Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Official Press Release for "When The Lights Go Out: The Truth About Black Male Prison Sexuality"


New Book by Brother Hassan Hartley Reveals Truth about Black Male Prison Sexuality.
Following his own journey of self-discovery and acceptance, ‘Brother’ Hassan Hartley exposes the shocking truth behind the sexual identity politics of black men in the U.S prison system.

Hassan Hartley
For Immediate Release
Chicago, IL – While the media often paints a picture of a U.S prison system which thrives with rehabilitation and convict reform, many of those who have been inside report a dismal and shocking reality of sexual exploitation, homophobia and disease. Having experienced the dark side of the U.S criminal justice system first-hand, Hassan Hartley exposes the truth in his new book; WHEN THE LIGHTS GO OUT: The Truth About Black Male Prison Sexuality.
The Chicago native was sentenced to three years in a Virginian prison. However, Hartley’s journey of self-correction was coupled with a deep personal study of black men around him. Noticing that many were at different levels in the self-awareness of their own sexuality, the seeds of his book were sewn.
This book is a study into the human sexuality, and sexual identity politics of black men in American prisons. It examines the cultural, moral, and social implications of sexual behavior in prisons due to millions of black men being trafficked in and out of the criminal justice system each year” Says Hartley, who has spent the last six years researching incarcerated black men at prisons all over the United States.

He continues, “I explore the impact of religion and education on how black men view sex in prison, as well as the dangers of HIV and other STD infections that occur. I discuss how heterosexual, bisexual and gay men deal with each other, as well as my own unique and controversial journey that led me to write this book.”
Hartley’s work is the culmination of thousands of personal inmate interviews and online correspondence, during which he both confirmed his own beliefs and was enlightened with new, often disturbing information.
Aside from the personal identity of incarcerated black men, When the Lights Go Out also examines the impact that prison-spread sexually transmitted diseases have on the wider black community, and the United States as a whole.
The homophobia that exists within the black community makes this discussion even more difficult, and my book serves as a bridge to promote healthy, intelligent, nuanced dialogue” Hartley adds.

The book is already garnering much interest among followers of Hartley’s blog. Providing an insightful narrative on the embedded homophobia surrounding current news and affairs, the blog is proving itself as an educational eye-opener on modern America.
For more information on WHEN THE LIGHTS GO OUT: The Truth About Black Male Prison Sexuality, please visit Brother Hassan Hartley’s website:


About The Author
Hassan Hartley, a.k.a. "Brother Hassan", is a  college educated writer born and raised in Chicago, Illinois, who embarked upon the journey of discovering the nuances of human sexuality among black men primarily as a result of his own journey to self acceptance and awareness. Having been a college student at Tuskegee University, a former member of the Nation of Islam, and having served  time in a Virginia Correctional facility, his own life mirrors much of the complexity of  black men and sexual identity politics discussed in this book.
Struggling with his own sexual identity in the early 1990's when images of black gay men were all but non-existent in any media format, Brother Hassan lived in two worlds at the same time: One, a world of strict discipline in the Nation of Islam, where he hoped to one day become a Minister in the mold of Malcolm X or Minister Louis Farrakhan. The other world, that of a same gender loving man in complete denial about what his desires for men in an organization not known for being anywhere resembling sympathetic to gays and lesbians.

Hassan's entire world  was absorbed in the Teachings of the Most Honorable Elijah Muhammad and  the Honorable Louis Farrakhan, while his desires for men grew gradually stronger and stronger throughout his teenage years and into adulthood. As a teenager, he joined the Black Muslim sect and became a part of  the Fruit Of Islam, the name given to the military training of men who belong to the Nation Of Islam in North America.
Brother Hassan  joined a group within the Fruit of Islam in Chicago known as the Taskforce, a squad of young men ages 16-25 who were being groomed to rise in leadership in the Nation Of Islam for its future. Having joined the N.O.I. at its headquarters in Chicago, he frequently saw, met, and heard Minister Farrakhan and even traveled with the Taskforce to provide security for the Nation Of Islam leader. A shy, timid and quiet teenager, Bro. Hassan felt overwhelmed by such nearness to so much going on in such a controversial organization, but eventually adapted.
After graduating from Whitney M. Young Magnet High School in Chicago, Brother Hassan  moved south to the prestigious Tuskegee University, where he would study for the next 5 years Political Science and Business Administration.

