After the Civil War, when blacks fought along whites to secure freedom for all, southern states enacted Black Codes, laws that restricted the civil rights and liberties of blacks. Central to the enforcement of these laws were the stiff penalties for blacks possessing firearms.
The day I entered St Columb’s College, my parents bought me a Conway Stewart pen. It was a special afternoon, of course. We were going to be parting that evening; they were aware of it, I was aware of it, nothing much was said about it.
My activism did not spring from my being gay, or, for that matter, from my being black. Rather, it is rooted fundamentally in my Quaker upbringing and the values that were instilled in me by my grandparents who reared me.
The best teachers that I had were always the ones I never wanted to disappoint.
Temptation, if it is not to conquer, must not fall like a bomb against another bomb of instantaneous moral explosions, but against the strong walls of an impregnable fortress strongly built up, stone by stone, beginning at that distant day when the foundations were first laid.
I think more influential than Emily Dickinson or Coleridge or Wordsworth on my imagination were Warner Brothers, Merrie Melodies, and Loony Tunes cartoons.
The sea was our main entertainment. When company came, we set them before it on rugs, with thermoses and sandwiches and colored umbrellas, as if the water – blue, green, gray, navy or silver as it might be – were enough to watch.
There is perhaps not an enlightened Christian in America who, notwithstanding he may believe that, at the time of Jesus, men were possessed of devils, believes that they ever have been in any other instance, either before or since.
If… many influential people have failed to understand, or have just forgotten, what we were up against in the Cold War and how we overcame it, they are not going to be capable of securing, let alone enlarging, the gains that liberty has made.
I have a novel that I can write. It’s about three soldiers from Somalia. Some babies have been disappearing up on 144th Street, and I speculate later on what happened to them and how they might have been got back. These guys are dead, all three, and they have a chance in the afterlife to do something they should have done when they were alive.