ClassicsClassics
Image of Alice Moore-Dunbar Nelson

Alice Moore-Dunbar Nelson

1875 - 1935

In her early years, Alice Moore-Dunbar Nelson was a teacher who went on to become politically active for both African-American and women’s rights. Alice was an American poet, journalist, and political activist. Among the first generation born free in the South after the Civil War, she was one of the prominent African Americans involved in the artistic flourishing of the Harlem Renaissance. She
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Anne Spencer

1882 - 1975

Harlem Renaissance poet and activist Anne Bethel Scales Bannister Spencer was born on a Virginia farm in 1882. The daughter of former slaves, Spencer’s mother enrolled her in school for the first time when she was 11, at the Virginia Theological Seminary and College (now Virginia University of Lynchburg). Six years later, Spencer graduated as valedictorian. Though she lived in Virginia her whole
Image of Claude McKay

Claude McKay

1889 - 1948

Festus Claudius "Claude" McKay (1889 – 1948) was a Jamaican writer and poet, who was a seminal figure in the Harlem Renaissance. He wrote five novels: Home to Harlem (1928), a best-seller that won the Harmon Gold Award for Literature, Banjo (1929), Banana Bottom (1933), Romance in Marseille (published in 2020), and in 1941 a manuscript called Amiable With Big Teeth: A Novel of the Love Affai
Image of Georgia Douglas Johnson

Georgia Douglas Johnson

1880 - 1966

A member of the Harlem Renaissance, Georgia Douglas Johnson wrote plays, a syndicated newspaper column, and four collections of poetry: The Heart of a Woman (1918), Bronze (1922), An Autumn Love Cycle (1928), and Share My World (1962)
Image of Jean Toomer

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
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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.
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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
Image of Leslie Pinckney Hill

Leslie Pinckney Hill

1880 - 1960

Leslie Pinckney Hill was born in Lynchburg, Virginia, on May 14, 1880. A graduate of Harvard University’s bachelors and masters programs, Hill was a poet, playwright, educator, and community leader and organizer. His published works include The Wings of Oppression (The Stratford Co., 1921) and the play Toussaint L’ Ouverture, A Dynamic History (The Christopher Publishing House, 1928). He
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Otto Leland Bohanan

1895 - 1932

Otto Leland Bohanan was born around 1895 in Washington, D.C. He graduated from Howard University and taught English at the Catholic University. He also worked as a music instructor at DeWitt Clinton High School, and died in 1932
Image of Paul Laurence Dunbar

Paul Laurence Dunbar

1872 - 1906

Paul Laurence Dunbar was an American poet, novelist and playwright whose reputation was based on his verses and short stories written in black dialect. He is known as the first African American writer who tried to live off of his writings. Dunbar was also one of the first black authors to gain national fame and international reputation in the United States
Image of Ray G. Dandridge

Ray G. Dandridge

1883 - 1930

Raymond G. Dandridge was nicknamed “The Paul Laurence Dunbar of Cincinnati” because his use of dialect and his subject matter closely matched that of 1900s poet Paul Laurence Dunbar. Dandridge emulated Dunbar’s works, but he also took part in the 1920s Harlem Renaissance, using his art as a means for the social advancement of blacks. Despite his relative seclusion from Harlem, New York, and
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William Stanley Braithwaite

1878 - 1962

An editor, anthologist, critic, and published poet himself, Braithwaite was a key figure in the revival of American poetry in the early decades of the twentieth century. From 1913 to 1929 he published the Anthology of Magazine Verse, an important annual collection that showcased the work of emerging poets on the American scene. "At a critical moment in our nation's literature, it was his voice