An internal scandal within the Nation Of Islam's own headquarters in March, 1993 involving Hassan's squad, the Taskforce, culminated in a suicide of a top lieutenant in the squad, as well as the revelation that nearly two dozen young men within the same squad were allegedly involved in homosexual activity with each other. Those that were not excommunicated from the organization for Fornication and Sodomy, left  the Nation Of Islam before they could stand trial in the Nation of Islam's stringing Restrictive Laws of  Conduct. Brother Hassan, ironically, was not involved in any of these activities, despite his own sexual orientation becoming clearer to him as years passed. The scandal was kept out of the media, for obvious reasons.

In August 1994, Hassan was awarded a partial scholarship from Minister Farrakhan personally to assist in his college tuition and studies. After a bloody, near-fatal, and  tumultuous split with the Nation of Islam in November 1994, however, Bro. Hassan came to terms with his sexuality, although he would wander deeper and deeper into a  7 year chasm of criminal activity that culminated in a 3 year prison sentence in Virginia. During this time, Hassan began not only began the arduous process of self correction, but began studying those black men around him who were at different levels in their awareness of their own sexuality, and thus the basis of this book was born.
Hassan's research would not only extend to those around him in prison while incarcerated, but to those in many other prisons all over the United States after his release in  August 2006. With the help of correctional officers that bent more than a few rules to allow him to interview inmates, internet websites designed to establish pen pal relationships with inmates, and other useful tools, he interviewed thousands of inmates in a 6 year period, confirming some theses he already had, and being enlightened on others. This book is Volume 1 of that research, and proves to be controversial, enlightening, entertaining and revealing, much like its author, Brother Hassan.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

My Open Letter to Dr. Boyce Watkins PART TWO

Here is my response to the latest article by Dr. Boyce Watkins, this time dealing with Minister Louis Farrakhan's response to President Obama's position on same-sex-marriage:

He makes sure THESE comments get Moderator approval, so I am posting them on my blog for the world to see. Odd, how any opposing views to his position get mysteriously deleted.

"Dr. Boyce Watkins seems extremely giddy on this topic, since it is his SECOND article on the Minister in less than 24 hours. I am an openly gay man that grew up in the Nation Of Islam under the leadership of The Honorable Louis Farrakhan, so I possess a unique perspective having been on BOTH sides of this issue. Minister Farrakhan gave me a partial scholarship to attend college, and I was in the ranks for many,many years as one of his followers. I hope the Minister does not allow his words to be juxtaposed to President Obama’s position(we will not all agree on every issue), because at the end of the day, what the gay/lesbian/same gender loving community does with itself does not impact or hurt black folks. Mass incarceration, illiteracy, unemployment, dependence of white folks, etc are issues that devastate the black community,NOT who I marry.

Whether or not it is religiously acceptable for me to marry the person of my choice( how odd, seeing as how 99.5% of these Negroes who Bible thump and Qur’an pump don’t follow their OWN Scripture, but will dust off their books to condemn gays)does not rank on my list of priorities for the Black Nation. This OBSESSION Dr. Watkins seems to have with Obama and same-sex marriage needs to be put on chill. Using this to scapegoat gays and placate his, along with other Negro “pseudo-militant” intellectuals LACK of action on the CRITICAL issues regarding black folks(“criticizing” people with blog articles and Oovoo video clips, although technically a verb, is in FACT not a real “action”).

Step out of the video clips and come on down to the hood to help solve the black-on-black crime, massive incarceration, unemployment, HIV, and 20 other issues that threaten to wipe black America clean off the map. As a black same gender loving man, I can assure you that WE are not the reason so many black women can’t find a man. Hell I can’t find one either! Perhaps the MILLIONS of brothers hidden away in the Criminal Justice System are where the sistas wanna look to see where the men have gone.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

My Open Letter In Response to Dr. Boyce Watkins article entitled, "SORRY NEWSWEEK, BUT BARACK OBAMA IS NOT THE FIRST GAY PRESIDENT"

Hello Dr. Watkins,

 I normally agree with you about 75% of the time on issues, but every now and again you spit out a massive brain fart that needs to be addressed. I read your article entitled, "SORRY NEWSWEEK, BARACK OBAMA IS NOT THE FIRST GAY PRESIDENT"...

I found one particular line most troubling:

"As a proponent of gay marriage, I was admittedly taken aback by seeing a successful black man “turned out” in front of the American public.  In fact, I was actually insulted, not because there’s something wrong with being gay, but because Newsweek had the audacity to think that everyone would be HAPPY to be called gay."

