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Don Belton Murdered

The well-known black gay author and anthologist Don Belton was murdered in his own home by a man half his age claiming that Belton sexually assaulted him twice and showed no remorse.  Belton's journal, found by the police, has an entry where he says he's happy that this man (the murderer) has entered his life.  From the face of it, it sounds like someone deeply closeted whose internalized homophobia turned into shame and rage and violence.  The initial story is here:

I'm not just freaked out because he was a gay writer, but because I knew him back in the 90s when we were both featured in the Dutton anthology Wrestling with the Angel, a great book about gay men and faith.  Don and I were sent by Dutton to Chicago and Minneapolis, and though many of the details of our tour together escape me now (I've since done hundreds of readings and talks), I remember being blown away by how funny, smart, literate and cool he was.  We stayed connected for a while, but he moved around a lot and we eventually lost touch–and today I woke up to find him horribly in the news.

Let's hope justice is done in this case, but it still won't bring him back.

Reading Don's work is the best tribute, and here's a place to start:

http://www.amazon.com/Speak-My-Name-Masculinity-American/dp/0807009377/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1262180635&sr=8-1

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Lev Raphael

Lev Raphael

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