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For assistance, please contact us at rose.library@emory.edu or 404-727-6887.

WRIGHT, SARAH E.
Sarah E. Wright papers, 1928-2009

Emory University

Stuart A. Rose Manuscript, Archives, and Rare Book Library

Atlanta, GA 30322

404-727-6887

rose.library@emory.edu

Permanent link: http://pid.emory.edu/ark:/25593/9kq9w

Collection Stored Off-Site

All or portions of this collection are housed off-site. Materials can still be requested but researchers should expect a delay of up to two business days for retrieval.


Descriptive Summary

Creator: Wright, Sarah E.
Title: Sarah E. Wright papers, 1928-2009
Call Number:Manuscript Collection No. 1180
Extent: 14.25 linear feet (28 boxes), 10 oversized papers boxes (OP), 4 bound volumes (BV), and AV Masters: .25 linear foot (CLP)
Abstract:Papers of African American novelist, poet and activist Sarah E. Wright including personal and professional papers, writings, printed material, photographs, and audiovisual material
Language:Materials entirely in English.

Administrative Information

Restrictions on Access

Special restrictions apply: Researchers must contact the Rose Library in advance for access to audiovisual material in this collection.

Series 1: Due to privacy concerns, some financial material has been redacted.

Collection stored off-site. Researchers must contact the Rose Library in advance to access this collection.

Terms Governing Use and Reproduction

All requests subject to limitations noted in departmental policies on reproduction.

Source

Purchase, 2011, with subsequent additions.

Citation

[after identification of item(s)], Sarah E. Wright papers, Stuart A. Rose Manuscript, Archives, and Rare Book Library, Emory University.

Processing

Processed by Rebecca Sherman, 2014.


Collection Description

Biographical Note

Sarah Elizabeth Wright Kaye, who during her early years used the variant spelling Sara, was born on December 9, 1928, in Wetipquin, Maryland, an historical community of free blacks on the Eastern Shore. She was the daughter of Mary Amelia Moore Wright and Willis Charles Wright, Sr., an oysterman and farmer. Wright was one of nine children who survived to adulthood. She graduated from Salisbury Colored High School in 1945, then attended Howard University from 1945-1949, where she was mentored by Sterling A. Brown and Owen Dodson. Due to financial struggles, Wright left Howard University without graduating.

Wright then moved to Philadelphia, where she attended Cheyney Teacher's College from 1950-1951. While there she wrote, worked in various jobs, and was a founding member of the Philadelphia Writers' Workshop. Wright was briefly married to John Wesley Groves and had two children, Michael Frank Wright and Shelley Chotai. The couple divorced in 1955. Wright co-authored a collection of poetry, Give Me A Child, with Lucy E. Smith, which was published in 1955. She then moved to New York City in 1957, where she joined the Harlem Writers' Guild; she remained a member until 1972. Wright was a colleague and friend of other notable members of the Harlem Writers' Guild, including John Oliver Killens and Rosa Guy. In 1960 she married Joseph Kaye, a composer.

In 1969 Wright published This Child's Gonna Live, a critically-acclaimed novel. She spent the next decade working on a sequel, which she never completed. She later published a biography for young adults, A. Philip Randolph: Integration in the Workplace, in 1990.

Wright was also an activist who was involved in various social movements, including the Civil Rights Movement and anti-war protests. Wright was a supporter of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC), and she collected poems for a poetry anthology to raise funds for SNCC, which was never published. In 1960 she traveled to Cuba at the invitation of the Casa de las Americas to celebrate the second anniversary of the Cuban Revolution. She was also an active member of several professional and cultural organizations, including the Harlem Writers' Guild, The Pen and Brush, and Writers for Our Time. Wright died on September 13, 2009, in New York City.

Sarah Elizabeth Wright Kaye, who during her early years used the variant spelling Sara, was born on December 9, 1928, in Wetipquin, Maryland, an historical community of free blacks on the Eastern Shore. She was the daughter of Mary Amelia Moore Wright and Willis Charles Wright, Sr., an oysterman and farmer. Wright was one of nine children who survived to adulthood. She graduated from Salisbury Colored High School in 1945, then attended Howard University from 1945-1949, where she was mentored by Sterling A. Brown and Owen Dodson. Due to financial struggles, Wright left Howard University without graduating.

Wright then moved to Philadelphia, where she attended Cheyney Teacher's College from 1950-1951. While there she wrote, worked in various jobs, and was a founding member of the Philadelphia Writers' Workshop. Wright was briefly married to John Wesley Groves and had two children, Michael Frank Wright and Shelley Chotai. The couple divorced in 1955. Wright co-authored a collection of poetry, Give Me A Child, with Lucy E. Smith, which was published in 1955. She then moved to New York City in 1957, where she joined the Harlem Writers' Guild; she remained a member until 1972. Wright was a colleague and friend of other notable members of the Harlem Writers' Guild, including John Oliver Killens and Rosa Guy. In 1960 she married Joseph Kaye, a composer.

In 1969 Wright published This Child's Gonna Live, a critically-acclaimed novel. She spent the next decade working on a sequel, which she never completed. She later published a biography for young adults, A. Philip Randolph: Integration in the Workplace, in 1990.

Wright was also an activist who was involved in various social movements, including the Civil Rights Movement and anti-war protests. Wright was a supporter of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC), and she collected poems for a poetry anthology to raise funds for SNCC, which was never published. In 1960 she traveled to Cuba at the invitation of the Casa de las Americas to celebrate the second anniversary of the Cuban Revolution. She was also an active member of several professional and cultural organizations, including the Harlem Writers' Guild, The Pen and Brush, and Writers for Our Time. Wright died on September 13, 2009, in New York City.

Scope and Content Note

The collection consists of the papers of Sarah E. Wright from 1944-2009, including personal and professional papers, writings, printed material, photographs, and audiovisual material, and it documents Wright's work as a novelist, poet, and activist. Personal and professional papers include personal and editorial correspondence, including correspondence with Walter Lowenfels, John Oliver Killens, Langston Hughes, W.E.B. Du Bois, Owen Dodson, James Baldwin, and Almena Lomax. Personal papers also include notes, appointment books, financial records, and material relating to professional organizations. Writings include typescript drafts of two novels, This Child's Gonna Live and its unpublished sequel, Twelve Gates to the City, Hallelujah! The collection also contains drafts of Give Me a Child, a volume of poetry that Wright coauthored with Lucy E. Smith. Wright also compiled poetry by other writers for an anthology to raise funds for the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC), which was never published. The collection contains drafts for this volume including poetry by Langston Hughes, Walter Lowenfels, Lucy E. Smith, and other notable writers; most of these poems have a thematic focus on race relations and the Civil Rights Movement. Other writings by Wright include children's books; short stories and drama; and essays, reviews, and speeches. In addition, the collection contains some poetry by others and writings about Wright.

The bulk of printed material consists of published writings by Wright and material relating to speaking engagements, readings, and events featuring Wright. Photographs consist of images of Wright, as well as photographs of family, friends, and events, including snapshots taken by Wright during her 1960 trip to Cuba. Audiovisual material primarily consists of sound and video recordings of Wright, including interviews, readings, and events.

Arrangement Note

Organized into five series: (1) Personal and professional papers, (2) Writings, (3) Printed material, (4) Photographs, and (5) Audiovisual material.


Selected Search Terms

Personal Names

Corporate Names

Topical Terms

Form/Genre Terms


Description of Series

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