Is It True What They Say About Black Men?: Tales of Love, Lust and Language Barriers on the Other Side of the World
New Memoir, Travelogue and Exploration of Race and Culture, Set for Release November 4, 2014
Is It True What They Say About Black Men? is a travelogue and memoir told from the point of view of a gay, black and well-traveled American, in self-imposed exile from New York City. His physical and emotional journey takes him from one continent to four (South America, Australia, Asia and Africa), all of which he calls home over the course of eight years.
Despite his demographic status as a gay black man (and the book's title, inspired by the one question he hears in every country and every language), Jeremy Helligar's life abroad and his search for adventure, love and a place to belong are defined by so much more than skin color, sexuality, or even gender. Most of all, his experiences - what happens to him and how he reacts to it - are shaped by a more universal trait: being human. In turn, his book is a universal documentation of love, lust and heartbreak, self-discovery and discovery of the world in which we live, adventure and awkward encounters as a stranger in strange lands. Think James Baldwin (whose Notes on a Native Son inspired Jeremy as much as music and The Golden Girls) and David Sedaris mixed with Eat Gay Love.
The prelude to Jeremy's story unfolded in New York City, where he spent the first 15 years of his journalism career on the editorial teams at People, Teen People, Us Weekly and Entertainment Weekly, covering music, television, movies and celebrities, while interviewing many of the biggest stars on the planet, including Dolly Parton, Sting, Mary J. Blige and David Bowie, and standing up at least one former Beatle. (Ringo, of course!) In 2008, he launched his blog, Theme for Great Cities, a blend of travelogue, anecdotes, essays, pop culture and Sex and the City that has amassed a sizable international readership. He's written about travel for numerous print and online publications, including The Bangkok Post and Matador, and since February 2014, he's maintained a blog for The Huffington Post's Gay Voices.
Jeremy is currently based in Cape Town, where he spends most of his waking hours blogging, writing, running, thinking about his next book and wondering if he'll ever make it to Antarctica.