Windy City Media Group Frontpage News
Celebrating 30 Years of Gay Lesbian Bisexual and Trans News
home search facebook twitter join
Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2019-10-02
DOWNLOAD ISSUE
About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage

Sponsor
Sponsor
Sponsor

  BLACKLINES

Thoughts & Ideas: Each one Reaches One in the Brothers United of Tennessee
by Max Smith
2004-01-01

facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email


Pictured: Anthony Hardaway.

Of the 50 states, which has the tightest organization of same-gender-loving Black men? NJ? OH? CA? After participating in two of its winter retreats, I'd say it's the Brothers United of Tennessee.

Starting in April 1996, Brothers United of Nashville formed a network with the statewide mission: To provide comprehensive health services and leadership skills to African American Same Gender Loving Men, their partners and friends in the State of Tennessee. This network will also supply an empowerment structure for personal growth, community building and positive self actualization through the efforts of individual Brothers United Chapters.

Since December 1997, founder and director Mr. Dwayne Jenkins and a Volunteer State planning committee has put on seven annual winter retreats. The retreats inspired creation of chapters in Chattanooga, Memphis, Knoxville and Brothers United of West Tennessee serving Milan, Humbolt, Jackson and several smaller towns.

The local chapters have volunteer meetings to plan, discuss and review workshops, HIV prevention outreach and cultural events.

While working at a theater in Clarksville, cultural arts activist Mr. Anthony Hardaway, also known as the First Lady of Memphis, was referred to Mr. Jenkins, known to have created Books Brothers Book Club, which meets monthly. Hardaway wanted a source for books on Black SGL subjects. In a series of phone calls, Jenkins got Hardaway to be a Memphis coordinator for Brothers United. Until then the only visible Black SGL presence in Memphis was a bar, The Club.

Cooperation between the two resulted in book signings at The Club in 1998 and at Club Allusions in recent years by James Earl Hardy, G. Winston James, Stanley Bennett Clay and other noted authors. This created strong demand in many people who would drive significant distances to cultural events Hardaway would put on in Memphis and in different states around Tennessee.

Hardaway says 'To thine own self be true. There is no way to do anything until you can look yourself in the eyes in a mirror and stand up to anybody and to the Divine!'

Hardaway recommends the book JUST ABOVE MY HEAD by James Baldwin as inspiration to defer personal wants, to volunteer time, and to overcome family, church and job ostracism.

Hardaway finished Jackson State University, Jackson, Miss., with the class of 1994. He breaks the southern social taboo against the educated, religious Black gay man by giving friends and family gifts of art, books and photos done by SGL artists. Despite rejection by his mother, who misunderstands his singer/artist lifestyle, Hardaway feels the energy of our SGL ancestors to speak for himself and on behalf of SGL youth 'to keep the kids safe from the HIV holocaust,' he said. He feels a part of himself is buried with each friend lost to AIDS, and thinks it is not normal that gay men his age, 34, should feel such hurt, pain, fear and numbness to death.

At the 7th annual Brothers United retreat, held Dec. 4-7, 2003 in Burns, Tenn., Hardaway gave a very stirring tribute to Anthony O'Neal Dilworth, 40, of Mississippi, who passed in April '03. He said it may take several activists to keep up with all the good works Dilworth was involved in. The theme of the retreat, 'Rebirth,' encouraged participants from several states to begin new lives as experienced, aware and involved community builders.

In addition to workshops and an evening dedicated to showcasing the works of artists, photographers and authors, three controversial films were shown: each of which generated passionate discussions.

DADDY AND PAPA explores the challenges gay men face in becoming fathers. Why are there so many Black children in foster care needing adoption? Why are there so few Black SGL couples willing to adopt? White gay dads with no understanding of Kwanzaa were shown in the film, about to shape their Black sons' cultural awareness.

A PEEK IN THE CLOSET, promoted by its producers as a pilot for a TV series, tried to examine the feelings and motivations of Black men who have sex with men, women, girlfriends and wives. Some who viewed it questioned the notion of men on the down low trying to tell the story of their female partners.

THE GIFT provoked the very strong reaction: that men who would deliberately have unprotected anal sex with multiple partners to intentionally become HIV-positive are crazy! Yet it was a revelation to many that 'bug chasers' are so desperate for attention that they would go that far to get it. At that point some men came out as being HIV positive. One man said those who seek 'the gift' of the HIV virus must not know of the difficulties he faces daily. He gave two examples: he said some pills he must take are so difficult to swallow they give him an upset stomach twice a day; he gets a total numbness in both his feet that can last for weeks. That makes him have to wear white running shoes every night so he can safely walk in poorly lit areas, especially up and down stairs. He cannot feel each step, so he has to look at his white shoes to be sure one foot is on a step before going to the next step.

