|Name:||Jessie Redmon Fauset|
|Birth Day:||April 27, 1882|
|Death Date:||Apr 30, 1961 (age 79)|
As per our current Database, Jessie Redmon Fauset died on Apr 30, 1961 (age 79).
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She worked as the editor of The Crisis, a magazine published by the NAACP.
She was born Jessie Redmona Fauset (later known as Jessie Redmon Fauset) on April 27, 1882, in Fredericksville, Camden County, Snow Hill Center Township,New Jersey. The town is now known as Lawnside, New Jersey. She was the seventh child of Redmon Fauset, an African Methodist Episcopal minister, and Annie (née Seamon) Fauset. Jessie's mother died when she was young, and her father remarried. He had three children with his second wife Bella, a white Jewish woman who converted to Christianity. Bella brought three children to the family from her first marriage. Both parents emphasized education for their children.
She continued her education at Cornell University in upstate New York, graduating in 1905 with a degree in classical languages. During her time at Cornell University in 1903 through part of 1904, Fauset lived at Sage College. She would win Phi Beta Kappa honors. For many years she was considered to be the first black woman accepted to the Phi Beta Kappa Society, but later research revealed this was actually Mary Annette Anderson. Fauset later received her master's degree in French from the University of Pennsylvania.
Jessie Fauset's time with The Crisis is considered the most prolific literary period of the magazine's run. In July 1918, Fauset became a contributor to The Crisis, sending articles for the "Looking Glass" column from her home in Philadelphia. By the next July, managing editor W. E. B. Du Bois requested she move to New York to become the full-time Literary Editor. By October, she was installed in the Crisis office, where she quickly took over most organizational duties.
In 1919 Fauset left teaching to become the literary editor for The Crisis, founded by W. E. B. Du Bois of the NAACP. She served in that position until 1926. Fauset became a member of the NAACP and represented them in the Pan African Congress in 1921. After her Congress speech, the Delta Sigma Theta sorority made her an honorary member.
Between 1924 and 1933, Fauset published four novels: There is Confusion (1924), Plum Bun (1928), The Chinaberry Tree (1931), and Comedy, American Style (1933). She believed that T. S. Stribling's novel Birthright, written by a white man about black life, could not fully portray her people. Fauset thought there was a dearth of positive depictions of African-American lives in contemporary literature. She was inspired to portray African-American life both as realistically, and as positively, as possible, and wrote about the middle-class life she knew of as an educated person. At the same time, she worked to explore contemporary issues of identity among African Americans, including issues related to the community's assessment of skin color. Many were of mixed race with some European ancestry.
Fauset was admired by many literary intellectuals during the 1920s. Her first novel, There is Confusion, was applauded by Alain Locke in the 1924 February issue of the Crisis. Locke felt the novel would "mark an epoch" because he believed it was educated literary material that the educated reader anticipated as it shone light on a higher class of black people rather than the usual "servant" type of character that was portrayed in past literature. In the 1924 June academic journal Opportunity, Howard University professor Montgomery Gregory gave praise to Fauset’s work because he felt she made clear of the "better elements" of African-American life "to those who know us only as domestic servants, 'uncles', or criminals". Although Fauset received many positive reviews on her literary work in the 1920s, she also faced negative feedback as well. Her new literary perspective was not received with open arms by everyone because it went against the stereotypical image white Americans made of middle-class African Americans. The first publisher ever to see the There is Confusion manuscript rejected it, saying that "white readers just don’t expect negroes to be like this". Despite the mixed discussion on Fauset’s work in the 1920s, by the 1930s people stopped talking about her and she became a forgotten writer. Locke felt that the reason people stopped talking about Fauset was due to a change in the literary scene because of the Great Depression and Second World War.
Beyond nurturing the careers of other African-American modernist writers, Fauset was also a prolific contributor to both The Crisis and The Brownies' Book. During her time with The Crisis, she contributed poems and short stories, as well as a novella, translations from the French of writings by black authors from Europe and Africa, and a multitude of editorials. She also published accounts of her extensive travels. Notably, Fauset included five essays, including "Dark Algiers the White," detailing her six-month journey with Laura Wheeler Waring to France and Algeria in 1925 and 1926.
In 1926, Fauset left The Crisis and returned to teaching, this time at DeWitt Clinton High School in New York City, where she may have taught a young James Baldwin. She taught in New York City public schools until 1944.
After eight years serving as Literary Editor, Fauset found that conflicts between her and Du Bois were taking their toll. In February 1927, she resigned her position. She was listed as a "Contributing Editor" the next month.
In 1929, when she was 47, Fauset married for the first time, to insurance broker Herbert Harris. They moved from New York City to Montclair, New Jersey, where they led a quieter life. Harris died in 1958. She moved back to Philadelphia with her step-brother, one of Bella's children. Fauset died on April 30, 1961, from heart disease and is interred at Eden Cemetery in Collingdale, Pennsylvania.
It was not until after the 1970s, a period of a feminist movement, that Fauset began to regain praise. In 1981, author Carolyn Wedin Sylvander wrote a book about Fauset, Jessie Redmon Fauset, Black American Writer, which analyses and shows great appreciation of her novels, short stories and poems. Other critics such as Deborah McDowell acknowledge Fauset in her 1986 essay "Jessie Fauset: A Modern Apostle of Black Racial Pride" for showing "awareness of African American cultural history" and demonstrating how to celebrate "black identity". McDowell also argues that Fauset is alongside other early black feminist because in addition to focusing on racial identity, she explores "female consciousness". Fauset is recognized today as an important piece to the Harlem Renaissance. American and African-American literature professor Ann DuCille compares Fauset to other Harlem Renaissance writers such as Nella Larsen for expressing feminism in her literary work.
Currently, Jessie Redmon Fauset is 140 years, 4 months and 30 days old. Jessie Redmon Fauset will celebrate 141st birthday on a Thursday 27th of April 2023.
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