Was e.e cummings a racist or anti-semitic?

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Self-Portrait, Oil Painting. Cummings in the 1950s. Courtesy of Nancy T. Andrews

During his entire lifetime, e.e. cummings, had accomplished being an poet, author, painter, and playwriter. He also had been honored with numerous awards pertaining to his work. e.e. cummings’s poems touched on themes of war, nature, love, and death. Despite his status as an accomplished poet, he received criticisms due to the fact that many of e. e. cummings’s poems were very controversial because they focused on issues such as sex, stereotyping and prejudice. Many critics condemned him for two of his poems that contained the words “nigger” and “kike” Single words like “nigger”, “kike” were and still are today tough words in which e.e. cumming unmistakably chose to include in his works of poetry at the time of writing them. Despite being forewarned by others, he seemed to believe that he was justified to include the insulting and degrading words into his poems. He did not seem to care what others thought of his writing when it came to his poetry. Today, many people wonder if e. e. cummings was a racist or antiti-semitic? http://www.poemhunter.com/edward-estlin-cummings/biography/

Here are a few poems that are in question to e.e. cummings being a racist and anti-Semitic:

one day a nigger
caught in his hand
a little star no bigger
than not to understand
“i’ll never let you go
until you’ve made me white”
so she did and now
stars shine at night.

a kike is the most dangerous
machine as yet invented
by even yankee ingenu
ity(out of a jew a few
dead dollars and some twisted laws)
it comes both prigged and canted

theys sO alive
(who is
?niggers)

Not jes
livin
not Jes alive But
So alive(they

s
born alive)
some folks aint born
somes born dead an
somes born alive(but

niggers
is
all
born
so
Alive)

ump-A-tum

tee-die

uM-tuM
tidl
-id

umptyumpty(OO—

!

ting
Bam-

do)

,chippity.

-e.e. Cummings

Over the years I have read many poems by e. e. cummings, either as a class assignment or a class project. The poem, “a kike is the most dangerous” by e.e. cummings, is a poem that I never knew that existed until I started searching for information on one of the best known American poets of the twenty century. This poem in fact appeared in his collection called Xaiped, which was published in 1950, and at this time in history words like ““nigger” and kike” were commonly used by people, including e.e. cummings. I am trying to figure out the meaning of these  three poems, by e.e. cummings. I’ve read them over and over, but I’m still stuck on the words “nigger” and “kike”. I even had to look up the word “kike” and it means a racial slur for a Jewish person. I really just do not get it, maybe, I have the whole thing wrong, perhaps e.e. cumming was really trying to make a point about people in his era and their prejudice in his poetry, as he claims. Maybe, this poem was unintentional racism. However, many critics are not buying it.

Today, even Paula Dean has admitted that she has used the word “nigger.” One has to wonder with Paula Deen’s comment, if she by today’s standard is a racist. However, she has gone on to appeal to the public after being fired by the Food Network Channel, that she is not a racist by any means. To me when Paula Deen intentionally admitted to the world that she has used the  word “nigger” in the past, she was going to have major problems, especially since a majority of  the  African American community has supported her. This is a hard pill to swallow. I wish her luck on trying to get African American to support her again.

http://www.mediaite.com/online/paula-deen-releases-video-statement-addressing-use-of-n-word-plantation-costumes/

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Was The Movie Precious Helpful or Harmful to Viewers ?

In 2009, the movie called “Precious” came out at the box office; I and several of my coworkers were in a long awaited line to see the movie that everyone was raving about. Oscar’s nominations were being mention pertaining to this phenomenal movie based upon the novel “PUSH”. It was written by the author Sapphire and directed by Lee Daniels. I have read the book several times over the years before watching the movie its self. And each time that I have read it I would end up crying all over the place. Somehow with the movie, I did not find myself crying at all, this time, I found myself like the director Lee Daniel, dealing with the demons of my past through this movie. Lee Daniel is quoted as saying: “It brought back a feeling I had when I was 11 years old and living in the projects in Philly. I answered the door one day, and a neighbor of ours, a light-skinned black girl who was about five years old, was standing there naked and bleeding. She’d been beaten with an electrical cord. I looked in my mom’s eyes, and it was the first time I ever saw fear in her eyes. When I read Sapphire’s book, those memories came back, and I felt I have to deal with this.” Lee Daniels also mentioned that the only way that he could escape the abuse that he had endured as a child was to escape to an fantasy world, which is why he added the fantasy scene in the movie in which every time Precious is being abused she fantasizes about being a movie star or having a relationship with a cute man. This part was not in the book, how was added to the movie. http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2009/11/02/lee-daniels-brutal-truth.html
I must confess that I ‘m a book fanatic. I really enjoy reading a book before a movie or film comes out based upon a particular book. I’m glad that this give me enough time to see who are the main characters in the book, what is the style and finally the plot of the book. As I was doing my widespread research for this blog, I ran across a website in which the author Sapphire explained why her books character name “Push” had been changed for the movie to be called Precious. http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=120176695

As I was comparing the differences between novel character Push and the movie character Precious, I thought that the book version was more gritty and visual than the movie version. They both described a 16 year old over weighted illiterate teenager from Harlem, New York. (Push) Careece (Precious) Jones played by (Gabourey Sidibe) who lives in a low income housing unit with her over weighted jealous mother Mary (Mo’Nique) who is very mentally unstable. In addition, her mother Mary is sexually, physically, verbally, and emotionally, abusive to her only child Precious. Precious also has to endure being raped repeatedly and impregnated twice by her biological father, while her mother stands by and watches. By all standers in today’s world this act would be labeled as incest. The book goes further into detail of her mother’s sexual abuse, in which one night while PUSH was asleep her mother enters her bedroom and starts to engage in sexual relations by finger her. The movie did not show the sexual promiscuous part between mother and daughter, only between father and daughter. Perhaps if they would have out the sexual act between mother and daughter it might traumatize individuals that have been sexual assaulted by their mothers or other female caregivers. Here are a few clips of the movie Precious.

As I watched the movie from beginning to end, I wonder, why didn’t anyone know about the incest that both parents were inflicting upon Precious? Perhaps it was a family secret in which the father, mother and grandmother are the only ones that know the truth, yet the family chooses to allow it to continue, that is until the father dies of AIDS. The movie Precious give you a look at life and what most young African American who cannot read or write woman have to go through on a daily basis. They face poverty, homelessness, abuse, unemployment and so on. One would have to wonder what kept her from ending her life.
The movie contains many positive messages. The most important message for the audience to see and hear is the fact that Precious overcame her very traumatic experience with strength and grit in face of her tremendous adversity of a cruel life that she is left to deal with. Yes, she had help along the way with characters such as her alternative school teacher Miss Rain, who gets precious who has now contracted HIV from her father, to realize that because somebody cared about me enough is what changed things for me.

Another message that comes out loud and clear is that adults who were sexually assaulted as children are survivors and not victims. Furthermore, he or she is no longer bound by the past of incest, sexual assault, rape, and family’s lies and secrets. They now have victory in Jesus name.

