Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Clara Stanton Jones

One of the pioneering African American librarians mentioned in the introduction of my book about Regina was Clara Stanton Jones. In 1976 Jones became the first African American President of the American Library Association. Jones was also the Director of the Detroit Public Library--another first for an African American in 1970. She was included on a poster for an exhibit in 2012 about Pioneering African American Librarians displayed in my department, the School of Library & Information Studies at the University of Wisconsin - Madison. Jones died late last month at the age of 99.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Chapter Four - Bill

This chapter describes Regina's romantic life and culminates in her marriage to William "Bill" Trent Andrews, Jr. Her marriage would last for 58 years until Bill's death in 1984. Regina was eighty-three years old.

Friday, October 5, 2012

Monday, October 1, 2012

A Harlem Renaissance Friend's Biography

I was excited to find out that there is a new biography of poet Countee Cullen published by the University of Chicago Press. I just downloaded it this morning onto my iPad. Cullen often stopped by the apartment that Regina shared with Louella Tucker and Ethel Ray at 580 St. Nicholas Avenue.

Ethel recalled, “…I would say that Countee Cullen used to drop by most frequently on his way home from school.... He was always so unassuming and charming, a fine young man, and we were only too happy to have him come, whatever we were doing we would stop and listen to it.” 

Ethel further recalled, “Yes, we knew Countee and we saw a great deal of him…he came by quite often to read parts of poems that he was in the process of writing. And he would come in and say, ‘would you like to hear what I’ve written’ or ‘do you have time to listen to something that I’ve written."

(from: Ethel Ray Nance, interview by Anne Allen Shockley, tape recording, San Francisco, CA., 18 November 1970 and Nashville, TN., 23 December 1970. Black Oral History Collection, Fisk University, Nashville, TN., 10 and 53.)

A New Biography

Since I began writing about Regina Andrews, a woman who has been lost to history, I have been interested in reading about other "obscure" figures in African American history to examine how others conduct this important recovery work. I recently read a biography about Jane Bolin who her biographer calls the first African American woman judge. This book was published by the University of Illinois Press and I am proud to say that I just received a contract from the same press for my biography about Regina Andrews.