"The Black homosexual is hard pressed to gain audience among his heterosexual brothers; even if he is more talented, he is inhibited by his silence or his admissions. This is what the race has depended on in being able to erase homosexuality from our recorded history. The chosen history. But the sacred constructions of silence are futile exercises in denial. We will not go away with our issues of sexuality. We are coming home.
It is not enough to tell us that one was a brilliant poet, scientist, educator or rebel. Whom did he love? It makes a difference. I can't become a whole man simply on what is fed to me:watered down versions of Black life in America. I need the ass-splitting truth to be told, so I will have something pure to emulate, a reason to remain loyal."
-An excerpt from Ceremonies by late author, activist, poet Essex Hemphill