The two well-known producers of this film are Tyler Perry and Oprah Whitney have let the world know that they were victims of childhood sexual assault, both emotional and mental abuse, they too can relate to “Precious” however, they choose later on in life as adult to expose their perpetrators. They are not alone; celebrities such as Sugar Ray Leonard, Queen Latifah, Donnie McClurkin are writing books and speaking in public about the person responsible of robbing their innocence as child, now as adults they are fighting back. http://sports.yahoo.com/news/boxing–sugar-ray-leonard-poster-child-fight-against-child-sex-abuse.html
http://www.statecollege.com/news/local-news/sugar-ray-leonard-talks-about-abuse-i-was-knocked-down-not-koed,1167463/

This movie because of its traumatic controversy is what I would consider to be raw reality. I grew up in Chicago. The city life is that of crime, homelessness, unemployable, uneducated, men, women, and children. Living in a big city, one would also witness underage young women and men prostituting themselves to support their drug habit. There are too many gangs and drug dealers to count on the streets of major cities around the United States. People are often seen running for their lives as someone decides to spray the whole area with a fire arm, killing innocent people in the process. More than ever mental ill individuals can be seen sleeping under cardboard boxes in broad daylight. If one were to look around you could also see a rate of young teenage girls getting pregnant as young as twelve years old. These is what I have saw and seen all my life. I too like Precious had experienced a lot in my life time; it was not to break me, but to make me the person that you see today.

Is it wrong for female teachers to become involved with younger male students?

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http://www.zimbio.com/The+50+Most+Infamous+Female+Teacher+Sex+Scandals

A STREETCAR NAMED DESIRE was written by Tennessee Williams. I have watched this play several times throughout the years. I loved the character Blanche Dubois, a former English teacher from Laurel, Mississippi, whom seemingly likes younger men to the point that she had an affair with one of her male student and was fired from her job. In one scene of the play, a young man stops by the Kowaskis’s to collect money for the newspapers that they receive. However, Blanche informs him that she doesn’t have any money to give him as she closes her coin purse. Then she suddenly asks the young man a question while hitting on him and proceeds to give him a kiss. After the kiss the young man departs the apartment. At this point of the movie, I was wondering, why did Blanch like younger men? In Blanche’s case, I think she likes younger men because she wanted to remain young, for long as possible. Perhaps her deceased husband was a young man also—the play never revealed her husband’s age.

In today’s world the question that comes to my mind is it wrong for female teachers to become involved with younger male students? I thought about it more, and in today’s society Blanche is not the only teacher that likes younger men and has become involved with male students. Over recent years, female school teachers have come under fire for getting involved with their younger male students. There are laws that say it is wrong, mainly when these young men are under the age of eighteen. One such memorable case is that of former school teacher Mary Kay Letourneau who had an affair with her 13 year old student Vili Fualaau. I have enclosed a website that talks about her ordeal of having become involved with this male student. http://www.biography.com/people/mary-kay-letourneau-9542379

After Mary Kay was release from prison, she had a child by Vili Fualaau and then later on they got married. http://www.biography.com/people/vili-fualaau-578410

As I was doing my research for my blog, I had discovered that there are 50 former female teachers that have been involved in sex scandals with their former male students. http://www.zimbio.com/The+50+Most+Infamous+Female+Teacher+Sex+Scandals/articles/oorQ5-LphQF/6+Nicole+Long

One has to wonder what could have driven these older women to become involved with a these younger male students. As I read many of the teacher stories, it became obvious that some of them had come from a broken homes, as a child, while others were in a bad marriages and some said that they prefer younger men than older men. Why would these women risk everything that they have and wind up in prison with a charge of child rape? Why would they risk being labeled a child molester and placed on a sex offender list for the rest of their lives? While others have been sentenced to years on probation, lose their job, family, home, income and their dignity. This is exactly what happened to Blanche Dubois; however, the laws were different back then as opposed to today’s law. In my research I also found video clips that alluded to these facts about female teachers.

Was it wrong for Langston Hughes to think that Jesus was an African American?

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I chose to do my blog on Langston Hughes (1902-1967). Langston Hughes is one of the best-known African American male writers of off all times. He has held many titles such as author, civil rights activist, protester, and poet. He not only had written poetry, he also has written plays, novels and short stories about music, war, lynching, racial segregation,historical African Americans which included Jesus and God. He has even written about religion. In many of his writings he has portrayed Jesus or God as being a black male. One of his most controversial poems called “Christ in Alabama” has been criticized over the years, and even today in our modern world, especially in the Christian community. One would have to wonder if Langston Hughes is wrong in thinking that Jesus was an African American. Or perhaps he was writing about some else?

http://www.english.illinois.edu/maps/poets/g_l/hughes/christ.htm  

Christ in Alabama

Christ is a nigger,

Beaten and black:

Oh, bare your back!

 

Mary is His mother:

Mammy of the South,

Silence your mouth.

 

God is His father:

White Master above

Grant Him your love.

 

Most holy bastard

Of the bleeding mouth,

    Nigger Christ

    On the cross

    Of the South.

 

In this poem it seemed to me as if Langston is writing about his perception of Christ as being a black man.  I often wonder myself if Jesus is in fact black. When I was younger my parents had pictures of Jesus being African American all over our home.  Today, many African American churches and organizations are convinced that Jesus was a black man; some have even interrupted that his hair being the texture of wool could mean only one thing, that he was black. Here are a few clips that give an example of such beliefs.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=khXWDWB4G54

For example, my own church has a bookstore that sells everything from fans to books and other religious affirmation with images of an African American Christ displayed on them. One would have to wonder if my church is being bias or being racist when it comes to the color of Jesus. Is my church trying to fit Jesus into a mold for the African American community? Yet, we have a diversity of churchgoers that include Caucasian worshipers, is this fair too them?  I often wonder how this make them feel, and why haven’t any of them confronted our “Holy Than Thou Art” fellow church board members.

 One day my friend Debbie asked her to visit her church, and when I entered their huge sanctuary the first thing that I saw was a Giant picture of a white Jesus. One could literally imagine the look on my face. It was that day that I asked her what color she thought that Jesus was and she said white of course. I then asked her how she knew that Jesus is white. She said that is what she has been taught all of life that Jesus could be no other color but Caucasian. And I had been taught the same thing that Jesus is black. Could it be that I too am like so many of my fellow church members and bias in my viewpoint on the color of Jesus? Over the years, I had begun to visit different churches and found out that Jesus is a different color to different faiths.Could Jesus be multicolored?  Or could some of us be colorblind and see no color at all. I often times ask myself does it really matter what color Jesus really is.  In today standards, I would be off the mark because there are people that will never believe that a Jew could be black. And there are some individuals that still believe that Egypt is not located in Africa.

 Today, the color of Jesus skin does matter to certain religious faith.  Some people even believe that if Jesus is not the color of their chose, they would rather go to Hell than to go to Heaven. I had a friend that told me this joke. He said, there were two friends that both died on the same day. They both stood outside of heaven gates and argued over what color God was.  And then they gates swung open and a loud voice said in Spanish you are both wrong, I’m Hispanic.

