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Untangling Pathology: The Moynihan Report and Homosexual Damage, 1965–1975

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  01 February 2012


Kevin J. Mumford
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University of Iowa
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Copyright © Donald Critchlow and Cambridge University Press 2012

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References

1. See http://www.dol.gov/oasam/programs/history/moynchapter1.htm; Rainwater, Lee and Yancey, Robert, The Moynihan Report and the Politics of Controversy (Cambridge, Mass., 1967)Google Scholar; Patterson, James T., Freedom Is Not Enough: The Moynihan Report and America’s Struggle Over Black Family Life from LBJ to Obama (New York, 2010)Google Scholar; Briggs, Laura, Reproducing Empire: Race, Sex, Science, and U.S. Imperialism in Puerto Rico (Berkeley and Los Angeles, 2002), 170–78Google Scholar; Estes, Steve, I Am A Man! Race, Manhood, and the Civil Rights Movement (Chapel Hill, 2005), 107–30.Google Scholar

2. Ferguson, Roderick A., Aberrations in Black: Toward a Queer of Color Critique (Minneapolis, 2004), 124–25.Google Scholar

3. Boris, Eileen, “On the Importance of Naming: Gender, Race, and the Writing of Policy History,” Journal of Policy History 17 (2005): 72–92CrossRefGoogle Scholar; Canaday, Margot, The Straight State: Sexuality and Citizenship in Twentieth-Century America (Princeton, 2009)Google Scholar; Cohen, Cathy J., “Contested Membership: Black Gay Identities and the Politics of AIDS,” in Creating Change: Sexuality, Public Policy, and Civil Rights, ed. D’Emilio, John, Turner, William B., and Vaid, Urvashi (New York, 2000), 388–96Google Scholar; a few examples of sexuality policy analysis include Johnson, David K., The Lavender Scare: The Cold War Persecution of Gays and Lesbians in the Federal Government (Chicago, 2006)Google Scholar; Bell, Jonathan, “‘To Strive for Economic and Social Justice’: Welfare, Sexuality, and Liberal Politics in San Francisco in the 1960s,” Journal of Policy History 22 (2010): 193–225.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

4. Queering race involves the synthesis of theories and historiographies. Influential texts for me include Butler, Judith, Gender Trouble: Feminism and the Subversion of Identity (New York, 1990), 70–79Google Scholar; on the ambiguities of power/performance, see Butler, , Giving an Account of Oneself (New York, 2005)CrossRefGoogle Scholar; Thomas, Kendall, “‘Ain’t Nothin’ Like the Real Thing: Black Masculinity, Gay Sexuality, and the Jargon of Authenticity,” in Representing Black Men, ed. Blount, Marcellus and Cunningham, George P. (New York, 1996), 55–69Google Scholar; Baldwin, James, “Here Be Dragons,” The Price of the Ticket: Collected Non-Fiction, 1948–1985 (New York, 1985), 681–85Google Scholar; Halley, Janet, “‘Like Race’ Arguments,” in What’s Left of Theory? New Work on the Politics of Literary Theory, ed. Butler, Judith, Guillory, John, and Thomas, Kendall (New York, 2000), 62–68Google Scholar; Harper, Philip Brian, Are We Not Men? Masculine Anxiety and the Problem of African American Identity (New York, 1996)Google ScholarPubMed; Muñoz, José, Cruising Utopia: The Then and There of Queer Futurity (New York, 2009)Google Scholar; Ferguson, Roderick, “Of Our Normative Strivings: African American Studies and the Histories of Sexuality,” Social Text, nos. 34 (2005): 85–86.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

5. A number of studies adopt the role-modeling theory of masculinity to the analysis, and frequent advocacy, of racial uplift. Watts, Roderick J. and Jagers, Robert J., Manhood Development in Urban African-American Communities (New York, 1997)Google Scholar; Johnson, Charles and McCluskey, John Jr., Black Men Speaking (Bloomington, 1997)Google Scholar; Gordon, Jacob U., The Black Male in White America (New York, 2002)Google Scholar; Alston Best, Harvey, Black Males: An African American View of Raising Young Men (Dubuque, 1994).Google Scholar

6. “Committee on the State of the Family,” file 8, box 1:66, Daniel Patrick Moynihan Papers, Library of Congress, Washington, D.C. (hereafter Moynihan Papers).

