Art & Identity in New Orleans

HNRS 109 Spring '18

Abstract: Alice Moore Dunbar – Nelson

The topic I would like to do my final on is the poet Alice Moore Dunbar-Nelson. Nelson is a famous American poet, born and raised in New Orleans. Her work may not have majorly influenced the Harlem Renaissance but it did contribute to the great movement. Nelson not only wrote poetry but she also wrote short story’s and essays. 220px-Alice_Dunbar-Nelson

History_Harlem_Renaissance_SF_HD_1104x622-16x9  Nelson in addition to being an author was a civil rights activist. Her background consisted of African American, Anglo, Native American, and Creole heritage. Nelson’s heritage greatly influenced her opinions and some her published work. Her work consists of various topics such as difficulties women face, racism, oppression, and sexuality.  She was known to have many sexual relationships with not only men but women as well, it was very controversial for her time but Nelson was Bisexual.

This topic interests me because poetry is my favorite form of writing. Nelson is one of the few poets I am familiar with from New Orleans. I thoroughly enjoy her work, and connect to various aspects of her life. Other aspects of her life that I cannot empathize with still interest me and I enjoy learning about them. Specifically her work as a civil rights activist. alice 2

Some questions I intend to pose are the following:

  • How much did heritage influence her work?
  • How did her difficult relationships with men affect her writing and view on women?
  • Does her relations with women show in her work?
  • What did she do for women’s and civil rights?
  • Did her heritage make it difficult for her to be an author, or cause any other kind of struggle with other careers?

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