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Out in the Bay: 'The Prophets' unveils Black queer ancestors

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[Editor's note: This summer, Out in the Bay is airing a mix of previously recorded shows and new content. This week is a rebroadcast.] In his debut novel, Robert Jones Jr.

describes the tragic romantic relationship between Samuel and Isaiah, two enslaved young men on a Mississippi cotton plantation in the early 1800s. "The Prophets" explores gender and sexuality, race, power, toxic religion and masculinity.

The New York Times described the instant bestseller as "a lyrical and rebellious love story" and the New Yorker called it a "panoramic vision of love and cruelty." Beyond its love story, the novel poignantly and viscerally connects the dots from slavery to today's racial injustices and from Missionary Christianity to the slave trade,

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