Northwestern University professor E. Patrick Johnson delivered the second lecture as part of the Lavender University series Oct. 12 at Center on Halsted.
A group of nearly 30 attendees heard Johnson perform excerpts of select narratives of Black same gender loving women in the South, collected for an upcoming book tentatively entitled Honeypot: Black Southern Women Who Love WomenAn Oral History.
Honeypot focuses on the life histories of Black lesbians who were born, raised and continue to live in the South. The book's title stems from the multiple associations of the word "honey" with the South and its usage among southern Black women who love women.
A follow up to Sweet Tea: Black Gay Men of the SouthAn Oral history, Johnson said Honeypot wasn't intended to be a sequel.
"After Sweet Tea came out, and I created the performance, I inevitably would get a lesbian in an audience who would say 'when are you going to tell our story,'" added Johnson during a Saturday interview. "I thought that after Sweet Tea came out that someone would do a book on Black lesbians in the South and here we are five years later…"
So far, Johnson has collected 65 narratives since starting the project in August 2012. He is also crafting a screenplay for a February stage performance of Honeypot to be held in North Carolina. Johnson said he hopes to bring a stage performance of Honeypot, as well as another performance of Sweet Tea, back to Chicago audiences.
The book is tentatively scheduled for a 2015 release date to be determined.
Lavender University is a nine-month series of LGBTQ educational programs featuring prominent scholars known nationally for their innovative research and work. The series is sponsored by Windy City Times and Center on Halsted.
The lectures are held the first Saturday of each month at 11 a.m. and are held at Center on Halsted, 3656 N. Halsted St. The next lecture in the series, which features Golda Goldbloom, will instead take place on a Sunday (Nov. 3). Each lecture is $25, with discounts available for multiple lectures and a limited number of scholarships also available.
For the upcoming schedule and to make reservations, visit community.centeronhalsted.org/lavenderuniversity.
A video of the talk is at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jpJEyV0YCxc.
E. Patrick Johnson at Lavender University 10-12-13 www.youtube.com/watch .