James Weldon Johnson

1871 - 1938

James Weldon Johnson, who was a talented American poet and novelist, made a name for himself as a man of letters and as a civil rights leader in the early decades of the 20th century. He is credited with bringing a new standard of artistry and realism to black literature. He was head of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People during the 1920s and helped remove the legal ... [+]

Jean Toomer

1894 - 1967

Jean Toomer (1894 – 1967) was an American poet and novelist commonly associated with the Harlem Renaissance and modernism. His reputation stems from his novel, Cane (1923), which Toomer wrote during and after a stint as principal at a black school in Sparta, Georgia. Sociologist Charles S. Johnson called the novel "the most astonishingly brilliant beginning of any Negro writer of his ... [+]

Jessie Redmon Fauset


Not only a writer and poet herself, Jessie Redmon Fauset contributed to the Harlem Renaissance as an editor and reviewer by encouraging black writers to give a realistic and positive representation of the African-American community. She published four novels during the 1920s and 1930s, exploring the lives of the black middle class.

Joseph Jacobs

1854 - 1916

Joseph Jacobs was an Australian writer, who notably wrote, collected, and published English folklore. His work went on to popularize some of the world’s most well-known English fairy tales. He is known as one of the best and most popular writers of fairy tales in the English language.

Joseph Seamon Cotter


Poet and community leader in Louisville, Kentucky, Cotter was raised in poverty with no formal education until the age of 22. He later became an educator and an advocate of black education. He is the author of six books of poetry and a collection of short stories collected under the title of "Negro Tales."

Joshua Henry Jones, Jr.

d. 1955

Joshua Henry Jones, Jr. was born in Orangeburg, South Carolina. He published both prose and poetry, including Poems of Four Seas (1921) and By Sanction of Law (1924). Jones died on December 14, 1955, in Boston.

Katherine Mansfield

1888 - 1923

Katherine Mansfield was a prominent New Zealand modernist short story writer. She developed a distinctive prose style with many overtones of poetry. She worked on many themes in her stories such as the difficulties and ambivalences of families and sexuality, the fragility and vulnerability of relationships, the social consequences of war, the complexities of the rising middle classes, …

Langston Hughes

1901 - 1967

Langston Hughes was a central figure in the Harlem Renaissance. He sought to honestly portray the joys and hardships of working-class black lives, avoiding both sentimental idealization and negative stereotypes. As he wrote in his essay “The Negro Artist and the Racial Mountain,” “We younger Negro artists who create now intend to express our individual dark-skinned selves without fear o ... [+]