Black History Woman of the Day: Alice Dunbar Nelson

Alice Dunbar Nelson (1875-1935), a poet, journalist and political activist, had the ability to speak volumes into history and have an everlasting impact. Her first collection of short stories and poems, Violets and Other Tales, was published by The Monthly Review in 1895. By the 1920s and ’30s she wrote articles on leading topics and was an activist for women’s rights.

Alice’s writing style was centered around rhetoric context and explored the role of black women in the workforce, education and equal rights. During the Harlem Renaissance, she was a prominent figure in the literature department. Her works like “Hysteria” and “As in a Looking Glass” gave notice to her name. On September 18, 1935, Alice died of a heart ailment, she was 60.

In 1984, her diary was published and as one of only two journals of the 19th century African American women. Her diary provided useful insight into the lives of black women during this time. For that reason her legacy will forever live on and be read in the classrooms of many students.