As I ponder over this poem, I was trying to find out the real meaning behind why Langston Hughes had written “Christ in Alabama”, after all we are right now living in the state of Alabama and it was not that long ago that slavery and Christianity were apart and still today are a part of our American history. So with that in mind, I found two articles that stated that Langston Hughes was basically using this controversial poem as metaphor to address the poor black slaves in Alabama who represent Jesus in the segregated south. They were oppressed by a white salve master; who was all, over them all the time and in the end Christ is symbolically killed by the racist South.

http://business.highbeam.com/4776/article-1G1-16553537/collected-poems-langston-hughes

 http://www.angelfire.com/freak/lizchan/christ.html

 

In today’s society the world is filled with images of Jesus. One’s own interpretation the color of Jesus’s skin has been and still is a hot debated topic for years and continues on into 2013.  Langston Hughes, through his writings, provoked a sting in the Christian community, to the point that critics tried to call him an Atheist. However, in order for Langston Hughes to have been atheistic, he would not cared what color Jesus was because atheist individual do not believe in Jesus, thus his color is irrelevant.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

RRP1696506_20100505

 My November Guest

My Sorrow, when she’s here with me,
Thinks these dark days of autumn rain
Are beautiful as days can be; She loves the bare, the withered tree;
She walks the sodden pasture lane.

Her pleasure will not let me stay.
She talks and I am fain to list:
She’s glad the birds are gone away,
She’s glad her simple worsted grey
Is silver now with clinging mist.

The desolate, deserted trees,
The faded earth, the heavy sky,
The beauties she so truly sees,
She thinks I have no eye for these,
And vexes me for reason why.

Not yesterday I learned to know
The love of bare November days
Before the coming of the snow,
But it were vain to tell her so,
And they are better for her praise

 

 

Robert Frost’s poem, “My November Guest,” is a poem that I had heard read many years ago at a poetry event. This is where I met my best friend Dawn Johnson. Dawn was a fan of Robert Frost; I on the other hand, knew nothing about Robert Frost. After hearing this poem recited by a local poetic artist, I had decided to read it for myself. After reading this poem, I assumed that Robert Frost was writing about a relationship between a man and woman that was about to end in a sorrowful way in the month of November. While reading this poem, I had discovered that Robert Frost used nature as a symbol to describe the outside climate in which he wrote: “the dark autumn rain, withered trees, and sodden pasture lanes.” I thought that this was the reason that he had used the month of November as a transition for the ending of the fall season and preparation of winter. Perhaps it is during this period that the male lover described his pain and misery of not being able to let go of his girlfriend. In return, his girlfriend tried to get him to see that it is over between the two of them and that it was time for them to both move on and go their separate ways. During my research on Robert Frost, I came across an interesting video clip called “My November Guest” by Robert Frost (read by Tom O’Bedlam).  

 I also found a video on YouTube that alluded to the poem as being about a couple in a relationship; it is called: My November Guest – Short Film:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f-CA 9KYSxqE  

After I previewed this video, I still had in my mind that Robert Frost was definitely talking about a couple being in a painful relationship.

But as I began to read the poem over again, I literally changed my mind. The first line began to speak volumes to me. It says, “My sorrow, when she is here with me”. So the word “sorrow” is really not a woman; I believe that it is a metaphor that represents a woman. I also noticed that Frost used the word “sorrow” throughout his poem for the readers to gradually understand that some people are unhappy during the winter months, in which people tend to get depressed, moody, and sad. I do believe that Robert Frost explained this concept in the poem “My November Guest” in which the month of November is the guest that will no longer be there once the uninvited guest of winter takes over.

As I reread his poem for the second time around, another poem popped into my head called “Sorry”. It was written by Ntozake Shange in which Janet Jackson recited it in the movie called “For Colored Girls”:

“sorry”

one thing i don’t need
is any more apologies
i got sorry greetin me at my front door
you can keep yrs
i don’t know what to do wit em
they dont open doors
or bring the sun back
they dont make me happy
or get a mornin paper
didnt nobody stop usin my tears to wash cars
cuz a sorry

 

i am simply tired
of collectin
i didnt know
i was so important toyou
i’m gonna haveta throw some away
i cant get to the clothes in my closet
for alla the sorries
i’m gonna tack a sign to my door
leave a message by the phone
‘if you called
to say yr sorry
call somebody

else
i dont use em anymore’
i let sorry/ didnt meanta/ & how cd i know abt that
take a walk down a dark & musty street in brooklyn
i’m gonna do exactly what i want to
& i wont be sorry for none of it
letta sorry soothe yr soul/ i’m gonna soothe mine

you were always inconsistent
doin somethin & then bein sorry
beatin my heart to death
talkin bout you sorry
well
i will not call
i’m not goin to be nice
i will raise my voice
& scream & holler
& break things & race the engine
& tell all yr secrets bout yrself to yr face
& i will list in detail everyone of my wonderful lovers
& their ways
i will play oliver lake
loud
& i wont be sorry for none of it

i loved you on purpose
i was open on purpose
i still crave vulnerability & close talk
& i’m not even sorry bout you bein sorry
you can carry all the guilt & grime ya wanna
just dont give it to me
i cant use another sorry
next time
you should admit
you’re mean/ low-down/ triflin/ & no count straight out
steada bein sorry alla the time
enjoy bein yrself

http://www.afropoets.net/ntozakeshange6.html >

In Robert Frost’s poem, “November’s Guest,” the term “sorrow” is a term in which many people can relate to the poem with understanding. I can remember how my best friend Dawn  loved this poem. In 2010, Dawn committed suicide.  She always complained about the winter months and how she hated them because they made her feel so depressed and lonely. Dawn called it a winter of despair. She never made it to see 2011. She always said that “sorrow” was all she had dealt with her whole life.

http://www.legacy.com/obituaries/rrstar/obituary.aspx?n=dawn-johnson&pid=142501658

 

 

Who Is Al Sharpton?

                                           Photo by Rodney Pike

Parades, pickets, demonstrations, marches, rallies, protests, boycotts — the Revered Al Sharpton has done it all. He is one of the most power African American leaders of today.  Whenever something bad happens in the African American community, the first person that the overall African American people and black community leaders want on their side is that of Al Sharpton. He was born October 3, 1954, in Brooklyn, New York, as Alfred Charles Sharpton Jr.  In 2004, he ran as  candidate for the Democratic nomination for the U.S. presidential election—in which he lost. Nonetheless, this civil rights leader is also a powerhouse social justice activist with  a radio and television show. http://nationalactionnetwork.net/about/staff/rev-al-sharpton/

Over the years, Al Sharpton has been under attack from the White House to the IRS. But nevertheless, he is the BMIC (black man in charge) to go to—for the African American community living in the U.S. He is the HNIC (head negro in charge) who is not afraid to say what is on his mind. He is a man that will stand up for social change and injustice in which he has been known to publicly protest and rally on the behalf of important causes throughout the United States, such as the charge of murder especially against that of young African American males.  For many years he has been in the public’s eye as being an overweight, obnoxious loud mouth and a know-it-all. His hair has always been a part of his character; he seemly likes it wavy. In the past, he has written books; one can add author to his growing list of accolades. But today, he has lost a lot of weight, is currently dating a young woman half his age, and has recently written a new book called “The Rejected Stone: Al Sharpton and the Path to American Leadership.” One can read more about his new book at the following websites: http://newsone.com/2734079/al-sharpton-book/  http://www.nydailynews.com/news/politics/al-sharpton-exclusive-book-excerpts-article-1.1468678 http://aalbc.com/authors/al-sharpton.html

I can personally remember when a young man was gunned down in the House of Grace church daycare center where children and staff members were present. It happened in 2009. Eyewitnesses that were in the church at the time of the shooting, said that the young man ran into the church and went into a closet in which he was hiding when the Rockford Police officers entered the premises. Several accounts were given as to what actually happed that day. According to the officers, the suspect struggled with one of the officers before being shot to death. Nevertheless, eyewitnesses stated that the victim, Anthony Barmore, came out of the closet with both of his arms in the air, when suddenly two police officers opened fire on him without due cause. According to police, they were justified in killing an unarmed man. The African American community rallied for justices for days.

