Black Gay Men of the South" (U of North Carolina Press, 2011)

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E. Patrick Johnson's Sweet Tea: Black Gay Men of the South (University of North Carolina Press, 2011) has been a monograph, a documentary film, a stage play, and now a published script from Northwestern University Press.

This play weaves together interviews Johnson conducted with gay Black men from the South with Johnson's own recollections of growing up young, gifted, gay, and Black in Hickory, North Carolina. These stories are funny, heart-breaking, and inspiring, and reveal a collective portrait of gay Black Southern life that is much more complex than the simple narrative of repression and escape so often associated with this community.

In this interview we discuss what keeps Johnson returning to these stories, his relationship to Black spirituality, and the techniques he used to embody these men when he performed Sweet Tea as a one man show.

Andy Boyd is a playwright based in Brooklyn, New York. He is a graduate of the playwriting MFA at Columbia University, Harvard University, and the Arizona School for the Arts.

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