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A Fractured Past: Out, Black and Gay in 1970's Atlanta--Tony Holland in conversation with Rev. Duncan E. Teague

Event date: 
Friday, June 30, 2023 - 7:30pm to 8:30pm

This event takes place in person at Charis and on crowdcast, Charis' virtual event platform. This event is free and registration is required for virtual attendance. Click here to register to attend virtually. Please read the in-person event guidelines at the bottom of this page if you wish to attend in-person.

Charis welcomes Tony Holland in conversation with Rev. Duncan E. Teague for a discussion of A Fractured Past: Out, Black and Gay in 1970's Atlanta. This is a true life account of what it was like growing up a young, black gay man in the largest southeastern city in the Bible Belt. This event is co-hosted by Abundant LUUv and the Counter Narrative Project. Abundant LUUV is a West End Unitarian Universalist congregation in Atlanta, centered in the African American religious tradition, where we welcome your authentic self to join us in community-centered work. The Counter Narrative Project seeks to shift narratives about Black gay and queer men to change policy and improve lives. We stand in the tradition of  Marlon Riggs, Essex Hemphill, Joseph Beam, James Baldwin, and Bayard Rustin. 

Atlanta, GA; 1960's and 1970's... A city that was the focal point of growth in the Southeastern United States, which then; just as today, was saddled with trying to grow into a world class city while attempting to minimize or even hide its shameful undercurrent of racism, sexism, classism, and overall prejudice. It was, and is a very conservative place at its core. In the early days in Atlanta when I was growing up, the African American community definitely felt it had something to prove. What with being the centerpiece of the Civil Rights Movement, the community recognized that this was an opportunity for its black citizens to make a true stand for independence and growth that was denied elsewhere in our nation as a whole. 

We were onstage and the entire nation knew it. To that end, the church played a very big part in the development of the community. From Holland's first realization that he had same sex interests, there was no doubt that to disclose that fact with anyone would at the very least cause him to be ostracized. The pain and conflict that this caused him were nearly unbearable, and was the catalyst which gave direction to much of his life from puberty on. Much has been written about this period in Atlanta from a racial angle. There has also been a great deal written about the early years of gay liberation in Atlanta. However, Holland has never encountered writings that adequately equated or depicted the relationship of both. 

In this book, author Tony Holland will attempt to give one man's account of what it was REALLY like trying to straddle both worlds and keep them from crashing into one another, for he was sure that were that to happen it would guarantee his personal destruction. Ironically, what he found was that danger to him existed in both communities. Though coming from different directions, in many ways the dangers were very similar.

Tony Holland is a native of Atlanta, Georgia. The youngest of four children, he spent much of his childhood with his head in a book! When not dreaming of faraway places and beautiful landscapes, the remainder of the time was spent learning to sew and design clothing. That remains his primary vocation today. Though he has always been impassioned about art in any form, A Fractured Past; Out, Black and Gay in 1970’s Atlanta, is his first published book.  He is currently working on a second work; a collection of short stories to be released by the end of the year. 

Rev. Duncan E. Teague, is the founding minister of three-year-old Abundant Love Unitarian Universalist (UU) Congregation in SW Atlanta, GA, an African American community. He has served on the UU Ministers’ Association’s Committee on Anti-Racism, Anti-Oppression, and Multiculturalism (CARAOM). He can be seen as a guest presenter on Dr. Henry Louis Gates’ “The Black Church: This is Our Story This is Our Song” (2021).  He is a senior member of the performance poets, The ADODI Muse; A Gay Negro Ensemble. His narrative is featured in the award-winning book, a documentary, and stage productions of Sweet Tea, an anthology of Black gay men's lives in the South by E. Patrick Johnson, Ph. D.  He resides in Decatur, GA with his longtime companion and husband, David Thurman.

This event is free and open to all people, especially to those who have no income or low income right now, but we encourage and appreciate a solidarity donation in support of the work of Charis Circle, our programming non-profit. Charis Circle's mission is to foster sustainable feminist communities, work for social justice, and encourage the expression of diverse and marginalized voices.


In-person event guidelines:

  • All attendees must wear a face mask at all times.

  • We will begin seating people at 7 pm ET.

  • This event will be live-streamed via crowdcast. Click here to register to attend virtually.

  • As a reminder: If you are not feeling well, please do not come to the event.

  • If you have any questions regarding these guidelines or to request specific accessibility accommodations, please contact or call the store at 404-524-0304

If you would like to watch the virtual event with computer-generated captions, please watch in Google Chrome and enable captions. If you have other accessibility needs or if you are someone who has skills in making digital events more accessible please don't hesitate to reach out to We are actively learning the best practices for this technology and we welcome your feedback as we continue to connect across distances.

By attending our event you agree to our Code of Conduct: Our event seeks to provide a harassment-free experience for everyone, regardless of gender, gender identity and expression, age, sexual orientation, disability, physical appearance, body size, race, ethnicity, religion (or lack thereof), class, or technology choices. We do not tolerate harassment in any form. Sexual language and imagery are not appropriate. Anyone violating these rules will be expelled from this event and all future events at the discretion of the organizers. Please report all harassment to immediately.

Event address: 
A Charis (in-person + virtual) Event
184 S. Candler Street
Decatur, GA 30030
A Fractured Past: Out, Black and Gay in 1970's Atlanta By Tony Holland Cover Image
ISBN: 9798218037826
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Anthony L Holland - November 1st, 2022

Event Summary: 
This is a true life account of what it was like growing up a young, black gay man in the largest southeastern city in the Bible Belt.