The African American community called on the top pastors of the churches throughout the Rockford community to do something about this twenty-three year old man being killed in cold blood. We also cried out to black community leaders to seek justice against these officers for using such deadly force against the victim. The city desperately needed to hear from the Rockford leaders, such as the Mayor and the chief of the police department. We wanted to hear from Al Sharpton about this injustice. Even though the community did not see Al Sharpton come out and support the family or the community of this young man, he did send a letter to the church on his behalf.

A couple of websites reported on this terrible tragedy: http://aapoliticalpundit.blogspot.com/2009/08/deadly-daycarechurch-shooting-rockford.html

http://communistpartyillinois.blogspot.it/2009/09/shot-dead-in-rockford-church-day-care.html

A broadcast of the news can be found in this video:  “Police kill an African American in the midwest near Chicago”

No one would have thought that in 2012, a 17-year-old African American high school student, by the name of Trayvon Martin, would be shot by George Zimmerman in Sanford, Florida. It seemed that more and more of our young African American men were being killed on the streets. Given this fact about today’s young black males whose lives have been cut short, I strongly believe that this is one of the reasons why Al Sharpton became so strongly involved with this case.

I have included a couple of websites in which Al Sharpton is one black man who is not to be messed with when it comes to a terrible injustice against society’s black young males.

http://www.csmonitor.com/USA/USA-Update/2013/0721/Trayvon-Martin-rallies-Has-Al-Sharpton-gone-mainstream-video

When I first heard of the tragic case involving Trayvon Martin, I was shocked and in disbelief. I could not understand how an individual who admitted to shooting a teenager to death was never arrested. I wondered what kind of legal system we were dealing with that would allow a person to shoot another individual and not be held responsible for it. Hundreds of people from all walks of life joined in the fight to see that justice was done on behalf of Trayvon. People came together in hopes of making sure that an incident like this would never happen again.

Al Sharpton had something to say as he joined in the fight on Youtube:  “Al Sharpton full speech. Trayvon Martin Rally NYC 7/20/13”

When it came to Zimmerman’s trial, I will have to admit that I had taken the time to get glimpses of George Zimmerman’s second-degree murder trial in the case of Trayvon Martin. Here is day 13, the last day of the trial called: “George Zimmerman Trial – Day 13 – Part 1 (Closing Arguments)”

When the verdict came in as not guilty, I was shocked and in disbelief that he had gotten away with murder. The public said the same thing about OJ Simpson and that the legal system once again failed the American people.  Some of my friends said that the verdict did not come as a shock to them. But Rev. Al Sharpton assured the family, community, pastors, and black leaders, that it wasn’t over until the fat lady sings. Sharpton was quoted as saying: “They took his life, but we can’t let them take his legacy.” (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/04/11/al-sharpton-trayvon-martin-judgment_n_1419043.html)

Here are the various websites that featured Sharpton after the verdict of George Zimmerman:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/04/11/al-sharpton-trayvon-martin-judgment_n_1419043.html

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/03/27/al-sharpton-trayvon-martin-msnbc-activism_n_1381913.html

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/03/23/al-sharpton-trayvon-martin-rally_n_1374975.html

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/03/21/al-sharpton-trayvon-martin-rally_n_1370301.html

Despite his support in the African American community, I know that some critics have said that Rev. Sharpton is racist. In the trial of George Zimmerman, Sharpton wanted to play the role of role of judge, jury and executioner while his critics said he should have been more in tune to the facts presented in the case. Others have said Sharpton will only protest for African American people and not Caucasian or Hispanics who also face social injustice in the United States.  In fact, when a white man named Chris Lane was killed, he did not do any protesting on behalf of this Caucasian victim, nor did Al Sharpton do anything to seek justice for the family or the white community. Furthermore, it has been stated that he will only become involved with a case and protest when money is involved in which he will be reward for his part in bringing injustice to the light. Could these critics have a point? And how does Sharpton respond to this claim? Here is an article called, “Al Sharpton Not Protesting Chris Lane Murder Because ‘The System Worked”: http://www.inquisitr.com/919580/al-sharpton-not-protesting-chris-lane-murder-because-the-system-worked/

I also found this YouTube video in which Al Sharpton defends himself as not being a racist on the issue of Chris Lane: “ Al Sharpton On Chris Lane Killing: Nothing To Protest Because It Was”

Looking from both sides of the coin, I feel that Al Sharpton over the years has been a great source of strength to the African American community, in spite of the negative publicly that he has received over the years. He has been asked more that any other African American leader to represent the African American community as a whole and that alone has to speak volumes, in which I will gladly accept. I think that Al Sharpton will continue to fight for justices until the day that he take his last breath, despite disliked by so many people.

why wasn’t Ida B. Wells-Barnett embraced by Susan B. Anthony and the other white count partners in the women’s suffrage movement? And why did they have to protest separately, if they were marching for the same cause?

photo by: http://www.idabwells.org/

The women’s suffrage movement has been part of the American history for centuries. Many people tend to believe that African American women didn’t contribute to the women suffrage movement in the United States. This is far from the truth. According to the National Women’s History Museum, article called “African Women and Suffrage”: many African American women were highly active in the woman suffrage movement and they were supports of women’s rights. Today, the question that comes to many of today’s African American women is: Even though Ida B. Wells-Barnett was a great support for the women suffrage movement which involved Susan B. Anthony, then why wasn’t Ida B. Wells-Barnett embraced by Susan B. Anthony and the other white count partners in women’s suffrage movement? And why did they have to protest separately, if they were marching for the same cause?

The African Women and Suffrage Movement   article went on to state that for centuries African American women have in fact been a part of the movement from the very start—right  along with Caucasian women. Pioneers such as  Sojourner Truth,  Ida Bell Wells-Barnett, Mary Eliza Church Terrell, Mary Ann Shadd Cary, Nannie Helen Burroughs, Frances Ellen Watkins Harper, Daisy Elizabeth Adams Lampkin. Many Historians have reported that in the 1880s and 1890s, African American alongside their white counterparts, began to form woman’s clubs. These clubs included the women suffrage as part of their programs. Out of these clubs came the: The National Association of Colored Women (NACW), founded by Wells-Barnett. The National Baptist Woman’s Convention, and in 1913 Wells-Barnett founded the first African American women club called the Alpha Suffrage Club of Chicago. She also established several notable women’s organizations such as The National Afro-American Council. Wells also formed the Women’s Era Club, the first civic organization for African-American women. This later was named the Ida B. Wells Club, in honor of its founder.

