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Alcohol And Society
Jean Toomer's family was not typical of migrating African Americans settling in the North, or fleeing the South. Each of his maternal grandparents were born of a caucasian father. But a "speck of Black makes you Black." Thus, Toomer's grandfather, Pinckney Benton Stewart Pinchback, was a free born black, a Union officer in the Civil War and was elected to the office of Lieutenant Governor and later Acting Governor of Louisiana during Reconstruction. The Pinchback's retired north and settled in the Negro community of the capitol. Thus, Toomer was born, as Nathan Pinchback Toomer into an upper class Negro family in Washington D.C. on December 26, 1894. Shortly after Toomer's birth, his caucasion father deserted his wife and son, and in 1996 Toomer's mother, Nina Toomer, gave him the name Nathan Eugene (which he later shortened to Jean). At the age of ten he was stricken with severe stomach ailments which he survived with a greatly altered life. He showed strength early - when faced with adversity, rather than wring his hands and retreat further into himself, Toomer searched for a plan of action, an intellectual scheme and method to cope with a personal crisis. Toomer writes in Wayward and Seeking, "I had an attitude towards myself that I was superior to wrong-doing and above criticism and reproach ... I seemed to induce, in the grownups, an attitude which made them keep their hands off me; keep, as it were, a respectable distance." Eugene and Nina and a new husband moved to New York in 1906; however, upon Nina's death in 1909, Nathan moved back to Washington and his grandparents.
When Jean Toomer graduated from high school he began traveling. He studied at five places of higher education in a period of less than four years. At the University of Wisconsin, he enrolled in the agriculture program. Half a year later, however, he determined that Wisconsin was an atmosphere not meant for him, and he thus moved to Massachusetts to study at the Massachusetts College of Agriculture. During his period of transition between the two colleges, Toomer found an interest in physical fitness. Before officially enrolling at Massachusetts, he changed his mind, opting instead to begin taking classes at the American College of Physical Training in Chicago. Five months later, in January of 1916, he moved to Chicago to begin his studies. By the fall of 1916 he also
began supplementing his education with studies at the University of Chicago.
"I have lived by turn in Washington, New York, Chicago, and Sparta (Georgia)... I have worked, it seems to me, at everything: selling papers, delivery boy, soda clerk, salesman, shipyard worker, librarian-assistant, physical director, school teacher, grocery clerk, and God knows what all. Neither the universities of Wisconsin or New York gave me what I wanted, so I quit them."
It was in Chicago that Toomer began to broaden his interest in literature. Although evidence shows that, in addition to Dante's Inferno , Toomer was affected by Herman Melville's Moby Dick to such a degree that he actually compared himself to Ishmael by having "mentally turned failure to triumph." One of the most prominent literary characters with whom he became enthralled was Victor Hugo's character Jean Valjean; Toomer
His southern sojourn as a school principal in Sparta, Georgia (1922) found in him the belief that he had located his ancestral roots (from Toomer's experience and influence, Sparta was popularized as an ancestral root source by many of the Harlem Renaissance intelligensia; e.g., Zora Neal Hurston and Langston Hughes both traveled there in the summer of 1927). Thus, he began to write poems, stories, and sketches, especially about southern women whose stretch towards self-realization forced them into conflict with American societal moral attitudes. Upon return to Washington, he repeated his efforts, this time focusing on inhibited Negroes in the North. He made friends with Waldo Frank published in the most important journals. The result, for Toomer, was a book, Cane.
In 1923 Cane was published together with Waldo Frank's Holiday . Frank was a mentor for Toomer, reading much of his work before publication. Toomer edited the manuscript of and actually wrote all the dialogue in Holiday.
A few "important" white people thought Cane was an ... more
Find essay on Community Atmosphere
Thesis: Government Censorship would damage the atmosphere of the freedom to express ideas on
the Internet; therefore, government should not encourage censorship.
I. In the Internet community, there is a large volume of technical terms. For this reason, it is first
necessary to examine the terminology specific to Internet.
1.The internet is a world wide computer network.
1.Electronic mail (email), which is one component of the Internet, approximates person
to person letters, memoranda, notes and even phone calls.
2.Another term that is often used is electronic news (enews/Usenet), enews is a
broadcast, free to the Internet medium.
3.The term FTP is also frequently used. File transfer protocol (FTP) started as an
Internet archival and retrieval medium, somewhat analogous to traditional libraries.
4.The world-wide web (WWW), which is another component of the Net, can be used
to publish material that would traditionally appear in journals, magazines, posters,
books, television and even on film.
2.It is also essential to give a brief history on the internet.
3.The U.S. government is now trying to pass bills to prevent misuse of the Net.
II. In order to understand the need for the ever-growing body of legislation, it is important to
explore the controversy, and the current problems involved with the Net as it exists must be
1.The problem that concerns most people is offensive materials such as pornography.
2.Another crucial internet crime is the stealing of credit card numbers.
III. One reaction to this inapplicability has been the Censor the Net approach (the censorship
bill), we are now to compare its advantages and disadvantages.
1.First, the meaning of Censoring the Net must be explained.
2.However, many experts have pointed out that government censorship is not possible.
1.First, it is not fair to exclude the freedom and damage the atmosphere of freely
expressing ideas just for the safety of children.
2.Most internet users are enjoying their freedom of speech on the Net, which is
supposed to be protected by our First Amendment.
3.Additionally, only a very small portion of the Net contains offensive material, most
people do not use the Net for pornography.
4.It must be understood that censoring the Net is technically impossible.
5.While people are concerned about Internet pornography, it should be recognized that
pornography is sometimes legal; for example, pornography is legal in video and
IV. There are many alternative measures to government censorship which would prevent misuse of
the Net and would have the same effects as censorship.
1.It is very important for parents to provide moral guidance for their children, and parents
should have this responsibility.
2.However, at the same time as we carry out moral guidance, we have to come out with some
short term approaches to solve the problem in a more efficient way as well.
3.An alternative to government censorship is the technological fix, which would prevent
misuse of the Net and would have the same effects as government censorship.
1.One example of technological fix is the SurfWatch software.
2.Also, commercial Internet service providers, such as America Online, allow parents
to control what Internet relay chat (IRC) sessions are available to their children.
3.Another technological fix is for parents and guardians to have a separate proxy
server for their children's web browser.
4.There are no computer programs to automatically and reliably classify material; only people
can do it. As a result, while practicing technological fixes, the classification of the contents of
the material when posting is very important.
5.Nowadays, most internet users classify their postings with standard categories, and leave
signatures at the end of postings.
6.The combination of the installation of censoring software and the classification of materials is
a much better solution than government censorship.
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