New York City based poet and performance artist Yolo Akili returns with his latest video for "Are We The Kind of Boys We Want?
" taken from his studio album Purple Galaxy.“Are We The Kind of Boys We Want?
” is a montage of provocative interviews and commentary from numerous black gay men on gender and desire intermixed with a cadre of well known Atlanta activists performing the title poem.
"I wrote this poem in college after realizing that me and my friends, who would definitely be considered “feminine”, not only never liked boys like us, but often seemed disgusted at them," Akili tells
"I began to wonder what it meant when a reflection of you walks by and you are repulsed.
The poem is about just that, pondering what that kind of behavior means for our own self esteem and self image in the context of gender and sexuality."Akili is an favorite and his work has been featured on this site in the past.
You may recall seeing the sensual video for the poem "Concretely" a few months ago co-starring dancer Juel Lane.
Akili was kind enough to invite me to participate in "Are We The Kind Of Boys We Want? Atlanta activists Michael Brewer, Anthony Antoine, Khalid, Anye Elite, Chase Andrews, Jarrett Hill, Tobias Spears and a host of others are included in this video. " below: Darian, this piece is so profound and will provoke interesting but needed dialogue.
I, myself, have had major difficulties dealing with effeminate men and accepting them as men, including myself in the past; during my high school years, it dawned on me (through me) that these difficulties were actually baseless and reflected my difficulty in accepting that I am a same gender loving men but somewhat inbetween that of what is perceived to be feminine and masculine according to society. I worked to suppress my expressions when I was in high school when my conflict with my sexual identity was at its worst.
My expressions include a lightness of touch with my fingers, my sitting position, and my voice (I have a fairly soft voice manner, particularly on the telephone). But since then, I have worked on being more open to how I express myself and to allow my expressions as they come to me.
I think being true to self, having that confidence factor is really what makes a man stand out from a boy. I wasn't the boy I wanted back then, but I am certainly the man that I want, one who is honest, loving, supportive, and will challenge myself to grow.
March 25, 2011 AM This documpoem has touched me in so many ways and caused so many different thoughts to spring up in my head (all good thoughts by the way).
I'm almost getting a little teary-eyed from this. I am on the road to becoming the "man that I want." March 26, 2011 PM This piece was done in a beautiful way but it was a serious topic for me.
I think the gay men here in Pennsylvania (especially Black gay men) have made it difficult for feminine men to prosper at all and have any good feeling about oneself.