The article also made mentioned to the fact that even though black women supported and help the

National American Woman Suffrage Association (NAWSA), they were often discriminated against and told that they could not join each other clubs for the cause, it had to be black and white women separated all the way down the line. In that same year in a demonstration that took place in Washington D.C., both white women and black women were also told that they had to march separately. The Caucasian women would march in front while the African American women would march from behind. To Ida this was nonsense. I could really see her point of view. If I were invited by the NAWSA to come an participate in this huge protest and I had come from a long distance to get there and then when I arrive, I’m told to step to back. Is this not a Jim Crow law that was taking place right there in Washington D.C. not Birmingham, Alabama?  I would be upset also. I too would make a stand at this point. And that is exactly what she did.

http://www.nwhm.org/online-exhibits/rightsforwomen/AfricanAmericanwomen.html

During my investigation, I came across two YouTube videos that demonstrate why Well-Barnett became involved with the women’s suffrage movement. I truly hope that these documentaries will shed light on the women who influence such a historical moment in history in which women of both colors are fighting for their right to vote in the United Sates. The first video is called Ida B Wells- Women’s rights:   

The second one is: Women Suffrage Documentary:

I also found this interesting article called: “Ida Wells-Barnett confronts race and gender discrimination.” This article describes what to place when the women’s suffrage crusade paraded on Washington in 1913 in which Ida did an act that stun both white and black women and society in general at this period of time frame. She actually came out of nowhere to the front of the line and began marching with two Caucasian women. This was her Kodak moment.

http://www.lib.niu.edu/1996/iht319630.html

Furthermore, I have stumbled across many articles on African American women and the female suffrage movement, however, none of those articles showed evidence showing where both black and white women walked side by side during a demonstration. Then, I finally, found a website that showed a one picture of two African American Women and several Caucasian women marching together in New York City. This picture actually made me confused, because I was led to believe, by the many articles I had read on many websites that pointed out that black women and white women did not rally together during the suffrage crusade. Is this not a contradiction somewhere in our history?

http://www.history.com/topics/women-who-fought-for-the-vote/photos#

Alas! During my research on Ida Well-Barnett and the African America women’s suffrage movement, I was looking for proof that would support the claim that the suffrage movement was not created equally among the two sets of women who were both fighting for the rights of women to vote. There was Ida B. Wells-Barnett on one side of coin and then we had Susan B. Anthony on the other side. She was once quoted as saying, “I will cut off this right arm of mine before I will ever work or demand the ballot for the Negro and not the woman.”

http://www.wesleyan.edu/mlk/posters/suffrage.html

If what Susan B. Anthony said is true, then she truly did not embrace her fellow African American support which would have included Ida B. Wells-Barnett. It was noted that they were friends and respected each other. With all that being said , Ida had been featured in dozens of local and national newspapers and magazines, and someday, she  would s leave behind a legacy, she was never accepted by Caucasian women in the north or south, she was just another black woman who fought for the right to vote.

Most Historians have document in several sources that in 1920 both white and black women in the United States won the right to vote, however it wasn’t until 1960, that African Women could truly vote.  But This time around African American woman had a great voice thanks to Ida B. Wells and other African American’s that have paved the way.

Could Mark Twain been right about preachers?

l,kpo http://fmojoey.blogspot.com/

It has often been said that Mark Twain frequently made fun of preachers or their sermons. He also made negative comments about them in his book called “The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn.” Here is a famous quote from this book about preachers: He was a preacher, too… and never charged nothing for his preaching, and it was worth it, too.”

http://www.richardsnotes.org/archives/2010/04/12/mark-twain-quotations/

In his book, he eludes to the fact that they are impostors or con men claiming to be preachers. According to the Olympia Brown Unitarian Universalist Church, Mark Twain once said:

I once heard a preacher who was powerful good. I decided to give him every cent I had with me. But he kept it too long. Ten minutes later I decided to keep the bills and five him my loose change. Another ten minutes and I was darned if I’d give him anything at all. Then, when he finally stopped, and the plate came around, I was so exhausted, it all goes to show how a little thing like this can lead to a crime.

http://www.obuuc.org/pdfs/sermon_ever_the_twain.pdf

Is there a possibility that he could have been right? If one looks back over history with today’s leading preachers, also known as pastors, there have been many scandals involving society’s so-called preachers. These preachers or pastors have done everything from money laundering to unforgettable sex scandals that have rocked today’s church. Can anyone remember these so called preachers in the 70’s, 80,’ 90s’, and 2000s? Now let’s fast-forward it to 2013.

Over the years many pastors with mega churches have also gained our attention through TV and other means of mass communication in which point to the fact that mega-church pastors have been or are currently being investigated by the IRS. There are allegations of several pastors in the United States owning very expensive luxury cars, homes, boats and private jets. As I was searching the Internet for sources that would verify what has been document for the public evidence, in which I came across one such article called: “Senator Probes Megachurches’ Finances”: http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=16860611

Could once again Mark Twain theory be right?  Today, a great number of pastors are using their title and congregation to live out extravagant lifestyles at the expense of others. As I was watching a premiere of a new reality show called; “Preachers of LA” the show is going to air in October. The shows clips were tiny glimpse of what is in store for season. I decided to see what other bloggers on You Tube were  saying about the new show based on pimps, I mean pastors, who are rich and famous: here is one the of clips from YouTube. One is called “Real Millionaire Preachers of LA [Pastors Living Lavishly]”

Come take a walk with me down memory lane to the year 1970 when Jim Jones, the leader and founder of Peoples Temple, lead over 900 hundred innocent men, women and children to their death. Now let’s look at the 80’s, in which the famous televangelist Jim Baker was involved with a scandal of funds from his televised ministry and reportedly raped his young secretary. With his fall from grace, he ended up settling out of court with his secretary; however, when it came to the charge of stealing millions of dollars from the Christian community, he wasn’t so lucky. In fact, he ended up doing the sentence of four years in a federal prison.

 Many people would like to know what Jim Baker has been doing since he has been released from prison. According to an article called, “Disgraced televangelist Jim Bakker now selling ENEMA KITS and apocalyptic survivalist gear to his followers to help make up money he owes to the IRS” (Daily Mail), it would seem like nothing has changed with him very much over the years. I’ll take that back, with his current wife, we don’t all see a boat-load of makeup on her  face. I have to mention this; it seems Tammy Faye Baker has a twin running around by the name of Jan Crouch. She is the co-founder of Trinity Broadcasting Network. I read an article which stated that the owners of Trinity Broad casting Network, Paul and Jan Crouch were having major problems. The author Steve Stang in his article stated: “Why Paul and Jan Crouch Can’t Escape Accountability” http://www.charismanews.com/opinion/38695-why-paul-and-jan-crouch-cant-escape-accountability

Trinity Broadcasting Network again has been in the new with allegations of a scandal. Take a look at this YouTube video called: BN | TBN SCANDAL | TBN EXPOSED | Trinity Broadcasting Network

Does the name Jimmy Swaggart sound familiar?  A large number of people probably wouldn’t recall his name, but for the ones who do, let’s enlighten those that do not know of him. He was involved with an IRS scandal, several lawsuits and in 1988, the televangelist preacher was said to have been in a sex scandal with a prostitute. I found this in an article on the internet that was featured in People Magazine back in 1988 (People Magazine: http://www.people.com/people/archive/article/0,,20098413,00.html). Jim Swaggart’s most famous words on national television can be seen on this video: http://www.youtube.com/embed/pCpeeaIfF9c

