Lawnside Historical Society Celebrates Jessie Redmon Fauset During Poetry Festival on April 29

Image of Peter Mott House in Lawnside. Photo courtesy of Lawnside Historical Museum

AC JosepH Media

LAWNSIDE — April is Poetry Month. What better time to bring back the Lawnside Historical Society’s tribute to Jessie Redmon Fauset, midwife to the Harlem Renaissance?

The free open mic event in memory of Sandra Turner-Barnes will be held on Saturday, April 29 from 1 to 3 p.m. hosted by the Camden County Historical Society, 1900 Park Boulevard, Camden.

Turner-Barnes, was a CCHS board member. She celebrated and supported the Lawnside Historical Society’s first programs recognizing Miss Fauset, the writer and poet whose father was pastor of Mount Pisgah AME Church, Lawnside. The County Society’s African American History Room and a podium were dedicated in Mrs. Turner-Barnes’ honor last year.

Miss Fauset was a protégé of W.E.B. DuBois, literary editor of the Crisis Magazine and the author of four novels, numerous poems and essays. Poet Langston Hughes called her the “midwife of the Harlem Renaissance” because of the salons she held in her apartment and her paid support for those who wrote for the Crisis.

Miss Fauset, an alumna of Philadelphia’s Girls High School graduated from Cornell University with honors and was among the first African American women elected to Phi Beta Kappa. She was an avid Pan-Africanist and also studied at the Sorbonne.

Poetry lovers and poets, including high school students, are invited to read original poetry composed in the style of the Harlem Renaissance. The event will also honor the late Lamont Dixon who worked with youth poets and Mrs. Turner-Barnes. Jazz saxophonist Ron Bass will perform and refreshments will be served.

Miss Fauset’s novel Plum Bun, adapted as a play by EgoPo Classic Theatre, will be on stage at the Christ Church Neighborhood House in Philadelphia from April 19 to 29.

For details on the Fauset Day Poetry Fest call 856-546-8850 or email lhs@petermotthouse.org.

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