Jessie Redmon Fauset was born on April 27, 1882, in Camden County, New Jersey. She grew up in Philadelphia and attended the Philadelphia High School for Girls. She received a scholarship to study at Cornell University, where she was likely the first black female student, and she graduated with a BA in classical languages in 1905. After college, she worked as a teacher in Baltimore and Washington, D. C.
In 1912, Fauset began to write for the NAACP’s official magazine, The Crisis, which was co-founded and edited by W. E. B. Du Bois. After several years contributing poems, essays, and reviews to The Crisis, Fauset became the journal’s literary editor in 1919, moving to New York City for the position.
In her role as literary editor, Fauset introduced then-unknown writers, including Countee Cullen, Langston Hughes, Claude McKay, and Anne Spencer, to a national audience. In his memoir The Big Sea, Langston Hughes writes, “Jessie Fauset at The Crisis, Charles Johnson at Opportunity, and Alain Locke in Washington were the three people who mid-wifed the so-called New Negro literature into being. Kind and critical—but not too critical for the young—they nursed us along until our books were born.”
Along with her poetry and short fiction in The Crisis, Fauset published several novels known for their portrayal of middle-class African American life, including There Is Confusion (Boni and Liveright, 1924) and Plum Bun (Matthews & Marrot, 1928). She also edited The Brownies’ Book, a periodical for African American children, from 1920 to 1921.
Fauset left The Crisis in 1926 to teach French at a high school in the Bronx. She married Herbert Harris, a businessman, in 1929, and they lived together in New Jersey until his death in 1958. Fauset then returned to Philadelphia, where she lived until her death on April 30, 1961.
Comedy, American Style (Frederick A. Stokes Co., 1933)
The Chinaberry Tree: A Novel of American Life (Frederick A. Stokes Co., 1931)
Plum Bun (Matthews & Marrot, 1928)
There Is Confusion (Boni and Liveright, 1924)
|1882:||She was born Jessie Redmona Fauset (later known as Jessie Redmon Fauset) on April 27, 1882, in Fredericksville, Camden County, Snow Hill Center Township, New Jersey.|
|1919:||In 1919 Fauset left teaching to become the literary editor for The Crisis, founded by W. E. B. Du Bois of the NAACP.|
|1924:||Her first novel, There is Confusion, was applauded by Alain Locke in the 1924 February issue of the Crisis.|
|1925:||Notably, Fauset included five essays, including “Dark Algiers the White,” detailing her six-month journey with Laura Wheeler Waring to France and Algeria in 1925 and 1926.|
|1926:||In 1926, Fauset left The Crisis and returned to teaching, this time at DeWitt Clinton High School in New York City, where she may have taught a young James Baldwin.|
|1928:||Plum Bun written by Jessie Redmon Fauset was first published in 1928.|
The journey of this life has left scars,
embedded deeply within my being.
become the spider-like web of construction.
Mirrored cracks & creases,
are the consistent reminders that I lived.
I wear my battle-wounds PROUDLY,
for they’re the trophies of life continuing &
As I Am,
exhibiting the freckles of time,
a reminder of the existence I bare.
I breathe & live again.
“This poem was inspired by the Artist(The Alchemist) of the piece pictured. I added my gold lines to support this poem.
I looked at it & I saw myself in a variety of ways. Dynamic Artist!” The piece in its originality is located below.” ~Maxwanette A Poetess
*Kintsukuroi (“golden mend”) is the Japanese art of mending broken pottery using lacquer resin laced with gold or silver.
By The Alchemist
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