Sunday, November 2, 2014

Out Spotlight

Today's Out Spotlight was a poet, teacher and playwright who helped pave the way for the Harlem Renaissance. She was one of the nation’s first celebrated female African-American authors. Today's Out Spotlight is Angelina Weld Grimké

Angelina Weld Grimké was born February 27, 1880, to a prominent biracial Boston couple who divorced soon after her birth. Her father, Archibald Grimké, was a lawyer, the second African American to have graduated from Harvard Law School. Her mother, Sarah Stanley, was European American from a Midwestern middle-class family. Grimké's parents met in Boston, where he had established a law practice. Angelina was named for her father's aunt Angelina Grimké Weld.

Her mother left when Grimké was a toddler and committed suicide several years later. Grimké had a strained relationship with her father, whose lineage of notable abolitionists set high expectations for his daughter.

Grimké excelled academically, publishing her first poem at age 13. She earned a degree in physical education from the Boston Normal School of Gymnastics. which later became the Department of Hygiene of Wellesley College. After graduating, she and her father moved to Washington, D.C. to be with his brother and family.

In 1902, she began teaching English at the Armstrong Manual Training School and wrote poetry in her spare time. In 1916 she moved to a teaching position at the Dunbar High School, renowned for its academic excellence, where one of her pupils was the future poet and playwright May Miller. During the summers, Grimké frequently took classes at Harvard University, where her father had attended law school.

Although Grimké was called to write, she felt pressure to please her father by not publishing anything that could tarnish the family name.
 Grimké wrote essays, short stories and poems which were published in The Crisis, the newspaper of the NAACP, edited by W.E.B. Du Bois; and Opportunity. They were also collected in anthologies of the Harlem Renaissance: The New Negro, Caroling Dusk, and Negro Poets and Their Poems. Her more well-known poems include "The Eyes of My Regret", "At April", "Trees" and "The Closing Door". While living in Washington, DC, she was included among the figures of the Harlem Renaissance, as her work was published in its journals and she became connected to figures in its circle. Some critics place her in the period before the Renaissance. During that time, she counted the poet Georgia Douglas Johnson as one of her friends.

Grimké wrote Rachel – originally titled Blessed Are the Barren – one of the first plays to protest lynching and racial violence. Highly successful, it ws the first play by a black woman to be staged in a public theater.The three-act drama was written for the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), which called for new works to rally public opinion against D. W. Griffith's recently released film, The Birth of a Nation (1915), which glorified the Ku Klux Klan and portrayed a racist view of blacks and of their role in the American Civil War and Reconstruction in the South. Produced in 1916 in Washington, D.C., and subsequently in New York City, Rachel was performed by an all-black cast. Reaction to the play was good. The NAACP said of the play: "This is the first attempt to use the stage for race propaganda in order to enlighten the American people relating to the lamentable condition of ten millions of Colored citizens in this free republic."

Rachel portrays the life of an African-American family in the North in the early 20th century. Centered on the family of the title character, each role expresses different responses to the racial discrimination against blacks at the time. The themes of motherhood and the innocence of children are integral aspects of Grimké's work. Rachel develops as she changes her perceptions of what the role of a mother might be, based on her sense of the importance of a naivete towards the terrible truths of the world around her. A lynching is the spectrum of the play; it authenticates the African-American experience.

The play was published in 1920, but received little attention after its initial productions. In the years since, however, its significance has been recognized as a precursor to the Harlem Renaissance, and one of the first examples of a political and cultural trend to explore the African roots of African Americans.

Little is known of Grimké’s personal relationships, but her work often alludes to suppressed emotions, and several of her unpublished poems feature explicitly lesbian content. Her diary includes entries about her female lovers.

At the age of 16, Grimké wrote to a friend, Mary P. Burrill:
I know you are too young now to become my wife, but I hope, darling, that in a few years you will come to me and be my love, my wife! How my brain whirls how my pulse leaps with joy and madness when I think of these two words, 'my wife'"
Two years earlier, in 1903, Grimké and her father had a falling out when she told him that she was in love. Archibald Grimké responded with an ultimatum demanding that she choose between her lover and himself. Grimké family biographer Mark Perry speculates that the person involved may have been female, and that Archibald may already have been aware of Angelina's sexual proclivity
Around 1913, Grimké was involved in a train crash which left her health in a precarious state. Nevertheless, when her father took ill in 1928, she tended to him until his death in 1930. After his death, she never published again. Afterwards, she left Washington, DC, for New York City, where she settled in Brooklyn and lived a quiet retirement as a semi-recluse. Although her work was well received, Grimké retreated to solitude for most of her life.

She passed away  June 10, 1958, in New York, New York.

 “I oft have dreamed the bliss
Of the nectar in one kiss.”


He's a hard worker said...

Morning Dailies ‏@MorningDailies 12 min ago

Antoine Fuqua & Jake Gyllenhaal Reteam For True-Story Cartel Pic ‘The Man Who Made It Snow’ – AFM - Patrick Hipes

great Spotlight said...

She look so sad tho.

TR said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
I'll give his movie an 8 said...
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prairiegirl said...

I'm surprised there are posters here who STILL think he has kids. How inhumane a person would he be to have flowers in the attic like that?


TR, (IF this is really TR), here - have a sniff of Miracle Gro.

You better believe there are STILL posters who believe Jake has kids. He's got a buttload of them with his husband, Austin Nichols.

That doubt about kids is so 2009. We've long passed that. In fact, if anyone has been lurking at all for the past 5 years, I really am surprised they would question some of us' belief in Jake being a father. Other than the paid troll, I can't even recall the last time someone came on here and questioned the existence of kids -
I bet it has been at least two years. It kind of feels like a time warp, lol.

How inhumane a person would he be to have flowers in the attic like that?

Well - if that's how you want to term it, then Jake's pretty inhumane because he's fathered kids.

prairiegirl said...

Get out of here, Troll. You put up all of those first four comments.

You posted as TR and used that comment to reply at 21:08.

And you know what brought this on?

Jake getting caught in Cali.

And so now, I can firmly say........


LOLLLL!!! Eat our dust, troll.