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James Earl Hardy Remembers E. Lynn Harris

James Earl Hardy Remembers E. Lynn Harris

Author: James Earl Hardy

July 21, 2010

Too many people believed we were rivals; that had more to do with their buying into the very racist and homophobic notion that there wasn’t room in the literary universe for more than one Negro homo [at a time]. I was tagged the younger upstart trying to usurp his mentor. We would laugh about it; as he once joked: “I guess that would make you Eve Harrington and me Margo Channing!”

He recognized how important it was for us to have as many voices documenting and celebrating our lives–which is why he welcomed me into the literary fold with open arms in 1994, providing me with a jacket blurb for B-Boy Blues and recommending it when his fans asked if there were other authors they should check out. He possessed a generosity of spirit that was unmatched.

With his groundbreaking work, he helped us chip away at the “don’t ask, don’t tell” silence surrounding homosexuality in Black America, and gave many Same Gender Loving people the courage to start living visible lives. His cultural impact and societal significance could never be fully measured, nor will it ever be repeated. I not only lost a friend and comrade, but a member of the family.

This July will be honoring the memory of author E. Lynn Harris, who passed away last year. As a part of our tribute, we asked his friends and peers to tell us about the important legacy of his work and his incredible impact on the community.

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About: James Earl Hardy

James Earl Hardy is the author of the best-selling B-Boy Blues series: B-Boy Blues (praised as the first gay hip hop love story), 2nd Time Around, If Only For One Nite, The Day Eazy-E Died, Love The One You're With, and A House Is Not a Home. The seventh installment in the series, "Is It Still Jood To Ya?," is featured in the anthology, Visible Lives: Three Stories in Tribute to E. Lynn Harris. His one-man show about adult film actor Tiger Tyson, Confessions of a Homo Thug Porn Star, recently won the Dowtown Urban Theater Festival's Best Short Prize. A 1993 honors graduate of Columbia university's School of Journalism, his byline as a feature writer and cultural essayist/critic has appeared in The Advocate, Entertainment Weekly, Essence, Newsweek, Out, The Source, Vibe, and The Washington Post. He lives in New York City.

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