His famous words were: “I have sinned.” The sad part is that the prostitute said that even though she saw him on a regular basis they never did actually sleep together—they only talked while he was looking at her breast: I found two website to support her claim :Warning!!! Contain graphic picture: http://www.apnewsarchive.com/1988/Former-Prostitute-Returns-Home-After-Swaggart-Saga/id-dd1dc6bdf68b4dac44a027b2953ae756:

http://maggiemcneill.wordpress.com/2011/10/11/none-of-your-business/

Another sad thing, that later came out in 1991, was that he was pulled over by police after he was seen picking up yet another known prostitute. I found two very interesting website that confirms this allegation toward Swaggart. The two web links are: http://www.spiritwatch.org/fireswag1.htm  and http://articles.philly.com/keyword/jimmy-swaggart

Could he have been picking her up to counsel her about being a street walker?  Apparently no one was buying it either.

In 1998 there was an article written by Randall Balmer in which the author described what Jimmy Swaggert had to said ten years later, the article is called “Still Wrestling with the Devil: A visit with Jimmy Swaggart ten years after his fall.” To view these articles go to http://www.ctlibrary.com/ct/1998/march2/8t3030.html

I wonder what Jimmy Swagger is doing now since he has been dethroned from his own pulpit. Take a look at what he has been up to on YouTube for this year: Frances and Friends with guest Jimmy Swaggart 2/26/2013 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aCXdG52PlWI

It would seem that Jimmy Swaggart isn’t the only preacher or pastor that has been involved in sex scandals according to numerous media and internet websites there are plenty of former or current pastors out there at the present time. Nowadays, we have read about a pastor that has been involved with a woman or a series of women or men.

Here are a few of websites that I have decided to share with you:

4 Pastors at Virginia’s ROC Megachurch Resign Amid Swirling Sexual Assault Allegations: http://www.christianpost.com/news/4-pastors-at-virginias-roc-megachurch-resign-amid-swirling-sexual-assault-allegations-97444/

Dirty Dozen: 12 Biggest Christian Evangelist Sex Scandals of 21st Century:  http://www.justprove.it/blog/12-biggest-christian-evangelist-sex-scandals/

Bishop Eddie Long marched with hundreds on Peach Tree Street in downtown Atlanta, GA, announcing that they were taking back their Sodom-and-Gomorrah city from all forms of homosexuality, in the name of Jesus Christ. It wasn’t too long after that incident, that four young men came forward and told all of Atlanta and the world that they had slept with their beloved pastor when they were teenagers. I would like to share with video clip made by ABC in conjunction with the allegations against Bishop Eddie Long One is titled “Anti-Homosexuality Pastor Faces Accusations of Sexual Misconduct”:http://abcnews.go.com/US/bishop-eddie-long-accused-sex-abuse-fourth-alleged/story?id=11721548

As I continued to do my research on Bishop Eddie Long I also came across another video clip which involved more information about his sex scandal charges with men, only this time this YouTube video showed two of his male victims—take a look at what they had to say about their former pastor: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Orn2Pc-dn_8

As an African American Christian it deeply hurts me to see so many African American preachers or pastors who are engrossed in such misconduct, that it tends to make other good pastors look equally as bad who are innocent of any wrongdoing. Today, our fallen black preachers are now placed in newspapers and their faces are plastered all over the internet. Their name and reputation destroyed. I ran across several website that eluded to this fact. One article title “5 ‘God Soldiers’ Who Fell From Grace” at:

http://newsone.com/2040828/black-pastors-scandal/

It took me by storm when a female pastor that I look up to confessed that she had slept with women in her past. Pastor Juanita Bynum said that was in her past. Take a look at her public confession at http://www.pittsburghurbanmedia.com/Pastor-Juanita-Bynum-Says-That-She-Has-Slept-with-Women/

However, in the African American community, her confession drew media spotlight to the fact that maybe she is bisexual. Some critics even said she never liked men in the first place. This is the type of drama that comes with being a preacher in today’s society. The question that come to my mind and perhaps other Christians would like to know, if theses pastors can be restored after so devastation in their lives. My nephew has a tattoo on his arm that says, “Only God Can Judge Me.” We as a society especially those of us that are Christian say that we are willing to forgive, but we never can seem to forget.

Why Did Several Poems Written by Walt Whitman Have Homosexual Themes If He Was Not Gay? (Redone)

Image

 

http://rictornorton.co.uk/whitman.htm (photo)

 

Most scholars have debated over the years about Walt Whitman’s sexual orientation. Many have called him the greatest gay free verse writer of all time.  Historians have said over and over that Walt Whitman wrote about male lovers in many of his poems and that many of the poems indicated a timeless romantic relationship with men throughout his career.  Due to his controversial sexuality, in a great number of his poems he is often believed to have been gay, based on interpretation of his poetry.

According to the author Alan Helms who wrote an article called “Whitman’s “Live Oak with Moss” stated the fowling information: Almost forty years ago, while working on Whitman’s manuscripts for the third edition of Leaves of Grass, Fredson Bowers discovered that twelve of the poems had originally formed a sequence entitled “Live Oak with Moss,” which tells the story of Whitman’s unhappy love affair with a man. The author Helms declared that Walt Whitman “in his past works of poetry have include the topic of same sex involvement. According to Alan Helms, “Live Oak with Moss”, is indeed a story about Walt Whitman’s love affair with a man who he is very fond of, but yet his lover ends up abandoning him. However, critics have not taken upon themselves to explore this documentation further.

Furthermore, the author Helms noted that throughout Whitman’s 45 poems which include “Live Oak”   are written  in a manner that is suggestive to the fact that he includes a great deal of poems based on his sexuality.

http://www.whitmanarchive.org/criticism/current/anc.00154.html          

Throughout his poetry, Whitman wrote themes about the Civil war, politics, slavery, patriotism, but he also wrote about themes pertaining to his love affairs, heartbreak and his experience with men. It has also been noted throughout history that Oscar Wilder’s famous recollection of Walt Whitman was when Walt kissed him; he stated: “The kiss of Walt Whitman is still on my lips.”According to the author Rictor Norton, in 1925, it had been discovered that the original hand-written manuscript of the poem called “Once I Pass’d Through A Populous City” in which Whitman had reversed the sex of the man to a woman in order for it to look presentable to the public. The original poem stated the following:

Once I Pass’d Through A Populous City

Once I pass’d through a populous city imprinting my brain
for future use with its shows, architecture, customs,

tradition,

Yet now of all that city I remember only a man I casually

met there who detained me for love of me,

Day by day and night by night we were together — all else

has long been forgotten by me,

I remember I saw only that man who passionately clung to

me,

Again we wander, we love, we separate again,

Again he holds me by the hand, I must not go,

see him close beside me with silent lips sad and

tremulous.

