Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Alice Dunbar-Nelson

The Awesome Woman of the Day for Wednesday, July 18, 2012 is Alice Dunbar-Nelson, U.S. poet, teacher, political activist (1875 to 1935).

She was born Alice Ruth Moore on July 19, 1875 in New Orleans, Louisiana, USA to Creole parents. Her mother was a former slave who became a seamstress; her father may have been a merchant marine. Lee-Keller, Helen, 2011. "Alice Dunbar-Nelson," KnowLA Encyclopedia of Louisiana: Alice graduated from high school at age 14 and went to Straight College, where she earned a teaching certificate. She was teaching in the New Orleans public schools when her first book of short stories was published. She moved to New York and continued her education at Columbia, University of Pennsylvania, and Cornell, where she earned her M.A.

She married poet Paul Laurence Dunbar when she was 23, moving to Washington D.C. to be with him. The marriage ended badly four years later,amid rumo
rs of domestic violence (him) and same sex affairs (her). See They never officially divorced, and Dunbar died in 1906. Id.

After Dunbar-Nelson and Dunbar separated, she moved to Delaware and returned to teaching at Howard High School and then Howard University, where she met and married a fellow professor. That marriage also ended in divorce, and in 1916, Alice married poet and activist Robert J. Nelson. She help found and co-edited The Wilmington Advocate, a newspaper promoting racial equality and uplift., and she became active in the anti-lynching movement and the women's suffrage movement. Id.

Dunbar-Nelson saved on the Women's Committee on the Council of Defense and the American Friends Interracial Peace Committee Lee-Keller, supra.

She died at the age of 60 from a heart ailment. Wikipedia, supra.

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