Frank Ocean’s Love Letter and the Public Response

Frank Ocean’s Love Letter and the Public Response

Ocean’s of Love Letter: Is one black man loving another man the revolutionary act of the 21st Century?by Dr. Herukhuti

in July 2012

“In 2012, some folks find it more provocative that a black man has loved another man than if he had done violence against one.” ~Dr. Herukhuti

In To Be Young Gifted and Black, Lorraine Hansberry proclaimed, “For some time now—I think since I was a child—I have been possessed of the desire to put down the stuff of my life…. And, I am quite certain, there is only one internal quarrel: how much of the truth to tell? How much, how much, how much! It is brutal in sober uncompromising moments, to reflect on the comedy of concern we all enact when it comes to our precious images!”

Telling the truth of one’s life can be a complicated and dangerous endeavor, especially when you are young, gifted, black and queer (in this context I use queer to mean having experienced something other than normative Eros). It may mean that you destroy the hopes, dreams and expectations constructed for you to fulfill—only to have new ones built in their place. This is why the concept of coming out is so limiting as a way to explain what happens when someone puts “down the stuff of [their] life.”

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One thought on “Frank Ocean’s Love Letter and the Public Response

  1. Revolutionary? I hardly think so since Black men have been loving men longer than I’ve been around; it’s eye-opening and even about time that the myth of Black men being homophobic was completely dispelled – it was never true to begin with – and if there is greater visibility taking place, that’s a good thing.

    Is it provocative? Probably, since there are many who just wouldn’t believe that a Black man would dare to buck the stereotype and love another man – and I’m not talking about the “obviously” gay black men either. The violence against each other in our culture is well-know so, yes, that there are some of us who would rather love men in that non-standard way than to snuff another man’s life over imagined insults, one could see this as provocative.

    Still, it’s nothing new – it’s just stepping more into the light.

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