The author Norton stated that the original poem perhaps is Whitman first homosexual experience in which he did not fully understand the implications of him being with a man. Needless to say, the writer goes on to give an account of Whitman coming out in a confessional poem in which Walt Whitman stated:

I share the midnight orgies of young men . . .
I pick out some low person for my dearest friend,
He shall be lawless, rude, illiterate, he shall be condemned by others for deeds done,
I will play a part no longer, why should I exile myself from my companions?

Furthermore, the writer Rictor Norton noted that Whitman also wrote notebooks about his sexual encounters with men from different ages and backgrounds the notebook listed stated the following information:

Whitman’s notebooks of this period are filled with at least 150 such entries and  descriptions of bus drivers, ferry-boat men, and other “rude, illiterate” men that he met — picked up is really the only accurate word for it — in the streets of Manhattan, and “slept with,” often keeping notes of their home addresses. Excerpts from his Notebooks have been collected in Charley Shively’s Calamus Lovers: Walt Whitman’s Working Class Camerados (Gay Sunshine Press, 1987):

  • Peter — large, strong-boned young fellow, driver. . . . I liked his refreshing wickedness, as it would be called by the orthodox.
  • George Fitch — Yankee boy — Driver . . . Good looking, tall, curly haired, black-eyed fellow
  • Saturday night Mike Ellis — wandering at the corner of Lexington av. & 32d st. — took him home to 150 37th street, — 4th story back room — bitter cold night
  • Wm Culver, boy in bath, aged 18
  • Dan’l Spencer . . . somewhat feminine . . . slept with me Sept 3d
  • Theodore M Carr — came to the house with me
  • James Sloan (night of Sept 18 ’62) 23rd year of age — plain homely, American
  • John McNelly night Oct 7 young man, drunk, walk’d up Fulton& High st. home
  • David Wilson — night of Oct. 11 ’62, walking up from Middagh — slept with me
  • Horace Ostrander Oct. 22 ’62 — about 28 yr’s of age — slept with him Dec 4th ’62
  • October 9, 1863, Jerry Taylor, (NJ.) of 2d dist reg’t slept with me last night weather soft, cool enough, warm enough, heavenly.

The author Rictor Norton also make references to the fact that Walt Whitman in 1866 met Peter Doyle, a nineteen-year-old bus conductor in Washington D.C. Peter Doyle stated the following words: “We were familiar at once — I put my hand on his knee — we understood.” It was this statement that has critics arguing over what Whitman really meant. In addition to this statement, Norton noted that Doyle was also quoted as saying:

I never knew a case of Walt’s being bothered up by a woman. In fact, he had nothing special to do with any woman except Mrs. O’Connor and Mrs. Burroughs [his landlady and housekeeper]. His disposition was different. Woman in that sense never came into his head. Walt was too clean; he hated anything which was not clean. No trace of any kind of dissipation in him. I ought to know about him those years — we were awful close together.

http://rictornorton.co.uk/whitman.htm

If what Peter Doyle has said is true, then the rumor of Walt Whitman having 6 legitimate children would be false.  In my research, I have not come across an article that specifically eluded to the fact that he was ever romantically involved with a woman. It has not proven to be a fact. I have read many articles that pointed out that Walt Whitman kissed and went to bed with several men throughout his lifetime. Some report that he did not try to hide the fact that he was gay, while others state that he was afraid to come out of the closet. I do believe that Walt Whitman was in fact gay, however, you must consider the time frame of the nineteenth century in which homosexuality was viewed as being a taboo and the consequence of a man publicly acknowledging in the open that he is gay was not heard of in that timeframe, as it is in today’s world. In essence, the nineteenth century prevented him from telling the world that the great American poet was in fact gay, and perhaps by incorporating homosexuality into his poetry was the only way he could express himself. 

As I was finishing my research, I came across two more poems in which I also found two video clips called: “We Two Boys Together” and “When I Heard at the Close of the Day”.  The videos are on YouTube and I thought you might enjoy them, so they are hyperlinked in this blog.

 

 WE TWO BOYS TOGETHER CLINGING

We two boys together clinging

One the other never leaving
Up and down the roads going, North and South excursions making,
Power enjoying, elbows stretching, fingers clutching,
Arm’d and fearless, eating, drinking, sleeping, loving,
No law less than ourselves owning, sailing, soldiering, thieving, threatening,
Misers, menials, priests alarming, air breathing, water drinking, on the turf or the sea-beach

dancing,
Cities wrenching, ease scorning, statutes mocking, feebleness chasing,

Fulfilling our foray.
Video:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4JNWADyTZDg

 

When I heard at the Close of the Day
When I heard at the close of the day how I had
been praised in the Capitol, still it was not
a happy night for me that followed,
And else when I caroused nor when my favorite plans were
accomplished was I really happy,
But the day when I arose at dawn from the perfect
health, electric, inhaling sweet breath
When I saw the full moon in the west grow pale and
disappear in the morning light,
When I wandered alone over the beach, and undressing, bathed,
laughing with the waters, and saw the sun rise,
And when I thought how my friend, my lover, was on
his way coming, then O I was happy,
Each breath tasted sweeter and all that day my food
nourished me more and the beautiful day passed well,
And the next came with equal joy and with the next,
at evening, came my friend,
And that night while all was still I heard the waters roll
slowly continually up the shores,
I heard the hissing rustle of the liquid and sands, as directed
to me, whispering to congratulate me,
For the friend I love lay sleeping by my side,
In the stillness his face was inclined toward me, while the
moon’s clear beams shone
And his arm lay lightly over my breast and that night I was happy.

 

 Video:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R3vHZ56xqHg    

With all the information that I have gathered in my research, this has led me to believe that America’s beloved poet was, in fact, gay.

Why did several poems written by Walt Whitman have homosexual themes if he was not gay?

 

Image

Most scholars have debated over the years about Walt Whitman sexual orientation calling him the great gay free verse writer of all time. It said has over and over that Walt Whitman in many of his poems that he had wrote were about his male lovers in which his poems indicated a timeless romantic relationship with men throughout his career.  Due to his controversial sexuality in a great number of his poems he is often believed to have been gay, based on interpretation of his poetry.

According to the author Alan Helms how wrote an article called “Whitman’s “Live Oak with Moss” stated the fowling information: Almost forty years ago, while working on Whitman’s manuscripts for the third edition of Leaves of Grass, Fredson Bowers discovered that twelve of the poems had originally formed a sequence entitled “Live Oak with Moss,” which tells the story of Whitman’s unhappy love affair with a man. The author Helms declared that Walt Whitman “in his past works of poetry have include the topic of same sex involvement. According to Alan Helms, “Live Oak with Moss”, is indeed a story about Walt Whitman’s love affair with a man who he is very fond of, but yet his lover ends up abandoning him. However, critics have not taken upon themselves to explore this documentation further.

Furthermore, the author Helms noted that throughout Whitman’s 45 poems which include “Live Oak”   are written  in a manner that is suggestive to the fact that he includes a great deal of poems based on his sexuality.

