Al Sharpton Teams To Discuss Sexual Diversity Among Black Men
NEW YORK - In response to the brewing controversy around homosexuality and the Black community, the Black Men's Xchange (BMX) National has joined forces with the National Action Network and the Malcolm X Grassroots Movement to present the community forum I AM A MAN: Black Manhood & Sexual Diversity in the Black Community next Saturday at the National Action Network in New York.
Black Men's Xchange National is the nation's oldest and largest community-based movement devoted to promoting healthy self-concept and behavior, cultural affirmation and critical consciousness among same gender loving, gay-identifying and bisexual African-descended males and allies.
The historic, multi-media event will feature film and video footage, live performances, a panel discussion and community dialogue featuring National Action Network's president, Rev. Al Sharpton , "Our World with Black Enterprise" television host, Dr. Marc Lamont Hill , and Black Men's Xchange National founder & CEO, Cleo Manago.
Participants in attendance will chart a collective course for intra-community recognition covering topics on Black male diversity, sexuality, manhood, power and safety.
Recalling the signs carried by Memphis sanitation workers at the strike where Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was assassinated, I AM A MAN is an affirmation of the common struggle of Black men, and a call for the inclusion of the SGL men among the collective.
Noting a rash of highly publicized homosexual teen suicides across the country and that the highest incidence of HIV/AIDS in the Black community is still among Black men, most of whom are homosexual and bisexual, Reverend Sharpton cites, "There is absolutely a need to have this discussion."
Says Cleo Manago, "For generations, the Black community has been so preoccupied with survival in America, or assimilation, we have rarely stepped out of this to figure ourselves out, or rationally address our perceived differences with each other. This forum is one of those rare opportunities on an essential issue."
Black Men's Xchange-NY Co-founder, John-Martin Green insists, "This human rights struggle - for diverse Black men to be fully present, respectfully representing our range - can only be won as we muster our courage as a community to face our fears and end misunderstandings that produce unhealthy behaviors and division among us."