Guide to the Tommie L. Watkins Jr. Papers,
2000-2005.

Collection Number: 7737

Division of Rare and Manuscript Collections
Cornell University Library

Contact Information:
Division of Rare and Manuscript Collections
2B Carl A. Kroch Library
Cornell University
Ithaca, NY 14853
(607) 255-3530
Fax: (607) 255-9524
rareref@cornell.edu
http://rmc.library.cornell.edu
Compiled by:
Rima Turner
Date completed:
Feb. 7, 2006
EAD encoding:
Peter Martinez, Feb. 2006
Rima Turner, Feb. 2006

© 2003 Division of Rare and Manuscript Collections, Cornell University Library


DESCRIPTIVE SUMMARY

Title:
Tommie L. Watkins Jr. papers, 2000-2005.
Collection Number:
7737
Creator:
Tommie L. Watkins Jr.
Quantity:
0.3 cubic ft.
Forms of Material:
N/A
Repository:
Division of Rare and Manuscript Collections, Cornell University Library
Abstract:
Papers of Rev. Tommie Lee Watkins Jr., documenting his interaction with the U.S. Navy regarding their demand that he repay tuition. During the three-year administrative process, Watkins asserted that the Navy's insistence that he repay tuition when it had excused numerous cases involving white students was influenced by racism. His papers also document his views on communities of faith and the inclusion and affirmation of gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender people, those questioning their sexuality, people living with AIDS, and their families. Includes correspondence, essays, clippings, and a videorecording of a service at Miami, Florida's Greater Bethel A.M.E. (African Methodist Episcopal Church) Church on April 15, 2001, where Watkins worked as program director for HIV/AIDS prevention education.
Language:
Collection material in English


BIOGRAPHICAL NOTE

Ordained a Baptist minister in 1991, Watkins served as youth minister at the First Missionary Baptist Church of Hueytown in Bessemer, Alabama. He attended the United States Naval Academy from 1994 to 1997, where he was elected class president and earned the rank of battalion commander. In 1997, he resigned after allegations of homosexual activity. He finished his degree at the Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in Florida, and has worked as a business analyst, math teacher, and health educator focusing on gay youth and communities of color. In 2000, the South Florida Conference of the AME Church denied his application for ordination as an A.M.E. itinerent deacon (the lowest level of itinerent minister). He founded the Ministry of Reconciliation, which is an inclusive and affirming education and worship experience primarily for Black Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender, Questioning persons, Persons Living With AIDS (PLWAs), and their family members. In 2005, Watkins published a book about his life experiences titled "Living Out Loud."

COLLECTION DESCRIPTION

Papers of Rev. Tommie Lee Watkins Jr., documenting his interaction with the U.S. Navy regarding their demand that he repay tuition. During the three-year administrative process, Watkins asserted that the Navy's insistence that he repay tuition when it had excused numerous cases involving white students was influenced by racism. His papers also document his views on communities of faith and the inclusion and affirmation of gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender people, those questioning their sexuality, people living with AIDS, and their families. Includes correspondence, essays, clippings, and a videorecording of a service at Miami, Florida's Greater Bethel A.M.E. (African Methodist Episcopal Church) Church on April 15, 2001, where Watkins worked as program director for HIV/AIDS prevention education.

SUBJECTS

Names:
Watkins, Tommie L., Jr.
African Methodist Episcopal Church--Florida.

Subjects:
African-American gays--United States.
Gay clergy--United States.
Homosexuality--Religious aspects.
Homophobia--United States.
Race discrimination--United States.

Places:
United States--Armed Forces--Gays--Government policy.


INFORMATION FOR USERS

Cite As:
Tommie L. Watkins Jr. papers, # 7737. Division of Rare and Manuscript Collections, Cornell University Library.

RELATED MATERIALS

Collecting program: Human Sexuality Collection

CONTAINER LIST

Date
Description
Container
2004
2004 resume and Colin Higgins Courage Award certificate of recognition
Box 1, Folder 1
2000
"Ministry of Reconciliation," paper by Watkins
Box 1, Folder 2
2000
Correspondence re: debt to the Navy
Box 1, Folder 3
n.d.
Henderson, Mitch letter to editor about Watkins' debt to Navy
Box 1, Folder 4
2000
Washington Post
Box 1, Folder 5
2001
"Rev. Tommy Watkins: Faith Warrior," article in Venus and readers' responses
Box 1, Folder 6
2002
CU Out and About (Univ. of Colorado at Boulder)
Box 1, Folder 7
ca. 2000
Clippings
Box 1, Folder 8
2000-2005
Clippings
Box 1, Folder 9
2003
Mosaic event poster
Box 1, Folder 10
2001
Greater Bethel A.M.E. Church service
Box 1 v. 722
2001
Rev. Tommie Watkins Articles of Venus
Box 2, Folder 1
2006
Advocate Article and Bulletin Full Truth Ministries
Box 2, Folder 2
2007
Events
Box 2, Folder 3
2008
Diplomas and Articles
Box 2, Folder 4
2008
Diplomas
Box 2, Folder 5
2009
Articles
Box 2, Folder 6
2009
Articles
Box 2, Folder 7