22 Facts About Anne Spencer


Anne Bethel Spencer was born on Bannister; February 6,1882 – July 27,1975 and was an American poet, teacher, civil rights activist, librarian, and gardener.

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Anne Spencer met Edward Spencer while attending Virginia Seminary in Lynchburg, Virginia.

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Anne Spencer loved her garden and a cottage, Edankraal, which her husband Edward built for her as a writing studio in the garden behind their home.

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Anne Spencer's parents worked on a plantation after their marriage.

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Chauncey Anne Spencer was to become a noted member of that group at a time when African American pilots had been refused military service as pilots.

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Anne Spencer started working there for extra income when her children began attending college.

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The library consisted of a rather small collection of books, which resulted in Anne Spencer bringing books from her own collection at home to add to the library.

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Anne Spencer's literary life began while she was a student at the Virginia Seminary where she wrote her first poem, "the Skeptic, " now lost.

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Anne Spencer continued to write poetry throughout her life, using any scrap of paper or garden catalogue page that was handy, to record her thoughts.

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Anne Spencer's poems spoke to race, nature, and the harsh realities of the world that she lived in.

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Anne Spencer hosted James Weldon Johnson in her home, as a traveling representative for the NAACP.

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Mencken, Johnson's own editor, Anne Spencer had her first poem, "Before the Feast at Shushan, " published in the February 1920 issue of The Crisis.

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Anne Spencer was 40 years old at the time her first poem was published.

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The majority of Anne Spencer's work was published during the 1920s, during the Harlem Renaissance.

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Anne Spencer's work was highly respected during her time, and through her poems, she was able to touch on topics of race and nature, as well as themes of feminism.

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Anne Spencer's work was notably featured in Alain Locke's famous anthology The New Negro: An Interpretation, which connected her to the lifeline of the Harlem Renaissance, despite the fact that she lived in Virginia, far from New York.

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Anne Spencer earned herself a place in the esteemed Norton Anthology of American Poetry for her writing, making her the second African American to be featured in this work.

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Anne Spencer was later featured in Shadowed Dreams: Women's Poetry of the Harlem Renaissance.

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Anne Spencer died at the age of 93 on July 27,1975 and is buried alongside her husband Edward, who died in 1964, in the family plot at Forest Hills Cemetery in Lynchburg.

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Lynchburg home in which Anne Spencer lived and worked is a museum, the Anne Spencer House and Garden Museum.

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Anne Spencer's papers, related family papers, and books from her personal library reside at the Albert and Shirley Small Special Collections Library at the University of Virginia.

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In 2019, the United States Postal Service announced that Anne Spencer would be featured in a 2020 Forever stamp honoring figures of the Harlem Renaissance.

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