Citation

“Every Man and Woman is Potentially Homosexual”: Homosexuality, Race, Criminality, and Incarceration in the 1930s Left

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Abstract:

In 1932, John Pittman, an important Communist organizer, published his editorial decrying prejudice against homosexuals in a black newspaper, spurred by the arrest of several drag queens in San Francisco. Five years later, Angelo Herndon, a black Communist organizer sentenced to a jail sentence who became a radical cause celebre, published a book detailing his time in prison, particularly highlighting homosexuality behind bars. Three years after that, Benjamin Gitlow published his own prison memoir, in which he considered the racial politics of same-sex contact in prison. This paper looks at these texts alongside other leftist work from the 1930s to think about the relationship between homosexuality, race, criminality, and incarceration as it was articulated within radical non-fiction. Though the Communist Party failed to take a clear stand on homosexuality in the Depression era, members’ interest in disrupting narratives of crime and race allowed for a complicated engagement with same-sex intimacy that was made visible within the cultural front.
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Association:
Name: American Studies Association Annual Meeting
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http://www.theasa.net


Citation:
URL: http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p1262343_index.html
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MLA Citation:

Lecklider, Aaron. "“Every Man and Woman is Potentially Homosexual”: Homosexuality, Race, Criminality, and Incarceration in the 1930s Left" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the American Studies Association Annual Meeting, Hyatt Regency Chicago, Chicago, Illinois, <Not Available>. 2018-06-18 <http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p1262343_index.html>

APA Citation:

Lecklider, A. "“Every Man and Woman is Potentially Homosexual”: Homosexuality, Race, Criminality, and Incarceration in the 1930s Left" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the American Studies Association Annual Meeting, Hyatt Regency Chicago, Chicago, Illinois <Not Available>. 2018-06-18 from http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p1262343_index.html

Publication Type: Internal Paper
Abstract: In 1932, John Pittman, an important Communist organizer, published his editorial decrying prejudice against homosexuals in a black newspaper, spurred by the arrest of several drag queens in San Francisco. Five years later, Angelo Herndon, a black Communist organizer sentenced to a jail sentence who became a radical cause celebre, published a book detailing his time in prison, particularly highlighting homosexuality behind bars. Three years after that, Benjamin Gitlow published his own prison memoir, in which he considered the racial politics of same-sex contact in prison. This paper looks at these texts alongside other leftist work from the 1930s to think about the relationship between homosexuality, race, criminality, and incarceration as it was articulated within radical non-fiction. Though the Communist Party failed to take a clear stand on homosexuality in the Depression era, members’ interest in disrupting narratives of crime and race allowed for a complicated engagement with same-sex intimacy that was made visible within the cultural front.


 
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