Angelina Weld Grimké


Angelina Weld Grimké

Angelina Weld Grimké (1880-1958) wrote poetry, short stories, and non-fiction as well as plays. She was named for her great-aunt, the abolitionist Angelina Grimké Weld.

Angelina’s father, Archibald Grimké, was a Harvard-educated lawyer, author, editor, educator and Vice-President of the NAACP. Not much is known about her mother, Sarah Stanley Grimké, other than she scandalized her white family by marrying an African-American man. Sarah abandoned the family shortly after Angelina was born. Angelina became deeply attached to her father, who supported her writing ambitions while conversely discouraging her from expressing her lesbian sexuality.

In 1902, Angelina graduated with a degree in physical education from the Boston Normal School of Gymnastics. Shortly after graduation, she and father moved to Washington, D.C., where Angelina taught English.

In Washington Angelina began to focus seriously on her writing—her most productive period would be in the 1910s and 1920s. In all, she would write 173 poems, 31 of which were published in such journals as The Crisis and Opportunity. While the play Rachel (1916) won her much acclaim, she was less prolific as a playwright. Her unpublished play Mara (c. 1925) , a chilling drama about a naïve young woman who is raped but whose family have no recourse for the crime, hints at her untapped potential as a dramatist.

Her Works

1916 | Drama
Rachel Loving loves children and longs to be a mother, but after seeing the devastating effects of racism on the children she cares for, and learning that her father and brother were lynched (her moth…
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