7. Ibid. On family patterns, see U.S. Census of the Population, 1960, “Broken Homes,” file 9, box 1:66, Moynihan Papers.

8. From Paul Barton to Daniel Patrick Moynihan, 7 January 1965, file 8, box 1:66, Moynihan Papers; “Selected Quotations from To Be Equal by Whitney Young” and “Wade,” both in file 8, box 1:66, Moynihan Papers.

9. “Social Control” (July 21), ca. 1964, file 9, box 1:66, Moynihan Papers.

10. “Arrests in Detroit, 1963” and “Arrests in Chicago, 1963,” file 5, box 1:66, Moynihan Papers; “He Puts 95% of Addicts in Five Cities” and “Narcotics Are the Root of Harlem’s Ills, Wingate Declares,” New York Times, 4 January 1964, file 9, box 1:66, Moynihan Papers; “History of Narcotic Addiction in the United States,” file 9, box 1:66, Moynihan Papers.

11. “Committee on the State of the Family,” memo, file 8, box 1:66, Moynihan Papers; Clark, Kenneth, Dark Ghetto: Dilemmas of Social Power (New York, 1965), 107.Google Scholar

12. “Elkins,” file 8, box 1:66, Moynihan Papers; “Moynihan Was Treating Negro Family as People,” (n.d.), clipping from the Washington Post, file 9, box 1:466, Moynihan Papers.

13. Patricia Knapp and Sophie T. Cambria, “Attitudes of the Negro Unmarried Mothers Toward Illegitimacy” and “Children in Broken Homes,” file 9, box 1:66, Moynihan Papers; Rainwater and Yancey, The Moynihan Report, 54–55; http://www.dol.gov/oasam/programs/history/moynchapter2.htm.

14. On “outlawed motherhood,” see Frazier, E. Franklin, The Negro Family in the United States (Chicago, 1966), 343–57Google Scholar; Scott, Daryl Michael, Contempt and Pity: Social Policy and the Image of the Damaged Black Psyche, 1860–1996 (Chapel Hill, 1997), 155CrossRefGoogle Scholar; Patterson, Freedom Is Not Enough, 1–14.

15. Clark, Dark Ghetto, 70, 73–74.

16. Rainwater and Yancey, The Moynihan Report, 88.

17. Kardiner, Abram and Ovesey, Lionel, The Mark of Oppression: A Psychosocial Study of the American Negro (New York, 1951), 137, 185–86, 204–5, 312, 315.Google Scholar

18. “White House Conference on Civil Rights,” file 2, box 1:67, Moynihan Papers; “Pettigrew,” 28 December 1964, file 8, box 1:66, Moynihan Papers; “Notes by Daniel Patrick Moynihan, Assistant Secretary of Labor,” file 9, box 1:66, Moynihan Papers.

20. D’Emilio, John, “The Homosexual Menace: The Politics of Sexuality in Cold War America,” in Passion and Power: Sexuality in History, ed. Peiss, Kathy and Simmons, Christina (Philadelphia, 1989), 226–40Google Scholar; Freedman, Estelle B., “Uncontrolled Desires: The Response to the Sexual Psychopath, 1920–1960,” Journal of American History 74, no. 1 (June 1987): 83–106CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed; Rebecca Jo Plant, Mom: The Transformation of Motherhood in Modern America (Chicago, 2010), 39–54, 146–77.Google Scholar

21. Mehlinger, Kermit, “The Sexual Revolution,” Ebony, August 1966, 57–58.Google Scholar

22. “Memorandum for Mr. Daniel Patrick Moynihan,” file 8, box 1:66, Moynihan Papers; “Selected Quotations from To Be Equal by Whitney Young,” file 9, box 1:66, Moynihan Papers; “Ginsberg,” 13 January 1965, file 9, box 1:66, Moynihan Papers.

23. Rainwater and Yancey, The Moynihan Report, 51, 369–75; “Washington: Unlimited Ends and Limited Means,” New York Times, 6 June 1965; “President Johnson Pushes Cause of Negro in Howard U. Address,” Jet, 24 June 1965; “President Hails New Stage in Negro Battle for Justice,” Washington Post, 5 June 1965.

