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Poets Comparison and Contrast - Jessie Redmond Fauset and Rita Dowe

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Poets Comparison and Contrast

Jessie Redmond Fauset and Rita Dowe have a lot in common. Both are well respected poets. Both were successful African American writers. Jessie died in 1961. Rita was born nine years earlier. Rita was born to two successful parents, her father being a leader in the tire industry as a chemist. Jessie was born into a good home also with her father being a minister. Her mother died when she was very young.

Both women were very educated. Rita graduated high school in 1970 as one of the top 100 high school graduates in America. Rita was Laureate Consultant in Poetry to the Library of Congress. She was the first African American to ever be appointed since created in 1986. Rita was the second African American to win a Pulitzer Prize for Poetry in 1987. Jessie graduated Cornell University in 1905. She was possibly the first black Phi Betta Kappa woman. She was The Literary editor for the NAACP journal, The Crisis, from 1919-1926. She had 58 of her 77 works published here. She was then a school teacher and retired in 1944.

Though Jessie and Rita were both very successful African American women writers, their styles were different. Rita's most known work was Thomas and Beula. It was a collection of poems loosely based on her grandparents' life. Instead of the typical rhyming poem, it was more of a narrative piece that read in sequence of their lives; a chronological story. Her works were not confined to a specific era or type. She wrote on a wide range of topics. Rita was able to capture the complex emotions of her readers.

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