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By the mid 1960s, the tides had begun to change in how scholars told the history of slavery. For generations, historians propagated the narrative that slavery benefited people of African descent because they were innately indolent, inferior, and in need of white supervision. Beginning in the 1940s, scholars began to challenge that view by uncovering accounts of slave revolts as well as compelling evidence of everyday acts of resistance and defiance. This scholarship found its audience not among academics but in the general public. These new interpretations also helped galvanize the civil rights movement, uncovering a tradition of black resistance that inspired a range of other social movements.

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Labor union activists in New York City attended the Jefferson School of Social Science, which was founded by the Communist party to educate the working class about the principles of Marxism. There, historians who had been blacklisted from the academy taught working-class adults about the history of slavery. They used evidence of slave rebellions to illustrate the power of an oppressed population to revolt against those in power. One of the students in the class, Bernard Katz, rushed home to tell his two sons, Jonathan and William, over dinner about the heroic stories of black resistance.

For the Katz family, stories about slavery offered an historical explanation for the racial injustices that were exploding on the streets outside of their home. The history of black resistance then led the Katz family to research and publish books that highlighted this history. In response to the uprising in the Watts neighborhood of Los Angeles in the summer of 1965, William Katz published Eyewitness: A Living Documentary of the African American Contribution to American History, which was an anthology of testimonies by iconic African Americans from Harriet Tubman to Martin Luther King Jr., offering an historical corrective to myths about black dependence and inferiority.

By 1976, Jonathan Ned Katz, who had been trained as a textile designer, had come out of the closet and become involved in the gay liberation movement, which officially commenced in 1969. LGBT people had resisted arrest at a mafia-owned gay bar, The Stonewall Inn, during a police raid. Their revolt was the tipping point of formal LGBT political activism that can be traced to the early 1950s. Katz immediately drew analogies between black resistance and the rise of gay liberation. He then came across a pamphlet, written by two gay activists, about the Nazi persecution of gay people during WWII, which, at the time, had not been recorded in any major history book and was not even part of the public memory.

Katz, nonetheless, pursued turning his play into a book. He returned to the archives and found even more evidence, which he then published, in 1976, as the first LGBT anthology of primary sources, under the title Gay American History. While many professional historians did not appreciate his book, the gay community embraced it. He became a rock star within the gay community, giving talks throughout the nation, appearing in LGBT newspapers, and finding readers around the world. In the 1970s, the emergence of gay history, like black history, began on the streets and then eventually made its way into the academy.

Despite the fact that so many gay people, like Jonathan Ned Katz, gained insights and strategies about protest from the civil rights movement, once gay liberation gained momentum, many people ignored, forgot, or overlooked the contributions of trans people and people of color. Before Stonewall, gay activists had used the Liberty Bell as a symbol of their movement since it had been used by nineteenth-century abolitionists who opposed slavery and was later adopted by suffragettes. But, after Stonewall, the links to these early movements faded.

Because historians themselves have shied away from these truths, the sexuality of black men and accurate representations of the intimate violations that were integral to the plantation system still matters. Perhaps the most obvious example of historians shaping a popular, but false, narrative is the notion that the masculinity of enslaved men was permanently destroyed by centuries of bondage. In the 1950s, white liberal scholars likened this damage to that suffered by those who had emerged, half-alive and traumatized, from Nazi death camps. Others stressed the emotional suffering and endless labor that made up daily life on the plantation, suffering so intense as to create trauma for ensuing generations.

Scholars seemed unwilling or unable to put black men themselves at the center of their own historical experience, instead adjusting their vision to make sense of new political movements. The onset of the modern civil rights movement in the United States ushered in yet another view of how bondage shaped African American masculinity: it made men resilient. Focused on the obvious agency and public resolve demonstrated by thousands of black Southerners during and after enslavement, this new school of thought emphasized the capacity of African American people to renew themselves and their communities.