24. On the leak, see Patterson, Freedom Is Not Enough, 65–68; Jean M. White, “Report Finds Negro’s Family Life Crumbling,” Washington Post, 23 August 1965; “New Crisis: The Negro Family,” Newsweek, 9 August 1965, 32–35; “Causes and Cures,” Newsweek, 30 August 1965, file 9, box 1:466, Moynihan Papers; “Moynihan Report,” New Republic, 11 September 1965, 8–9; “Family Report Sparks Debate,” Washington Post, 17 November 1966; “The Moynihan Report: Comment on Addenda to Earlier Analysis,” Christian Century, 9 February 1966, 180–83.

25. Yancey, and Rainwater, , The Moynihan Report, 197, 220–22, 230–31Google Scholar; Ryan, William, “Savage Discovery,” The Nation, 22 November 1965, 457–66.Google Scholar

26. Payton, Benjamin F., “New Trends in Civil Rights,” Christianity and Crisis, 395–402Google Scholar; Benjamin F. Payton, “The President, the Social Experts, and the Ghetto: An Analysis of an Emerging Strategy in Civil Rights,” 3–22, file 7, box 1:66, Moynihan Papers; “Statement by Rev. Dr. Eugene Carson Blake and Rev. Dr. Benjamin F. Payton, file 7, box 1:466, Moynihan Papers; Payton, “New Trends in Civil Rights,” in Yancey and Rainwater, The Moynihan Report, 395–402.

27. Herbes, John, “Moynihan Hopeful U.S. Will Adopt a Policy of Promoting Family Stability,” New York Times, 12 December 1965Google Scholar; “The Moynihan Report,” Christian Century, 15 December 1965, 1531–32; “A Mother Can’t Do a Man’s Job,” Newsweek, 22 August 1966, 41; “Moynihan of the Moynihan Report,” New York Times, 31 July 1966.

28. Rainwater and Yancey, The Politics of Controversy, 422–23; D’Emilio, John, Lost Prophet: The Life and Times of Bayard Rustin (New York, 2003), 7–8.Google Scholar

29. Corry, John, “An American Novelist Who Sometimes Teaches,” New York Times, 20 November 1966.Google Scholar

30. From Weston W. Ware to Daniel Patrick Moynihan, 11 July 1966, file 1, box 1:184, Moynihan Papers; Weston W. Ware to Daniel Patrick Moynihan, 4 January 1966, file 1, box 1:184, Moynihan Papers; Isaiah W. Crippins to Daniel Patrick Moynihan, 2 February 1967, file 2, box 1:184, Moynihan Papers; Jerome A. Goldstein to Daniel Patrick Moynihan, 22 July 1968, file 3, box 1:184, Moynihan Papers; Jo-Ann Price, “Daniel Patrick Moynihan, ‘Talking About the Family Is a Damn Sight More Real,’” National Catholic Reporter, file 11, box 1:466, Moynihan Papers; Thomas Pettigrew to Cary McWilliams, 12 January 1966, file 12, box 1:466, Moynihan Papers.

31. “Moynihan’s ‘Report,’” New York Times, 14 August 1966, 199; Roberts, Gene, “Civil Rights: A Turning Point,” New York Times, 19 September 1966, 1Google Scholar; Kristol, Irving, “The Negro Today: Is Like the Immigrant Yesterday,” New York Times, 11 September 1966, 301.Google Scholar

32. Wilson, William Julius, “The Moynihan Report and Research in the Black Community,” Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science 621 (January 2009): 36.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

33. Staples, Robert, “Male-Female Variations: Functions of Biology or Culture,” Journal of Sex Research 9 (February 1973): 11–20CrossRefGoogle Scholar; Staples, Robert, “The Sexuality of Black Women,” Sexual Behavior 12 (June 1972): 4–15Google Scholar; Staples, , “Black Sexuality,” in Sexuality and Human Values, ed. Calderone, Mary (New York, 1974), 62–71Google Scholar; Staples, , “Human Sexuality: The Minority Perspective,” Journal of Current Social Issues (Spring 1978): 71–74Google Scholar; Review of Staples, Robert, ed., The Black Family: Essays and Studies (Belmont, 1971), in The Black Scholar 2 (June 1971): 58–59Google Scholar; Swan, L. Alex, “A Methodological Critique of the Moynihan Report,” The Black Scholar 5 (June 1974): 18–24.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

