She was a gardener, a librarian, a poet, and a wife. She loved language and nature. But how could a quiet woman like her help her impoverished students, struggling with an under-resourced library? And the Black community in general, suffering from discrimination and violence?
Anne Spencer wrote two important letters.
The first letter, requesting books for her library, was met with silence. But Dunbar High School library ONLY had THREE books! This was an outrage. The racist school district officials refused her, so she raided her own bookshelves.
What about the second letter? A knock on the door changed her life.
James Weldon Johnson, the famous Harlem Renaissance poet and president of the NAACP, stood there, hat in hand, answering her passionate letter for help to found an NAACP chapter in her town! She led him through her immaculate garden.
Her life was about to change. How?
Writing became her weapon to change her community! Like Anne Spencer, we can use language to not only challenge the system but to make the world safer for our people.
How are you using your gifts to better your community?