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Jessie Redmon Fauset

1882 - 1961

Jessie Redmon Fauset was an African-American editor, poet, essayist, novelist and educator.

She was born April 27, 1882 in New Jersey. Both of her parents died when she was young. She graduated valedictorian from Philadelphia High School for Girls, likely as the first African-American graduate, and went on to obtain an undergraduate degree from Cornell University in Classical Languages and a master's degree in French from the University of Pennsylvania. From 1919-1926 Fauset served as the literary editor of the Crisis Magazine, published by the NAACP, under the managing editor W.E.B. DuBois. In this role she fostered the careers of many well known Harlem Renaissance writers such as Nella Larsen, Countee Cullen, Arna Bontemps, Jean Toomer and Claude McKay. She was the first person to publish Langston Hughes.

In addition to her editing she also contributed many poems, short stories and essays herself, in addition to publishing four novels: There Is Confusion (1924), Plum Bun (1928), The Chinaberry Tree (1931), and Comedy, American Style (1933).

In 1929 Fauset married Herbert Harris. Harris died in 1958, and Fauset died three years later from heart disease, on April 30, 1961; she was 79.

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