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Harlem Renaissance
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African-American Literature: Gay Male
The African-American gay male literary tradition consists of a substantial body of texts and includes some of the most gifted writers of the twentieth century.
African-American Literature: Lesbian
Most African-American lesbian literature is as concerned with racism as it is with sexuality, causing many writers to construct Afrocentric sexual identities that affirm the power of black women.
American Writers on the Left
Most gay, lesbian, and bisexual American writers who adhered to Marxist-oriented parties and social movements between 1917 and the 1960s strove to hide their sexual orientation, and some even depicted homosexuals negatively in their fiction and drama.
Cullen, Countee
Countee Cullen, an important member of the Harlem Renaissance, has coded references to homosexuality in much of his poetry.
Grimké, Angelina Weld
A noted African-American writer from the 1900s through the 1920s, Angelina Weld Grimké fell into obscurity in the 1930s and was only rediscovered in the 1980s; her inability to act on her sexual desires inspired her writing and contributed to her ultimately abandoning it.
The Harlem Renaissance
The Harlem Renaissance, an African-American literary movement of the 1920s and 1930s, included several important gay and lesbian writers.
Hughes, Langston
Langston Hughes, whose literary legacy is enormous and varied, was closeted, but homosexuality was an important influence on his literary imagination, and many of his poems may be read as gay texts.
Larsen, Nella
Constrained by the social conventions of the time, the bisexual African-American novelist Nella Larsen was covert in her treatment of lesbianism.
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.
McKay, Claude
Jamaican-born bisexual African-American poet, novelist, and essayist Claude McKay made compelling contributions to the development of the Harlem Renaissance; in his works, he put forward a revolutionary agenda of racial, class, and sexual liberation.
Van Vechten, Carl
The gay novelist, critic, and photographer Carl Van Vechten was especially interested in African-American culture and was an influential patron to many writers of the Harlem Renaissance.

 

 

 
 
 
 
Popular Topics in Literature
García Lorca, Federico García Lorca, Federico
The works of García Lorca, internationally recognized as Spain's most prominent lyric poet and dramatist of the twentieth century, are filled with thinly veiled homosexual motifs and themes.
 
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There has always been homosexual involvement in American musical theatre and a homosexual sensibility even in straight musicals, and recently the Broadway musical has welcomed openly homosexual themes and situations.
 
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Best known for his genius in art and architecture, Michelangelo was also an accomplished author of homoerotic poetry.
 
African-American Literature: Gay Male African-American Literature: Gay Male
The African-American gay male literary tradition consists of a substantial body of texts and includes some of the most gifted writers of the twentieth century.
 
Camp Camp
Combining elements of incongruity, theatricality, and exaggeration, camp is a form of humor that helps homosexuals cope with a hostile environment.
 
Hughes, Langston Hughes, Langston
Langston Hughes, whose literary legacy is enormous and varied, was closeted, but homosexuality was an important influence on his literary imagination, and many of his poems may be read as gay texts.
 
Baldwin, James Arthur Baldwin, James Arthur
James Baldwin, a pioneering figure in twentieth-century literature, wrote sustained and articulate challenges to American racism and mandatory heterosexuality.
 
Wilde, Oscar Wilde, Oscar
Oscar Wilde is important both as an accomplished writer and as a symbolic figure who exemplified a way of being homosexual at a pivotal moment in the emergence of gay consciousness.
 
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