Selected Achievements of African-American Authors of West Virginia

Including a site commonly associated with the author.
Copyright 1999 Phyllis Wilson Moore, All Rights Reserved

Martinsburg: Martin R. Delany, author of Conditions...of the Colored People (1852) is appointed the first Black Major of Civil War (1863).

Wheeling/Charleston: J. McHenry Jones publishes a Reconstruction-Era novel Hearts of Gold (1896). One of the issues he deals with is interracial marriage.

Malden: The great educator, Booker T. Washington publishes Up From Slavery (1901).

Huntington: Carter G. Woodson founds the Association for the Study of Negro Life and History (1915). He earns the reputation as the Father of Black History.

Bramwell: Poet Anne Spencer's work appears in Harlem Renaissance anthologies (1920-1935) and her then current home in Lynchburg, Virginia is a gathering place for founders of the NAACP. Her home is now listed on the National Register of Historic Houses.

Keyser: John F. Matheus wins two Harlem Renaissance Era "Crisis" Short Story Contests (1925,1926). One of the stories "Fog" is set in an Ohio River town..

Clarksburg: William Demby describes black-white relationships in Clarksburg, West Virginia in his groundbreaking novel Beetlecreek (1950).

Martinsburg: Martin R. Delany's slavery protest novel, Blake, or the Huts of America, serialized in 1861-1862, is reprinted (1970).

Charleston/Fairmont: The West Virginia Black Cultural Festival honors nationally recognized playwright Ann Kathryn Flagg (1984).

Edward J. Cabbell
as John Henry
Keystone/Morgantown: Author/historian Edward J. Cabbell, founder of John Henry Memorial Foundation, co-edits Blacks in Appalachia (1985).

Ansted/Morgantown: Poets Brucella and Norman Jordan establish the "African-American Heritage Family Tree Museum" in an original coal-camp house in Ansted; a section is devoted to the African-American literature of West Virginia (1991).

Martinsburg: Walter Dean Myers wins the Coretta Scott King Award for Now is Your Time: the African American Struggle for Freedom. One of the chapters tells of his ancestors' slavery in the Martinsburg area (1992).

Henry Louis Gates, Jr.
Huntington/Clarksburg: Elaine Hilson Blue's poetry is exhibited at the Cultural Center and as an exhibit that travels the state (1992).

Piedmont: Henry Louis Gates, Jr. is the Charleston Gazette's "West Virginian of the Year" and receives numerous awards for his memoir Colored People (1994).

Charleston: Noted scholar Ancella Radford Bickley publishes Our Mount Vernons to identify sites significant to West Virginia Black history (1997).

Ancella Radford Bickley
Bluefield: Dressed in character, playwright Joseph Bundy replicates the Booker T. Washington family's 1866 trek from the Lynchburg, Virginia area Burroughs' Plantation and slavery to their "free" home in Malden, West Virginia. Trekkers hear a reading of the Emancipation Proclamation on the Virginia plantation and end the trek with a June 20th West Virginia Day Celebration and re-dedication of the Malden African Zion Baptist Church, Washington's "home" church (1997).

Copyright 1999 Phyllis Wilson Moore, all rights reserved


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