A Renaissance Reborn

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Aphrodite's DaughtersAphrodite’s Daughters: Three Poets of the Harlem Renaissance
by Maureen Honey
Rutgers. 224 pages, $27.95

 

STUDIES of the Harlem Renaissance typically focus on black male figures such as Langston Hughes and Claude McKay. Not only are women typically underrepresented; indeed, the movement is often portrayed as being essentially a black male phenomenon. Thus, this study of three lesser-known female poets—Angelina Weld Grimké (1880-1958), Gwendolyn Bennett (1902-1981), and Mae Virginia Cowdery (1909-1953)—is a welcome departure. Adding to the intrigue is the fact that, broadly speaking, one of the writers could be considered the first openly black lesbian poet, and another was gender fluid or bisexual. (The third was straight.)

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