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 Effie Lee Newsome

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Effie Lee Newsome Poets Picture

Brief Bio

Effie Lee Newsome was born Mary Effie Lee in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Her parents were Mary Elizabeth Ashe Lee and Benjamin Franklin Lee, a clergyman and chief editor of the Christian Recorder. She lived the first seven years of her life in Philadelphia, not many miles from the Gouldtown, New Jersey, settlement that her father's free-Black ancestors had founded in the eighteenth century and where her father was reared and received his early lessons in literature from his mother, Sarah Gould Lee.

She married the Rev. Henry Nesby Newsome in 1920, and together they moved to Birmingham, Alabama. After her husband died in 1937, Newsome returned to Wilberforce, Ohio, where she worked as a librarian at nearby Central State College and at the College of Education at Wilberforce University.

Upon becoming a poet, her works have appeared beside that of Langston Hughes, Frank Horne, and Countee Cullen in the NAACP's Crisis magazine. Newsome was a pioneer in children's literature. She was one of the first African American poets whose body of work consisted primarily of poems for children. Also the impact of Newsome's religious background is displayed in some of her writings, such as "O Sea, That Knowest Thy Strength," "Exodus," "Night of Great Holiness," "The Wind's Christmas Story," and "He Will Come Back at Easter," plus others. Newsome was also connected to the Harlem Renaissance.

Effie Newsome died in 1979.

Poems - 11 in all

Effie Lee Newsome

Morning Light
Peacock Feather
The Bronze Legacy
O Autumn, Autumn!
The Bird in the Cage
O Sea, That Knowest Thy Strength

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