Download Full Text (5.0 MB)


Presented on Friday, February 21 as part of Messiah College’s 2020 Humanities Symposium. This exhibit, “Vulnerabilities & Securities in Historic Harrisburg: From Abolition to Suffrage,” was produced by the Center for Public Humanities Student Fellows and Dr. Sarah Myers’s Public History Class.

In 1895, Alice Dunbar-Nelson published her first collection of short stories and poems, Violets and Other Tales. She also published a few plays, such as Mine Eyes Have Seen (1918) in The Crisis, the official magazine of the National Association of the Advancement of Colored People. Dunbar-Nelson often used her creative works to address racism and limitations placed on women. Her poem "I Sit and Sew" expresses anguish about the way that society prevented African-American military nurses from serving in World War I. In her poem "Memoriam, " Dunbar-Nelson critiques the ways that society belittles women.

This poster was edited by Dr. Jean Corey, Katie Wingert, and Dr. Sarah Myers.

Publication Date



Digital Harrisburg, women, urban, diversity, multicultural, Messiah College, Messiah University, Pennsylvania


African American Studies | United States History | Women's History

The Political Pen: Alice Dunbar-Nelson