Upon leaving the retreat site, I felt that I'd been at a down-home 'family reunion' and promised Mr. Jenkins and First Lady Hardaway that the story of the success of Brothers United Of Tennessee would be told across the country in hopes that it can be replicated in other states.

For more information visit the Web site www.brothersunited.com e-mail BrosUnited@aol.com or call (800) 845-4266.


facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email





Windy City Media Group does not approve or necessarily agree with the views posted below.
Please do not post letters to the editor here. Please also be civil in your dialogue.
If you need to be mean, just know that the longer you stay on this page, the more you help us.


  ARTICLES YOU MIGHT LIKE

Gay News

McCraney's 'Brothers Size' Oct. 4-19 2019-09-24 - Returning to the stage for the first time since its Chicago premiere, Steppenwolf for Young Adults ( SYA ) presents The Brothers Size, ...


Gay News

Steppenwolf for Young Adults to premier The Brothers Size 2019-09-12 - CHICAGO ( September 10, 2019 ) — Returning to the stage for the first time since its celebrated Chicago premiere, Steppenwolf for Young ...


Gay News

Immigration activist reflects on long road to the United States 2019-08-02 - New York City-based activist Uchechukwu Onwa, who is gay, said that he came to the United States from his native Nigeria "to be ...


Gay News

Streisand at United Center on Aug. 6 2019-07-14 - Barbra Streisand will bring her live performance back to Chicago's United Center on Tuesday, Aug. 6. Streisand is an actress, singer, director, composer, ...


Gay News

SHOWBIZ 'Pose,' Julia Roberts, Jonas Brothers, Madonna 2019-05-07 - Season two of the groundbreaking FX drama Pose will debut Tuesday, June 11, a press release touted. Pose is a drama spotlighting the ...


Gay News

Brothers in Smollett case express 'regret' 2019-03-01 - Olabinjo and Abimbola Osundairo—the brothers who allegedly took part in what police say was a staged Jan. 29 hate-based attack on actor Jussie ...


Gay News

CONCERT REVIEW Cher entertains in United Center show 2019-02-10 - The United Center was packed Feb. 8 for Cher's show, filled to the rafters with the LGBT community, drunk middle-aged women and older ...


Gay News

THEATER REVIEW I Call My Brothers 2019-01-16 - Author: Jonas Hassen Khemiri At: Rivendell Theatre, 5779 N. Ridge Ave. Tickets: 312-219-4140 or InterrobangTheatre.org; $16-$32. Runs through: Feb. 2 The Chicago ...


Gay News

Interrobang Theatre Project to present "I Call my Brothers" 2018-12-07 - CHICAGO ( December 6, 2018 ) Interrobang Theatre Project is pleased to continue its ninth season, exploring "identity/crisis"with the Chicago premiere of Jonas ...


Gay News

Q Brothers Christmas Carol 2018-11-28 - By: Q Brothers Collective and Rick Boynton At: The Yard at Chicago Shakespeare Theater, 800 E. Grand Ave. Tickets: 312-595-5600 or c ChicagoShakes.com; ...


 



Copyright © 2019 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
our online archives. Single copies of back issues in print form are
available for $4 per issue, older than one month for $6 if available,
by check to the mailing address listed below.

Return postage must accompany all manuscripts, drawings, and
photographs submitted if they are to be returned, and no
responsibility may be assumed for unsolicited materials.
All rights to letters, art and photos sent to Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago
Gay and Lesbian News and Feature Publication) will be treated
as unconditionally assigned for publication purposes and as such,
subject to editing and comment. The opinions expressed by the
columnists, cartoonists, letter writers, and commentators are
their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay,
Lesbian, Bisexual and Transegender News and Feature Publication).

The appearance of a name, image or photo of a person or group in
Nightspots (Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times
(a Chicago Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature
Publication) does not indicate the sexual orientation of such
individuals or groups. While we encourage readers to support the
advertisers who make this newspaper possible, Nightspots (Chicago
GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay, Lesbian
News and Feature Publication) cannot accept responsibility for
any advertising claims or promotions.

 

 

 

TRENDINGBREAKINGPHOTOS

Sponsor
Sponsor
Sponsor
Sponsor


 



About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage


About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots      OUT! Guide     
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Subscriptions      Distribution      Windy City Queercast     
Queercast Archives      Advertising  Rates      Deadlines      Advanced Search     
Press  Releases      Event Photos      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Post an Event      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam      Outguide Categories      Outguide Advertisers      Search Outguide      Travel      Dining Out      Blogs      Spotlight  Video     
Classifieds      Real Estate      Place a  Classified     

Windy City Media Group publishes Windy City Times,
The Bi-Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.