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Stay Black and Die: On Melancholy and Genius–I. Augustus Durham + Brittnay L. Proctor in Conversation

April 20 @ 2:30 pm - 3:30 pm

Join the Bureau for a conversation with authors I. Augustus Durham and Brittnay L. Proctor to discuss Durham’s new book, Stay Black and Die: On Melancholy and Genius (Duke University Press, 2023). Examining the works of Frederick Douglass, Ralph Ellison, Marvin Gaye, Octavia E. Butler, and Kendrick Lamar, Stay Black and Die chronicles the relationship between black “mothers” and “sons” to argue for the black feminine/maternal, through the lens of abstraction, as the site of melancholy and genius.

To reserve a copy of Stay Black and Die: On Melancholy and Genius (Duke University Press, 2023, paperback, $28.95), please write to us at contact@bgsqd.com with “please reserve Stay Black and Die for April 20th” in the subject line.

Thank you for supporting the Bureau by purchasing books from us!

This event will take place in person at the Bureau of General Services—Queer Division, on the second floor (room 210) of The LGBT Community Center, 208 W. 13th St., NYC, 10011.

Registration is not required. Seating is first come, first served.

Also live-streaming on the Bureau’s YouTube channel:



This event is taking place in conjunction with the The Twelfth Annual Rainbow Book Fair, held at The LGBT Community Center on Saturday, April 20th, from noon to 6 PM:

“The New York Rainbow Book Fair is America’s longest-running LGBT book fair and the largest LGBT book event in the country. It has grown every year since its beginning in 2009. It brings together thoughtful, interesting people of all ages, from early teens to those in their 70s and 80s, from a spectrum of countries, ethnicities, gender identities, and viewpoints. It attracts readers and writers, of course, but also publishers, editors, agents, and media attention—people who have never experienced queer culture, and others who have made it the focus of their lives. Rainbow Book Fair is open to the public, with book discounts and giveaways.”


I. Augustus Durham is an assistant professor of English at Lehman College, CUNY, whose research focuses on black study from the nineteenth to the twenty-first centuries. His work has been published in Black Camera: An International Film JournalPalimpsest: A Journal on Women, Gender, and the Black International, and Journal of Religion and Health; and an essay on the film Moonlight for an edited collection on the work of Tarell Alvin McCraney. Prior to his appointment at Lehman, he was the President’s Postdoctoral Fellow in English at the University of Maryland, College Park. Durham is at work on two new projects: an examination of a singer, and a project on invention.


Brittnay L. Proctor is a researcher and writer of performance, popular culture, and sound/visual culture at the nexus of blackness, gender, and sexuality. She is Assistant Professor of Race and Media in the School of Media Studies at The New School (NY, NY) and author of Minnie Riperton’s Come to My Garden (Bloomsbury Press: 33 1/3 Series). She is currently working on two book projects; one of which soundtrack’s black Southern migration to California during the Second Great Migration and the other, which draws on LP records and Compact Disc’s (CD’s), to trace the sonic and visual discourses of gender and sexuality in funk music.


Registration Required:
Youth Only:
Arts and Culture
April 20
2:30 pm - 3:30 pm


Custom Sources
Bureau of General Services Queer Division (BGSQD)
Event Language
Event Topic
Arts and Culture
Registration Required
Youth Only