Angelina Weld Grimké was born in Boston, Massachusetts, on February 27, 1880, to Archibald Grimké and Sarah Stanley. Archibald was the son of a White man and a Black slave, and her mother was from a prominent White family. Angelina was named after her great-aunt, Angelina Grimké Weld, the famous abolitionist and women’s rights advocate.
In 1902, Angelina graduated from the Boston Normal School of Gymnastics with a degree in PE. She worked as a gym teacher up until 1907, when she began to teach English.
Throughout her teaching career (she retired in 1926), Angelina wrote poetry and fiction on top of the love letters she wrote to Mamie Burrill.
At sixteen she wrote to Mamie:
“I know you are too young 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 joys and madness when I think of these two words, ‘my wife.’”
Angelina hid her lesbianism from her father. Therefore, much of her poetry was not published until after she died.
Rose whose soul unfolds white petaled
Touch her soul rose-white;
Rose whose thoughts unfold gold petaled
Blossom in her sight;
Rose whose heart unfolds red petaled
Quick her slow heart's stir;
Tell her white, gold, red my love is;
And for her,--for her.
I love your throat, so fragrant, fair,
The little pulses beating there;
Your eye-brows' shy and questioning air;
I love your shadowed hair.
I love your flame-touched ivory skin;
Your little fingers frail and thin;
Your dimple creeping out and in;
I love your pointed chin.
I love the way you move, you rise;
Your fluttering gestures, just-caught cries;
I am not sane, I am not wise,
God! how I love your eyes!
Sappho (600 BC)
Katherine Fowler (1631-1664)
Aphra Behn (1640?-1689)
Juana Inés de la Cruz (1651-1698)
Anna Seward (1747-1809)
Wu Tsao (1800)
Emily Dickinson (1830-1886)
Katherine Bradley (1848-1915) and Edith Cooper (1862-1913)
Katharine Lee Bates (1859-1929)
Charlotte Mew (1869-1929)
Amy Lowell (1874-1925)
Gertrude Stein (1874-1946)
Renée Vivien (1877-1909)
Edna St. Vincent Millay (1892-1950)
Elsa Gidlow (1898-1986)
The Fight for Equality
Famous Les/Bi/Gay People throughout History
Homophobia and Hate Crimes
Links for Parents Trying to Deal with Their Teen's Homosexuality
Links for Teens Trying to Deal with Their Own Homosexuality
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