Nat Turner, Sexuality, and Skin complexion

, slaves massacre whites in Virginia


Nat Turner, Sexuality, and Skin complexion (Was Nat gay and what color was he?)

It was 177 years ago that Nat Turner was hung in Virginia for leading an insurrection and killed fifty five whites (white men, women and children). Nat and the black men with him struck fear in hearts of whites living in Virginia when word spreaded about what they had dome to whites. Some believe that Nat was gay others feel he was bisexual, while some believe he was heterosexual and the rumors about him being gay are made up and false. 

5 feet 6 or 8 inches high, weighs between 150 and 160 pounds, rather bright complexion, but not a mulatto, broad shoulders, larger flat nose, large eyes, broad flat feet, rather knockneed, walks brisk and active, hair on the top of the head very thin, no beard, except on the upper lip and the top of the chin, a scar on one of his temples, also one on the back of his neck, a large knot on one of the bones of his right arm, near the wrist, produced by a blow (Description of Turner included in $500 reward notice in the Washington National Intelligencer on September 24, 1831, quoted in Aptheker, American Negro Slave Revolts, p. 294.)

The Governor James Monroe of Virginia said that Nat was of a bright complexion but not a mulatto. The governor’s use of the expression not a mulatto means that Nat could not pass for white. Below is an excerpt from the confession of Nat Turner, where Nat aleaggaly spoke about his homosexual expeerince with his friend named Willis.


Nat Turner: "One day, his finger pricked by a hook or the sharp spine of a fish, Willis cried out—’fuckin’ Jesus!’ he yelled—and so swiftly that I hardly knew what I was doing I rapped him sharply across the lips, drawing a tiny runnel of blood. ‘A filthy mouth is an abomination unto the Lord!’ I said. His face wore a broken, hurt look and he reached up to lightly finger the place where I had struck him. His round eyes were soft and childlike, trusting, and suddenly I felt a pang of guilt and pain at my anger, and a rush of pity swept through me, mingled with a hungry tenderness that stirred me in a way I have never known. Willis said nothing, his eyes were brimming with tears; I saw the moccasin fangs dangling at his neck, bone-white and startling against his shiny bare black chest. I reached up to wipe away the blood from his lips, pulling him near with the feel of his shoulders slippery beneath my hand, and then we somehow fell on each other, very close, soft and comfortable in a sprawl like babies; beneath my exploring fingers his hot skin throbbed and pulsed like the throat of a pigeon, and I heard him sigh in a faraway voice, and then for a long moment as if set free into another land we did with our hands together what, before, I had done alone. Never had I known that human flesh could be so sweet.

Minutes afterward I heard Willis murmur: ‘Man, I sho liked dat. Want to do it again?’

For a time I couldn’t bring myself to look at him, averting my eyes, keeping my gaze up toward the sun through leaves atremble like a forest of green fluttering moths. Finally I said: ‘The soul of Jonathan was knit with the soul of David, and Jonathan loved him as his own soul.’" – The Confessions of Nat Turner by William Styron, 1967


Skin Complexion During Slavery

Nat Turner and Skin Complexion

It’s also believed by some researchers and scholars that Nat Turner’s father was a white man, and that Nat grew up with his stepfather and biological mother. He considered his stepfather to be his real dad since he never knew his real father.

Nat was light skinned meaning he had a skin complexion that was yellow, yellowish brown or whitish beige. The way we can tell is because Governor James Monroe knew the difference between various skin complexion among blacks and mixed race people who had some black ancestry. Monroe knew that there where mulattoes who could pass for white and mulattoes who could not.

He knew the skin complexion difference between a brown skin black and a light skin black. Often many light skin blacks who could not pass for white where either biracial or had a relative or relatives who had been biracial mulattoes.

Slave revolt leader Gabriel Brown

1775 – 1800

Governor James Monroe: "..Gabriel is a Negro of a brown complexion about 6 feet 3 or 4 inches high, a bony face, well made, and very active, has two or three scars on his head, his hair is very short…He can read and write, and perhaps will forge himself a pass, or certificate of his freedom… (Proclamation Governor James Monroe September 9, 1800

Gabriel was captured and executed. But the fact that Governor Monroe described Gabriel as a brown skin black man means and Nat Turner as having a bright complexion (light skin) proves that Nat was lighter than a brown skin black. This brown skin complexion is also known among black Americans as caramel brown skin. This proves that whites and blacks knew of skin complexion differences among blacks and those mixed race people who where mixed with black.

This also shows that Governor James Monroe and people both black and white of his time knew the difference between the various mulatto phenotypes (physical appearance) also. They knew that there were mulattoes who had quadroonic and octoroonic phenotypes that allowed them pass for white. And that there were mulattoes who could not pass for white but could pass for another race like Arab, Latino, etc and there were mulattoes whose black ancestry was visible.

Dark skin, brown skin, light skin, and mulattoes whites where fully aware of all of these various shades of complexions.                       



    that NAT TURNER writing doesn’t even sound like a person who never went to school. I don’t believe he wrote that.

  2. Tiffani McFadden

    Sexuality? This is NOT true in ANY way! This is an excerpt from a fictional book written by William Styron in 1967. Turner NEVER has even been rumored to speak of his sexuality. In his confession to his lawyer he spoke of being ordained by God and the murders he committed. He never once took the time to discuss such a petty detail such as a tryst. He never spoke of any romantic or sexual relationships. He was about to be hung for sever murders for God’s sake! U shouldn’t try to pass this off as history!

  3. Tiffani McFadden

    White folks will tell u anything about our leaders and y’all just pass it along! Smh

  4. Ashely Johnson

    Why are white people always trying to call great black men gay? Get rid of this garbage lie!

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