sugarhoneyice

The Men of Sweet Tea

 

Lamont Sims

Lamont Sims

Sexism was a term that I had not consciously recognized until I began to challenge and confront the narrow gender scripts of a “boy” or “man” that I found so oppressive.  This happened in a huge way, about six years ago when I began living openly gay.  Challenging heteronormativity, when concerning my sexual orientation, allowed me to also fight against sexism and gender oppression.  This certainly gave me freedom to explore my own gender expression and embraced those who did the same. At the beginning of my college career, I had finally encountered people who embraced diversity and neglected oppressive forms of dominance or FEMINISTS.  I certainly have much to learn when it concerns feminism and understanding ways in which I use my own power and privilege.  I’m currently a junior in college and president of a student organization that focuses on addressing all oppressions.  This organization gives me reason to encourage all our members to challenge the social institutions that attempt to define who we are and police our every move.

Franklin Abbott

Franklin Abbott

 Coming out just a couple of years after Stonewall, I found insight and encouragement in the music and writings of feminist women (Holly Near, Cris Williamson, Judy Grahn, Adrienne Rich, bell hooks, Sweet Honey in the Rock and many more).  This informed how I and the original Radical Faeries designed our gatherings and our network.  It also encouraged my participation in the pro-feminist men’s conferences and my editing of anthologies of writings by men about gender (the most recent is Boyhood: Growing Up Male, University of Wisconsin Press).  In my work as a psychotherapist, a poet and a social activist I see again and again that sexism and homophobia are flip sides of the same coin. I live in Stone Mountain, have a private practice in psychotherapy in Atlanta and chair the Atlanta Queer Literary Festival. My next book of poetry, Pink Zinnia, is due out this Summer.

         

Yolo Akili

Yolo Akili

Well..Im many things..far too much to type in a paragraph! Lol. But because I need to sound kind of deep I guess I need to drumroll off some list of accomplishments or something. Okay here goes ( And now I’ll talk like im not here lol)  Yolo Akili, born Micheal T. Robinson Jr. is an activist, artist, poet, astrologer and Iyengar yoga teacher in training.   He is a graduate of Georgia State University with A Bachelor of Arts in Womens & African American Studies. He is the author of the poetry chapbook “Poems in the Key of Green”, and he and his  writing have appeared in many periodicals including Oracle 20-20, Atlanta Urban Life Magazine, The Atlanta Journal Constitution, Red Pulp Underground, Atlanta Intown Newsaper and more.  He works with the United 4 Safety LGBTQ Task force in Atlanta, Spark! Reproductive Justice and the Atlanta Queer Literary Festival.   He is well known as a poet and has performed at far too many venues to name! He has a big heart and a humanist vision!

Craig Washington

Craig Washington

As a program coordinator at AID Atlanta from 1993- 1999, he developed education programs for Black communities, including the Deeper Love project, an HIV prevention and community building program for Black MSM/gay/bisexual men. As the First Vice Chair for the Metro Atlanta HIV Health Planning Council (Ryan White Council), he helped launch the African American Outreach Initiative, a two-day seminar for Black people living with HIV. From 1996 – 1999, he served as co-chair for Second Sunday, a support organization for Black gay men. In 1999, Craig left AID Atlanta to join Southerners On New Ground (SONG) as a Co-Director. In addition to administrative duties, he presented workshops about multi-issue organizing and the intersections of oppression systems to activists throughout the Southeast. From 2001 through 2003, he served as the Executive Director of the Atlanta Gay and Lesbian Center which provided free space and networking events for lgbt organizations. From 2003 through 2008, he was the Training Coordinator at Positive Impact, where he coordinated training services for clinicians. He also led the organizing of the Cultural Diversity Institute, a two-day workshop that enhances the cultural competence of social services providers. He has written various articles and editorials for the Atlanta Journal Constitution, Arise, Atlanta Voice, the Black AIDS Institute, Southern Voice, Venus Magazine, and the Washington Blade.  He is one of the individuals featured in the 2007 documentary film, “The AIDS Chronicles”. His essay “A Revolutionary Act” is included in the 2006 anthology “Not In My Family: AIDS in the African American Community” (Agate).  In October 2007, he received the Phill Wilson Advocacy Award from the Balm in Gilead, Inc. He graduated with a Master of Social Work degree from GSU in May 2008. He has been living with HIV for 23 years. Craig recently returned to AID Atlanta as a Manager of Prevention Programs at AID Atlanta, the largest AIDS services organization in the Southeast. He oversees four intervention programs including the Deeper Love Project for Black gay men; the Evolution Center for young Black gay men; HIV Counseling, Testing and Referral Services; and the Comprehensive Risk Counseling Services program .

