Angelina Weld Grimke

Ivor Griffiths, Poet, Novelist & Short Story Writer

:: Poet Home :: Poetry :: Short Stories :: Contact ::


Angelina Weld Grimké (February 27, 1880 – June 10, 1958) was a prominent journalist and poet.

She was born in Boston, Massachusetts to a biracial family whose members included both slaveowners and abolitionists. Her father Archibald Grimke was a lawyer who became the second Black to graduate from Harvard Law School and served as Vice-President of the NAACP and was appointed consul to the Dominican Republic from 1894-1898. Her mother Sarah Stanley was a White woman from a middle class family about whom information is scarce.

Grimke's parents met in Boston. He had established a law practice there after completing law school. He and Sarah Stanley married but faced much opposition from her family, due to concerns over race. The marriage did not last very long. Not too long after Angelina's birth, Sarah left the family and took Angelina with her. After Sarah began a career of her own, she sent Angelina, then seven, to live with her father. Grimke would have little to no contact with her mother after that. Sarah Stanley died several years later.

Her great aunts were the famous abolitionists, Sarah and Angelina Grimke. Her uncle, Francis J. Grimké, was a minister and her father's younger brother. Her aunt by marriage to Francis J. Grimké was the diarist Charlotte Forten Grimké. Between 1894 and 1898, she stayed with her uncle and aunt at their home, while her father fulfilled his appointment in the Dominican Republic. Grimke was also related to John Grimke Drayton of Magnolia Plantation.

Angelina Grimke attended the Boston Normal School of Gymnastics, and after graduating, she moved to Washington, D.C. with her father. In 1902, she began teaching English at Armstrong Manual Training school. She then left this position in 1916 to teach at legendary Dunbar High School. In addition, she spent her summers as a student of Harvard University.

Grimke wrote essays, short stories and poems which were published in The Crisis, Opportunity, The New Negro, Caroling Dusk, and Negro Poets and Their Poems. Some of her more famous poems include, The Eyes of My Regret, At April, and Trees.

She was an active writer and activist during the Harlem Renaissance. She counted as one of her friends during that time the poet Georgia Douglas Johnson.

Grimke also wrote a play called Rachel, which was published in 1920. A three-act drama, it was written for the NAACP as an attempt to rally support against the recently released film The Birth of a Nation. It was produced in Washington, D.C., performed by an all-black cast, and is considered one of the first plays to be treated in this manner.


  • Shockley, Ann Allen, Afro-American Women Writers 1746-1933: An Anthology and Critical Guide, New Haven, Connecticut: Meridian Books, 1989. ISBN 0-452-00981-2
  • PAL: Perspectives in American Literature - A Research and Reference Guide - An Ongoing Project profile
  • Modern American Poetry Profile
  • The University of South Carolina-Aiken Profile of Archibald Grimke
  • .
    This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from a Wikipedia article. To access the original click here.
    Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document
    under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.2
    or any later version published by the Free Software Foundation;
    with no Invariant Sections, no Front-Cover Texts, and no Back-Cover Texts.
    A copy of the license is included in the section entitled "GNU
    Free Documentation License".