Frances Harper

Terry Novak (Johnson and Wales University)
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Frances Ellen Watkins Harper, African-American writer, social activist, and educator, was born in Baltimore, Maryland on September 24 1825 to free parents who died while Harper was very young. Harper was raised in middle class circumstances by her uncle, William Watkins, a minister who ran the William Watkins Academy for Colored Youth. She was early on persuaded of the importance of education, abolition, and social justice. Harper herself became a teacher and spent a good deal of her life on the lecture circuit, first fighting for abolition then for the rights of the newly freed African-American population. Throughout her lifetime Harper wrote prolifically, most often focusing her work on themes of race and gender. Her only full-length novel,

Iola Leroy

, was published in 1892. Prior…

325 words

Citation: Novak, Terry. "Frances Harper". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 24 January 2002 [https://www.litencyc.com/php/speople.php?rec=true&UID=1987, accessed 27 February 2024.]

1987 Frances Harper 1 Historical context notes are intended to give basic and preliminary information on a topic. In some cases they will be expanded into longer entries as the Literary Encyclopedia evolves.

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