|Jason Okundaye meets an elder generation of Black gay men and finds a spirited community full of courage, charisma and good humour, hungry to tell its past – of nightlife, resistance, political fights, loss, gossip, sex, romance and vulgarity. Through their conversations he seeks to reconcile the Black and gay narratives of Britain, narratives frequently cleaved as distinct and unrelated.
Tracing these men’s journeys and arrivals to South London through the seventies, eighties and nineties from the present day, Okundaye relays their stories with compassion, listening as they share intimate memories and reflect upon their lives. They endured the peak of the AIDS epidemic, built social groups and threw underground parties; they went to war with institutions (and with each other) and created meaning within a society which was often indifferent to their existence.
Revolutionary Acts renders a portrait of Britain from the perspective of those buffeted by the winds of marginalisation and discrimination. It is a portrait marked by resilience and self-determination, inspired by the love and beauty Black men have found in each other.
Jason Okundaye was born to British-Nigerian parents in South London in 1997. He writes essays, features, and profiles on politics and culture for the Guardian, the London Review of Books, British Vogue, GQ, Vice, Dazed, and i-D. He also co-curates the digital archive ‘Black and Gay, Back in the Day’ documenting Black LGBT life in Britain since the 1970s. He holds a first class degree in Human, Social and Political Science from Pembroke College, University of Cambridge.
Revolutionary Acts, a social history of Black gay men in Britain, is his first book