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Angelina Weld Grimke Portrait

Angelina Weld Grimké's troubled family history almost willfully theatricalizes key themes of America's racial history. Her father Archibald was the child of a South Carolina slaveholder and a slave on his plantation. Her great aunts on her father's side were Southern white abolitionists. Grimké's father married a white Bostonian, but the marriage disintegrated soon after Angelina's birth and she never saw her mother again. She was educated at Cushing and Carleton academies and became interested in dramatizing the country's racial conflicts. A successful 1916 play, Rachel, was her first major work, after which she published a small number of distinctive and haunting lyrics in several Harlem Renaissance anthologies, including love poems addressed to other women. She was something of a recluse after 1930. “Fragment” was an untitled manuscript in her papers. Also see Selected Works of Angelina Weld Grimke (1993).