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Grimké, Angelina Weld (1880-1958)  
 
page: 1  2  

Evidence suggests that Grimké was also attracted to men, but scholars have largely ignored this aspect of her life. Grimké wrote a small number of poems that use pronouns and imagery indicating a male love interest, including "Little Red Heart of Mine," "Your Hands," and an untitled work that begins "Oh that he would love me."

It is possible that Grimké substituted male for female pronouns to disguise her same-sex desire and make her poetry more acceptable to editors, but she submitted few of these poems for publication. Moreover, she also kept a diary in her early twenties in which she chronicled her emotional anguish over an unnamed man who failed to return her affections. When he did not respond to her love letters, Grimké, like many of the protagonists in her fiction and drama, renounced marriage and motherhood. She foreswore loving anyone in the future except her father, for fear that a relationship with someone else would compete with her affection for him.

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The extent to which Grimké's life revolved around her father was dramatically revealed after his death in 1930. Without her father and unable to develop a close relationship with another woman or man, she became even more withdrawn. She gave up writing and stopped corresponding with her Harlem Renaissance friends.

She moved to New York City, where she apparently lived as a recluse for the remainder of her life. Grimké died on June 10, 1958 after a long illness.

Brett Genny Beemyn

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literature >> Overview:  American Literature: Lesbian, 1900-1969

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literature >> Overview:  The Harlem Renaissance

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literature >> Overview:  Poetry: Lesbian

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literature >> Cullen, Countee

Countee Cullen, an important member of the Harlem Renaissance, has coded references to homosexuality in much of his poetry.

literature >> Locke, Alain

As midwife to the Harlem Renaissance, Alain Locke played a crucial role in the development of African-American literature; his homosexuality informed his plea for respect of sexual and cultural diversity.


    Bibliography
   

Beemyn, Brett. "The New Negro Renaissance, A Bisexual Renaissance: The Lives and Works of Angelina Weld Grimké and Richard Bruce Nugent." Modern American Queer History. Allida M. Black, ed. Philadelphia: Temple University Press, 2001. 36-48.

_____. "A Queer Capital: Lesbian, Gay, and Bisexual Life in Washington, D. C., 1890-1955." Ph.D. diss., University of Iowa, 1997.

Bruce, Dickson D., Jr. Archibald Grimké: Portrait of a Black Independent. Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 1993.

Grimké, Angelina Weld. Papers of Angelina Weld Grimké. Moorland-Spingarn Research Center, Howard University, Washington, D.C.

Herron, Carolivia, ed. Selected Works of Angelina Weld Grimké. New York: Oxford University Press, 1991.

Hull, Gloria T. Color, Sex, and Poetry: Three Women Writers of the Harlem Renaissance. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1987.

 

    Citation Information
         
    Author: Beemyn, Brett Genny  
    Entry Title: Grimké, Angelina Weld  
    General Editor: Claude J. Summers  
    Publication Name: glbtq: An Encyclopedia of Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual,
Transgender, and Queer Culture
 
    Publication Date: 2005  
    Date Last Updated October 8, 2007  
    Web Address www.glbtq.com/literature/grimke_aw.html  
    Publisher glbtq, Inc.
1130 West Adams
Chicago, IL   60607
 
    Today's Date  
    Encyclopedia Copyright: © 2002-2006, glbtq, Inc.  
    Entry Copyright © 2005, glbtq, inc.  
 

 

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