Victoria Earle Matthews — political activist and journalist
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Matthews, Victoria Earle
The Value of Race Literature: An Address Delivered at the First Congress of Colored Women of the United States, at Boston, Mass., July 30th, 1895
Matthews was born into slavery in Georgia in 1861. Her mother fled, but returned to bring her children to New York City. Matthews was self-educated, as she had to work in domestic service to help support her family. By the 1890s, she was a successful journalist and a major figure in the black women’s club and anti-lynching movements. This speech emphasizes the importance of self-representation in black women’s writing to counter negative images in literature generally. Matthews opened the White Rose home for Colored Working Girls in New York in 1897, making sure it contained a library with books representing African Americans.
Matthews, Victoria Earle, The Value of Race Literature: An Address Delivered at the First Congress of Colored Women of the United States, at Boston, Mass., July 30th, 1895, [Boston?]: , Lisa Unger Baskin Collection, Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library, Duke University. Accessed March 20, 2023, https://exhibits.library.duke.edu/exhibits/show/baskin/item/4217