Women of the Early Harlem Renaissance: African American Women Writers 1900-1922

Alice Dunbar-Nelson

Alice Dunbar Nelson was born Alice Ruth Moore in 1875 in New Orleans. She graduated from Straight University in 1892 and worked as a teacher in a New Orleans school. Her collection, Violets and Other Tales was published in 1895. She briefly lived and taught in New York City. After corresponding with the prominent poet Paul Laurence Dunbar, she moved to Washington, DC, and the two were married in 1898. Following their separation in 1902, Dunbar-Nelson moved to Wilmington, Delaware. 

Dunbar-Nelson continued to teach for many years, and was also involved in the local black press (she was a coeditor for A.M.E. Reviews, and, starting in 1920, the coeditor of Wilmington Advocate). She was also an active voice in national magazines like The Crisis, where among other things she published a one-act play called Mine Eyes Have Seen in 1918. 

Dunbar-Nelson's diaries have been published; they reveal much of interest to scholars, including her relationships with women. 

Texts by Alice Dunbar-Nelson that we will aim to digitize here: 

"Hope Deferred" (short story from The Crisis, April 1914)
"Mine Eyes Have Seen" (one-act play from The Crisis, 1918)
"Sonnet"  (poem published in The Crisis, August 1919)
Violets and Other Tales (1895)
The Goodness of St. Rocque and Other Stories (1899)
The Dunbar Speaker and Entertainer (1920)


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