Black Gay Men of the South Tell Their Tales
Pouring Tea: Black Gay Men of the South Tell Their Tales is a one-man show based on the oral histories collected in E. Patrick Johnson’s book, Sweet Tea: Black Gay Men of the South—An Oral History, published by the University of North Carolina Press. These oral histories are from black gay men who were born, raised and continue to live in the South and range in age from 19 to 93. Pouring Tea tells of Chaz, a transgendered person who lives as a man on Sunday so he can sing in the church choir, but lives as a woman during the rest of the week; then there is “Larry J.,” whose early years of sexual experimentation is both humorous and disturbing; Freddie’s story of being raised by parents who did not want him is heartbreaking, but also delivered with an ironic twist; Countess Vivian, the oldest narrator, recounts his life during the 1920s and the 1930s on the streets of New Orleans; and Stephen, one of the youngest men, shares the moving story about being pressured to conform to a traditional notion of masculinity and enter a heterosexual relationship that produces a son. E. Patrick Johnson embodies these and others’ stories in Pouring Tea, to tremendous effect.
E. Patrick Johnson
E. Patrick Johnson is Chair and Professor in the Department of Performance Studies and Professor in the Department of African American Studies at Northwestern University. A scholar/artist, Johnson has performed nationally and internationally and has published widely in the area of race, gender, sexuality and performance. His one-man show, Strange Fruit, an autobiographical meditation on race, gender and identity politics, toured for five years to over 20 college campuses. His book, Appropriating Blackness: Performance and the Politics of Authenticity, published by Duke University Press in 2003, won several awards, including the Lilla A. Heston Award, the Errol Hill Book Award, and was a finalist for the Hurston/Wright Legacy Award. He also co-edited Black Queer Studies: A Critical Anthology, published by Duke University Press in 2005. His most recent book, Sweet Tea: Black Gay Men of the South—An Oral History, is published by the University of North Carolina Press and is the inspiration for his current show, Pouring Tea: Black Gay Men of the South Tell Their Tales, which he has toured since 2006. Pouring Tea will be produced by About Face Theater in spring 2010.
NOTE: Fire & Ink III: Cotillion acknowledges this is a working schedule, and reserves the right to change the Cotillion program. Fire & Ink III: Cotillion is not responsible for any act or omission of speakers from the program.