34. Staples, Robert, “The Myth of Black Matriarchy,” The Black Scholar 2 (January–February 1970): 8–9, 11–12CrossRefGoogle Scholar; Staples, , “The Myth of the Impotent Black Male,” The Black Scholar 2 (June 1971): 4.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

35. Vontress, Clement E., “The Black Male Personality,” The Black Scholar 2 (June 1971): 14.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

36. Staples, Robert, “A Response to Clement Vontress,” The Black Scholar 3 (November 1971), 44–45Google Scholar; Vontress, Clement, “A Response to Robert Staples,” The Black Scholar 3 (November 1971): 49Google Scholar; Vontress, “The Black Male Personality,” 10–16.

37. Estes, I Am A Man! 107–30; Bambara, Toni Cade, ed., The Black Woman: An Anthology (1970; New York, 2005), 113, 126–27Google Scholar; Sizemore, Barbara A., “Sexism and the Black Male,” The Black Scholar 4 (March–April 1973): 7CrossRefGoogle Scholar; King, Mae C., “The Politics of Sexual Stereotypes,” The Black Scholar 4 (March–April 1973): 13–22.CrossRefGoogle Scholar To an unexpected extent, black feminist critiques of the Moynihan Report have overlooked the issue of black male queerness. A few subsequent queer feminist analyses moved along essentially the same analytical axes, using gender but not sexuality as a category of analysis. See Smith, Valerie, “Discourses of Family in Black Documentary,” Struggles for Representation: African-American Documentary Film and Video, ed. Klotman, Phyllis R. and Cutler, Janet K. (Bloomington, 1999), 250–67Google Scholar; Spillers, Hortense, “Mama’s Baby, Papa’s Maybe: An American Grammar Book,” Diacritics 17 (Summer 1987): 65–81CrossRefGoogle Scholar; McDowell, Deborah E., “Reading Family Matters,” in Changing Our Own Words: Essays and Criticism, Theory, and Writing by Black Women, ed. Wall, Cheryl A. (New Brunswick, N.J., 1989), 75–97Google Scholar; Lubiano, Wahneema, “Black Ladies, Welfare Queens, and State Minstrels: Ideological Wars by Narrative Means, in Race-ing Justice, En-gendering Power: Essays on Anita Hill, Clarence Thomas, and the Construction of Social Reality, ed. Morrison, Toni (New York, 1992), 323–63Google Scholar; Briggs, Reproducing Empire, 170–78.

38. Stack, Carol B., All Our Kin: Strategies for Survival in a Black Community (New York, 1974), 44.Google Scholar

39. Staples, Robert, “Masculinity and Race: The Dual Dilemma of Black Men,” Journal of Social Issues 34 (Winter 1978): 173–76CrossRefGoogle Scholar; Staples, , “Race, Liberalism-Conservativism, and Premarital Sexual Permissiveness,” Journal of Marriage and the Family 15 (November 1978): 733–42.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

40. Poussaint, Alvin, “Blacks and the Sexual Revolution,” Ebony, October 1971, 112–13.Google Scholar

41. Ibid., 118.

42. Poussaint, Alvin, “Sex and the Black Male,” Ebony, August 1972, 119.Google Scholar

43. Massey, Douglas S. and Sampson, Robert J., “Moynihan Redux: Legacies and Lessons,” Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science 621 (January 2009): 6–27CrossRefGoogle Scholar; James Q. Wilson, “Pat Moynihan Thinks About Families,” ibid., 28–33; Kathryn Edin, Laura Tach, and Ronald Mincy, “Claiming Fatherhood: Race and the Dynamics of Paternal Involvement,” ibid., 132–48; Lawrence B. Bobo and Camille Z. Charles, “Race and the American Mind: From the Moynihan Report to the Obama Candidacy,” ibid., 243–59; Ron Haskins, “Moynihan Was Right: Now What?” ibid., 281–314.

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