Georgia Douglas Johnson

1880 - 1966

A figure 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).

J. W. Hammond


Having very little opportunity for formal schooling because of family conditions, J. W. Hammond is a self-taught poet. She was included in James Weldon Johnson's "Book of American Negro Poetry" as a demonstration of "native ability to the highest degree."

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 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.

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 ... [+]

Mary Weston Fordham


From a family of skilled laborers and land owners, she ran a school of African American children. In her poems, she tells about her children and the living conditions of African American families following the Civil War.

Olivia Ward Bush-Banks


American author, poet and journalist of African-American and Montaukett Native American heritage, she celebrated both of her heritages in her work. After being noticed by Paul Laurence Dunbar, she published two volumes of poetry and became a member of the early Harlem Renaissance.

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.