 

Will Cordery

Will Cordery

As a Black queer activist, organizer, facilitator, fundraiser, global ambassador, and human rights educator, I have lived and worked in the South most of my life. I was first introduced to queer liberation and youth activism as a member of the Louisville Youth Group (LYG) in Kentucky in 1997. I’ve since had the privilege of working with great movement organizations and groups like Project South, Southerners On New Ground (SONG), Amnesty International, Queers for Economic Justice (QEJ), the Kentucky Fairness Alliance, the Atlanta Queer Progressive Agenda (QPA), the first US Social Forum planning process, and Sweet Tea: A Southern Queer Men’s Collective. I came to Sweet Tea because of its passionate and progressive vision and the opportunity it provided to do critical self-reflective work with other Southern Black queer men in the struggle. I live in Atlanta, Georgia and currently serve as the first development officer for the Southern region of Amnesty International USA.

Charles Stephens

Charles Stephens

 

Stephens is the African-American Gay Outreach Coordinator for AID Atlanta. He is committed to art, social justice, and gay men’s health.

Michael J. Brewer, 22, is an outspoken writer, speaker, social commentator and advocate for progressive change. Brewer made national headlines in 2008 when he pioneered The “No More ‘No Homo’ Initiative”, a week of gay rights events at Morehouse College (Atlanta, GA) – the first of its kind at such an institution. The co-president of Morehouse Safe Space, Morehouse College’s campus gay rights group, Brewer is an active participant in the gay rights movement as a member of the Sweet Tea Southern Men’s Queer Collective, the Atlanta Black LGBT Coalition, AID Atlanta’s Deeper Love Project and the planning committee for the 3rd Annual “State of Black Gay America” Summit. Locally, Brewer has been featured in the Southern Voice, and earlier this year Brewer was featured both as a panelist at the 7th Annual Bayard Rustin/Audre Lorde Brunch and as the LGBT speaker at Atlanta’s Annual Martin Luther King Day Parade. Brewer has appeared as a guest commentator on “Talking with Spirit” on XM’s “The Power”, both “The Voice Project” and “WomanSpeak” on 89.3 FM WRFG, and has appeared locally on People’s TV “Pride” and nationally on MTVU’s “My Shot With…” and “The Dean’s List.”A member of the Clinton Global Initiative University and named one of Out Magazine’s “Out 100” in 2008, Brewer has also been featured in the LA Times, The Advocate, and several blog and web articles. Brewer is currently a senior at Morehouse College and serves as legislative aide to Georgia State Representative Alisha Thomas Morgan (HD-39). Brewer is scheduled to graduate with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science in May 2009.

 

Tim'm West

Tim'm West

Tim’m T. West is a poet, emcee, scholar and the author of three books “Red Dirt Revival”, “BARE”, and “Flirting”. A graduate of Duke, The New School, and Stanford universities, he is also co-founder of the now defunct rap group DDC. Tim’m followed their success with three solo projects, “Songs from Red Dirt”, “Blakkboy Blue(s)”, and the 2009 release “In Security: The Golden Error”. He also created and hosted the “Front Porch” Spoken Word/Soul/Hip Hop showcase in DC, Oakland, Chicago, Brooklyn, Atlanta, Dallas,Houston, Lafayette and various U.S. Colleges and Universities. Tim’m also appeared in Byron Hurt’s “Beyond Beats and Rhymes”, Alex Hinton’s “Pick Up the Mic”, and is featured in the forthcoming Mario Van Peebles documentary “Bring your “A” Game”. Though Tim’m currently resides in Houston, TX he is a Visiting Lecturer in Ethnic Studies in 2008-09 at Humboldt State University in Northern California. Tim’m became involved with Sweet Tea Collective while residing in Atlanta in 2007 – 08 as an extension of his feminist-based scholarship and experiential interrogation of his own male and masculine privilege as a gay-identified queer man of color. Witnessing a great deal of unchecked sexism by black men, and perhaps more surprisingly, gay/sgl men of color, Tim’m believes that queer men of color should be on the forefront of interrogating patriarchy and misogyny in our own communities and beyond. He also feels that there are limits to what can be accomplished alongside feminist/womynist sistahs, and that men have to address sexism beyond the urging by women victimized by it. The fight against heterosexism requires anti-sexist praxis.

 

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  1. My Sweet Tea Brothers, keep doing what you’re doing! I am so inspired to see such wonderful men doing great things. I will be back to read blogs, blogs, and more blogs!

    Kristyl

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