Dr. Piper Huguley-Riggins
215 English: 20th Century Black Women Writers
7 July 2016
Pauline Hopkins’ Legacy African American 20th Century writers have played a big role in educating the community. The authors and poets of the Harlem Renaissance who prospered in the 1920s, such as Langston Hughes and Zora Neale Hurston, have become more popular and their works have been recognized and interpreted in English classes in recent years. Pauline Hopkins should be included the next time English 215: 20th Century Black Women Writers.
Pauline Elizabeth Hopkins was a writer, editor, playwright, singer and actress. Hopkins was born in Portland, Maine on August 13, 1859 (Pauline E. Hopkins Biography). She was born to free parents who raised …show more content…
She was taught the stenographer’s trade, and began to work. While working as a stenographer Hopkins continued to watch black and white relations and she began to write essays that expressed her ideas and observations. Which is important because it helped shaped some of her views on the two races. She began to work on a novel that expressed personal and political tensions between the northern and southern United States. The difficulties of blacks amid the racist violence of post-Civil War America provided a theme for her first novel, Contending Forces: A Romance Illustrative of Negro Life North and South. The novel is about a mixed-race family from early 19th-century slavery in the West Indies and the southern United States to early 20th-century Massachusetts. “Hopkins’ novel gained instant attention, as well as a certain amount of respect due to her straightforward take on post-Civil War race relations” (Pauline E. Hopkins Biography). The novel became very popular. “She is best remembered as a pioneer in using the traditional literary form of the romantic novel to explore and challenge racial and gender representations of middle-class African Americans …show more content…
Hopkins became a regular contributor to Colored American, and by 1901, she became the editor of its women’s department. Hopkins was an active member of the magazine’s staff for the following two years. Her contributions, included a series of biographies of famous African Americans. Hopkins was named literary editor of Colored American. Her writings on “Famous Men and Women” of the “Negro” race, is important because it and should be taught in 215 because it biographical sketches of racial uplift that provide valuable information about lesser-known figures in 19th/20th-century African American history