Really,  Dr. Boyce? Really?

"Turned out, in front of the American public??"

(Translation: They turning him into a faggot in front of the whole country!!!!!!!!!!!)

I love your skillful use of coded dog-whistling to the black heterosexual community that is against homosexuality. It prompted me to write this response, however, in a forum that could not be censored( how odd that now you have all comments pass through a moderator. Of all the times I have posted, I never had to wait for a comment to be approved before....HMMM....)

 Whether everyone is happy being called gay, is so useless an argument in this context, it almost defies description why you even chose to mention it. Everyone is not happy being called black, or Negro, or African American, so explain to me how now, all of a sudden there is outrage over being called "gay"? Is it such an insult to you for a successful black man to be called "gay" that you take offense to the use of the term??? Here below was my comment posted to your blog(which was awaiting moderation, but JUST IN CASE your moderators decide it is a tad too hot for your blog, I'll post it here that everyone may still see it.):

I cannot believe you would be so “outraged” by this cover. Were you “outraged” by Obama being called the first Jewish President back in 2008 and 2009?

Why not? I wonder if any Jewish financial sponsorship or advertising dollars made you “hunky dorey” with the notion of Obama being declared the first Jewish President. I suspect that you would rather eat nails than to say ANYTHING that places you in the perceived light of being "outraged" over Obama being called, in any way, a Jew. Your blog would be shut down, any appearances scheduled for CNN would evaporate within minutes, and your career would be over faster than you could say Mazeltov, wouldn't it?

It amazes me how Negroes pick and choose when to become "outraged", based on who has the power to destroy their careers, and who does not.  When it comes to a group you disdain, yet do not fear in terms of their threat to shut your career down, you Negroes get real strong and bold. Just ask Roland Martin and his chatty, Bible thumping wife. I can only imagine how insulted you were when you saw, "The First Gay President" on the cover of Newsweek. Here is how I imagine your outrage when you first gazed upon that cover:

"OH HELL NAW! No they DIDN'T just DISS Obama like that! They calling him a fag-I mean gay???Why is it that they have to castrate every successful Black man we have and try to make him a punk, or less than a man???? Oh Fuck that, I'm writing an article on this bullshit! They dissin Obama, Yvette!

(yelling on Oovoo while Yvette watches and adds her two cents in to support.)

Can you believe this bullshit????"

 The whole moniker  "The first ____ President" is representative of the fact that a person is perceived to be a valuable ally for the progress of that particular group to which he is assigned it. So when Clinton was dubbed, “The first Black President”, it was because he styled himself as a friend of the black community( we can argue why he wasnt later. Perception is the issue here.) You sound strange saying,

In fact, I was actually insulted, not because there’s something wrong with being gay, but because Newsweek had the audacity to think that everyone would be happy to be called gay......”

(Always have to place a disclaimer "Not that there is anything wrong with being gay..." there to cover your behind.....a familiar trick white liberals used to cover their backsides against the charge of racism as well)

Excuse me, Dr Boyce?

I AM gay, and I am proud to be called gay. I am also black, and proud of that as well. Many millions of us around the world are HAPPY to be called gay, so what on EARTH are you talking about, that no one would be “happy” to be called gay? Is “gay” an insult to you? Are you one of those persons that say, ”I have no problem with faggots” when he is around his homeboys, but in public, pretends to be progressive on the issue of gay rights? Clearly, your latent subliminal bigotry is rearing its head here. Perhaps you are playing to the bigots that read your blog who might have been a tad critical of your recent positions regarding Roland Martin’s brainfarts and the whole notion of gay marriage endorsed by Pres. Obama. Since you insinuate that being called “gay” is SUCH an insult, that folks  would be unhappy to be referred to as such, perhaps you should look in the mirror of your own bullshit. You might see a reflection more reminiscent of Roland Martin than that of President Obama.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012


The first copies of the book are COMPLETE!!!!!!!!!!!!!

i have been like a kid on Christmas morning, or on their birthday, if you prefer, ever since I received the mail with this in it. I am finally a PUBLISHED AUTHOR. After the constant trials and setbacks, after having doubt creep in my mind as to whether or not it was "meant to be" that it finally get released, I am now in a position to see my 8 year vision become a REALITY. I slept with one of the book copies(LOL), and I have taken it with me everywhere I is 312 pages, and I must say, I have never in my life been prouder of myself. I know that might sound corny, but my life's dream is now REAL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I'm EXCITED!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Book Announcement!!!!!!!!!!

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