Popsugar Reading Challenge category: An Anisfield-Wolf Book Award winner
Book: The New Testament, by Jericho Brown
The Anisfield-Wolf Award is given to books that advance our understanding of racism. Jericho Brown's poems are stylistically and thematically complex, dealing with life as a gay Black man in the era of AIDS. The poems address race, sex, mortality, religious faith, and the mysteries of love.
One poem, "Receiving Line," contemplates being a gay Black Californian on Election Day 2008, when Barack Obama was elected and California passed the anti-gay Prop 8. Another poem, "Homeland," addresses racism in an era when a Black man could be President, and Black men were still being told all the places they didn't belong:
In America that year, black people kept dreaming
That the president got shot. Then the president got shot
Breaking into the White House. He claimed to have lost
His keys. What’s the proper name for a man caught stealing
Into his own home?