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Book Title: The Works of Alice Dunbar-Nelson: Volume 1|
The author of the book: Alice Dunbar-Nelson
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Edition: Oxford University Press, USA
Date of issue: June 23rd 1994
ISBN 13: 9780195090550
Format files: PDF
The size of the: 16.41 MB
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The Works of Alice Dunbar-Nelson offers a unique glimpse at the diverse roots of black women's writing in America. Ranging from autobiographical short stories to poetry, novellas, and journalism, Dunbar-Nelson's powerful work is marked by themes of opposition, difference, and the crossing of racial bounderies that made her work potentially too dangerous for her contemporary readers, but dominate much of writing today.
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Read information about the authorAlice Ruth Moore Dunbar Nelson (July 19, 1875 – September 18, 1935) 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. Her first husband was the poet Paul Laurence Dunbar; she then married physician Henry A. Callis; and last married Robert J. Nelson, a poet and civil rights activist.
Alice Ruth Moore was born in New Orleans to middle-class parents Patricia Wright, a seamstress and former slave, and Joseph Moore, a merchant marine, who were people of color and part of the traditional multiracial Creole community of the city. At a time when fewer than 1% of Americans went to college, Moore graduated from Straight University (later merged into Dillard University) in 1892 and started work as a teacher in the public school system of New Orleans.
In 1895, her first collection of short stories and poems, Violets and Other Tales, was published by The Monthly Review. About that time, Moore moved to Boston and then New York. She co-founded and taught at the White Rose Mission (White Rose Home for Girls) in Brooklyn. Beginning a correspondence with the poet and journalist Paul Laurence Dunbar, she ended up moving to Washington, DC to join him when they married in 1898.
From 1913 to 1914, Dunbar was coeditor and writer for the A.M.E. Review, an influential church publication produced by the African Methodist Episcopal Church (AME Church). In 1916 she married the poet and civil rights activist Robert J. Nelson. She joined him in becoming active in politics in Wilmington and the region. They stayed together for the rest of their lives. From 1920, she coedited the Wilmington Advocate, a progressive black newspaper. She also published The Dunbar Speaker and Entertainer, a literary anthology for a black audience.
Alice Dunbar Nelson was an activist for African Americans' and women's rights, especially during the 1920s and 1930s. While she continued to write stories and poetry, she became more politically active in Wilmington, and put more effort into numerous articles and journalism on leading topics. In 1915, she was field organizer for the Middle Atlantic states for the woman's suffrage movement. In 1918, she was field representative for the Woman's Committee of the Council of Defense. In 1924, Dunbar-Nelson campaigned for the passage of the Dyer Anti-Lynching Bill, but the Southern Democratic block in Congress defeated it.
From about 1920 on, she made a commitment to journalism and was a highly successful columnist, with articles, essays and reviews appearing as well in newspapers, magazines, and academic journals. She was a popular speaker and had an active schedule of lectures through these years. Her journalism career originally began with a rocky start. During the late 19th century, it was still unusual for women to work outside of the home, let alone an African-American woman, and the journalism business was a hostile, male-dominated field. In her diary, she spoke about the tribulations associated with the profession of journalism – "Damn bad luck I have with my pen. Some fate has decreed I shall never make money by it" (Diary 366). She discusses being denied pay for her articles and issues she had with receiving proper recognition for her work.
She moved from Delaware to Philadelphia in 1932, when her husband joined the Pennsylvania Athletic Commission. During this time, her health was in decline and she died from a heart ailment on September 18, 1935, at the age of sixty. She is interred at the Wilmington and Brandywine Cemetery in Wilmington, Delaware.
She was made an honorary member of Delta Sigma Theta sorority. Her papers were collected by the University of Delaware.
Her diary was published in 1984 and detailed her life during the years 1921 and 1926 to 1931 (“Alice Dunbar-Nelson”). As one of only two journals of 19th-ce
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