Relegating these questions to pornographic fantasy was in part a function of how unspeakable male rape has been until quite recently, but it was also a function of how badly distorted conversations about black masculinity have been. Interracial heterosexuality became less controversial in the 1970s, but simultaneously, black homoeroticism and the penetration of black men by other (white) men became more intellectually dangerous and disruptive to the effort to recuperate black manhood. If a few commentators proffered the pseudo-anthropological vision of African male bonding or sexual rites of passage, black power cultural nationalism too often drew tight boundaries around African American sexuality. And no wonder, since many sexual accounts rely on recirculating old, racist storylines. The vast majority of the pulp or pornographic fiction that I have researched features hypersexual black men with huge genitals and curious, innocent, and sensitive white bottoms, who gasp with pleasure over and over again as they are dominated.

Who therefore will be moved by this scholarly intervention? What will it change? Rethinking Rufus does not contain enough new documentation to influence most scholars of slavery or of black masculinity. I would also be surprised as well as if this book travels outside of academic circles to become a community text of a sort that inspires queer readers of color or calls needed attention to sexual violence against black men.

And, three: To what specific period of American greatness are you wanting us to return? When black folk suffered segregation after slavery? When women had no right to vote or control their own bodies? When gay brothers and lesbian sisters felt ceaseless hate? When we stole land from the Native Americans? When we sent Japanese families to internment camps? When America lynched Mexicans? I just need Trump to give me some clarity on the time period he wishes to travel back to.

Swann was born in March 1860[2] into slavery.[3] He was the fifth oldest child in a Protestant family with 13 children.[2][4] He was enslaved in Hancock, Maryland.[1][3] After the Civil War, his parents were able to buy a farm.[4] Swann's first job was working as a hotel waiter.[4] When Swann was 24 years old, he was caught stealing from books from the Washington Library Company and an item from the home of his employers.[5] Swann pled guilty to petty larceny and was sentenced to six months in jail.[5]

During the 1880s and 1890s, Swann organized a series of drag balls in Washington, D.C.[6] He called himself the "queen of drag".[1] Most of the attendees of Swann's gatherings were men who were formerly enslaved who gathered to dance in their satin and silk dresses.[6] This group, consisting of "former slaves and rebel drag queens", was known as the "House of Swann".[7] Because these events were secretive, invitations were often quietly made at places like the YMCA.[1]

Swann was known to have been close with Pierce Lafayette and Felix Hall, two men who had also both been enslaved and who formed the earliest documented male same-sex relationship between enslaved Americans.[1] Pierce Lafayette also attended Swann's balls. Swann and Lafayette were known to be intimate.[4]

Swann is known as the first drag queen. As a black, gay man, Swann paved the way for future drag queens and gay men of color. His legal efforts sparked conversation about the LGBTQ+ community and may have even been one of the first instances of LGBTQ+ activism in the United States. At the time of his activism, there was not much support and the ideas were not widespread. He helped lay the foundation for future activists such as Marsha P. Johnson and others who fought during the "modern LGBTQ rights movements".[7]

In 2022, the Dupont Circle Advisory Neighborhood Commission approved a resolution declaring that Swann Street, a road stretching for five blocks in Northwest Washington DC, is named after William Dorsey Swann. Until that resolution, it had been assumed that the street's original namesake was the 19th-century politician and slave owner Thomas Swann.[13]

It is alleged that if and when a white slave master suspected that black male slaves were showing any sign of resistance to their enslavement, the most cruel and brutal treatment would be meted out to them.

In the episode, Mr. Garrison tries to get fired from his new job as the fourth grade teacher at South Park Elementary by being overtly and explicitly homosexual in front of the students, so he can sue the school and get twenty-five million dollars in damages and shoves the school's gerbil Lemmiwinks into Mr. Slave's rectum. However, he is unable to as the rest of the faculty and the children's parents are desperate to appear tolerant of his homosexuality. The boys do not share their sentiments, and as punishment for not tolerating Garrison's outrageous behavior, they are sent to a Nazi-esque "tolerance camp." All of the scenes inside the camp are shown in black-and-white, a homage to Schindler's List.[citation needed][original research?] 041b061a72


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