Throughout his poetry, Whitman wrote about his love affairs, heartbreak and his experience with men. It has also been noted throughout history that Oscar Wilder’s famous recollection of Walt Whitman was when Walt kissed him; he stated: “The kiss of Walt Whitman is still on my lips.”According to the author Rictor Norton in 1925 it had been discovered that the original hand-written manuscript of the poem called “Once I Pass’d Through A Populous City” in which Whitman had reversed the sex of the man to a woman in order for it to look presentable to the public. The original poem stated the following:

Once I Pass’d Through A Populous City

Once I pass’d through a populous city imprinting my brain
for future use with its shows, architecture, customs,

tradition,

Yet now of all that city I remember only a man I casually

met there who detained me for love of me,

Day by day and night by night we were together — all else

has long been forgotten by me,

I remember I saw only that man who passionately clung to

me,

Again we wander, we love, we separate again,

Again he holds me by the hand, I must not go,

see him close beside me with silent lips sad and

tremulous.

The author Norton stated that the original poem perhaps is Whitman first homosexual experience in which he did not fully understand the implications of him being with a man. Needless to say, the writer goes on to give an account of Whitman coming out confessional poem in which Walt Whitman stated:

I share the midnight orgies of young men . . .
I pick out some low person for my dearest friend,
He shal be lawless, rude, illiterate, he shall be condemned by others for deeds done,
I will play a part no longer, why should I exile myself from my companions?

Furthermore the writer Rictor Norton noted that Whitman also wrote notebooks about his sexual encounters with men from different ages and background the notebook listed stated the following information:

Whitman’s notebooks of this period are filled with at least 150 such entries and  descriptions of bus drivers, ferry-boat men, and other “rude, illiterate” men that he met — picked up is really the only accurate word for it — in the streets of Manhattan, and “slept with,” often keeping notes of their home addresses. Excerpts from his Notebooks have been collected in Charley Shively’s Calamus Lovers: Walt Whitman’s Working Class Camerados (Gay Sunshine Press, 1987):

  • Peter — large, strong-boned young fellow, driver. . . . I liked his refreshing wickedness, as it would be called by the orthodox.
  • George Fitch — Yankee boy — Driver . . . Good looking, tall, curly haired, black-eyed fellow
  • Saturday night Mike Ellis — wandering at the corner of Lexington av. & 32d st. — took him home to 150 37th street, — 4th story back room — bitter cold night
  • Wm Culver, boy in bath, aged 18
  • Dan’l Spencer . . . somewhat feminine . . . slept with me Sept 3d
  • Theodore M Carr — came to the house with me
  • James Sloan (night of Sept 18 ’62) 23rd year of age — plain homely, American
  • John McNelly night Oct 7 young man, drunk, walk’d up Fulton& High st. home
  • David Wilson — night of Oct. 11 ’62, walking up from Middagh — slept with me
  • Horace Ostrander Oct. 22 ’62 — about 28 yr’s of age — slept with him Dec 4th ’62
  • October 9, 1863, Jerry Taylor, (NJ.) of 2d dist reg’t slept with me last night weather soft, cool enough, warm enough, heavenly.

The author Rictor Norton also make references to the fact that Walt Whitman in 1866 met Peter Doyle, a nineteen year old bus conductor in Washington D.C. Peter Doyle stated the following words “We were familiar at once — I put my hand on his knee — we understood.” It was this statement that has critics arguing over what this statement really meant. In addition to this statement, Norton noted that Doyle was also quoted as saying:

I never knew a case of Walt’s being bothered up by a woman. In fact, he had nothing special to do with any woman except Mrs. O’Connor and Mrs. Burroughs [his landlady and housekeeper]. His disposition was different. Woman in that sense never came into his head. Walt was too clean; he hated anything which was not clean. No trace of any kind of dissipation in him. I ought to know about him those years — we were awful close together.

If what Peter Doyle has said is to be true than the rumor of him having 6 legitimate children would be false.  In my research, I have not come across an article that pacifically eluded to the fact that he was ever romantically involved with a woman. It has not proven to be a fact. I have read many articles that pointed out the fact that Walt Whitman kissed and went to bed with several men throughout his lifetime. Some report that he did not try to hide the fact that he was gay, while other stated that he was afraid to come out of the closet. I do believe that Walt Whitman was in fact gay, however, if you consider the time frame of the nineteenth century in which homosexuality was viewed as being a taboo and the consequence of a man that would  publicly acknowledging  in the open that he is gay was not heard of in that timeframe as it is today’s world. In essence, the nineteenth century prevented him from telling the world that the great poet was in fact gay, and perhaps by incorporating it into his poetry was the only way to express himself.

As I was finishing my research I came across more of his poems which led me to believe that he was in fact America’s beloved gay poet. They include the following poems:

 

WE TWO BOYS TOGETHER CLINGING

We two boys together clinging

One the other never leaving
Up and down the roads going, North and South excursions making,
Power enjoying, elbows stretching, fingers clutching,
Arm’d and fearless, eating, drinking, sleeping, loving,
No law less than ourselves owning, sailing, soldiering, thieving, threatening,
Misers, menials, priests alarming, air breathing, water drinking, on the turf or the sea-beach

dancing,
Cities wrenching, ease scorning, statutes mocking, feebleness chasing,

Fulfilling our foray.

Calamus

When I heard at the close of the day how my name had been
receiv’d with plaudits in the capitol, still it was not a happy
night for me that follow’d,
And else when I carous’d, or when my plans were accomplish’d,
still I was not happy,
But the day when I rose at dawn from the bed of perfect
health, refresh’d, singing, inhaling the ripe breath of
autumn,
When I saw the full moon in the west grow pale and disappear
in the morning light,
When I wander’d alone over the beach, and undressing bathed,
laughing with the cool waters, and saw the sun rise,
And when I thought how my dear friend my lover was on his
way coming, O then I was happy,
O then each breath tasted sweeter, and all that day my food
nourish’d me more, and the beautiful day pass’d well,
And the next came with equal joy, and with the next at evening
came my friend,
And that night while all was still I heard the waters roll slowly
continually up the shores,
I heard the hissing rustle of the liquid and sands as directed to
me whispering to congratulate me,
For the one I love most lay sleeping by me under the same
cover in the cool night,
In the stillness in the autumn moonbeams his face was inclined
toward me,
And his arm lay lightly around my breast – and that night
I was happy.

When I heard at the Close of the Day
When I heard at the close of the day how I had
been praised in the Capitol, still it was not
a happy night for me that followed,
And else when I caroused nor when my favorite plans were
accomplished was I really happy,
But the day when I arose at dawn from the perfect
health, electric, inhaling sweet breath
When I saw the full moon in the west grow pale and
disappear in the morning light,
When I wandered alone over the beach, and undressing, bathed,
laughing with the waters, and saw the sun rise,
And when I thought how my friend, my lover, was on
his way coming, then O I was happy,
Each breath tasted sweeter and all that day my food
nourished me more and the beautiful day passed well,
And the next came with equal joy and with the next,
at evening, came my friend,
And that night while all was still I heard the waters roll
slowly continually up the shores,
I heard the hissing rustle of the liquid and sands, as directed
to me, whispering to congratulate me,
For the friend I love lay sleeping by my side,
In the stillness his face was inclined toward me, while the
moon’s clear beams shone
And his arm lay lightly over my breast and that night I was happy.

 

 

 
     

 

 

Resources:

http://www.whitmanarchive.org/criticism/current/anc.00154.html                                              

http://rictornorton.co.uk/whitman.htm

http://rictornorton.co.uk/whitman.htm (photo).