Angelina Weld Grimke (1880-1958)

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Angelina Weld Grimké (1880-1958) wrote poetry, various essays and short stories, and one play. Born in Boston to a biracial family, her parents separated not long after her birth and her mother later committed suicide. When she was 14, she moved to Washington, DC to live with her aunt and uncle, as her father was being transferred to the Dominican Republic. After graduating from college, Grimké taught at two DC Public Schools, Armstrong Manual Training School and Dunbar High School, from 1902 to 1926. During the summers, she also took classes at Harvard University. Her works were published in Crisis and Opportunity and also collected in three Harlem Renaissance anthologies: The New Negro, Caroling Dusk, and Negro Poets and Their Poems. Her play, Rachel, was written in response to a film that glorified the Ku Klux Klan; it was produced in 1916 and published in 1920, making her one of the earliest published African American playwrights. Grimké often wrote about the themes of innocence of children and the concept of motherhood, along with civil rights issues. Beltway Poetry Quarterly, essay by Rebecca Villarreal, Memory and Influence Issue, Volume 4:4, Fall 2003:

Written by Word Works intern Monica Root October 2013, edited by Kim Roberts December 2013

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