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Theresa Leininger-Miller

writer and artist, was born in Giddings, Texas, the daughter of Joshua Robin Bennett and Mayme F. Abernathy, teachers on an Indian reservation. In 1906 the family moved to Washington, D.C., where Gwendolyn's father studied law and her mother worked as a manicurist and hairdresser. When her parents divorced, her mother won custody, but her father kidnapped the seven-year-old Gwendolyn. The two, with Gwendolyn's stepmother, lived in hiding in various towns along the East Coast and in Pennsylvania before finally settling in New York.

At Brooklyn's Girls' High (1918–1921) Bennett participated in the drama and literary societies—the first African American to do so—and won first place in an art contest. She attended fine arts classes at Columbia University (1921) and the Pratt Institute, from which she graduated in 1924 While she was still an undergraduate her poems Nocturne and Heritage were published in ...

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crystal am nelson

photographer, painter, and writer, was born in Southern Pines, North Carolina, to a domestic worker and a musician. Marshall-Linnemeier began painting as a child; though her father was an amateur photographer, she did not pick up the camera until she was in her early thirties. After attending Spelman College, Marshall-Linnemeier transferred to the Atlanta College of Art, the Southeast's oldest private college of art. The year before she graduated Marshall-Linnemeier worked with Jackson State University, the Center for the Study of Southern Culture at the University of Mississippi, and the Center for Documentary Studies at Duke University on a collaborative project titled Mississippi Self-Portrait. For this, she traveled throughout Mississippi to gather photographs and narratives from local families in order to create a visual archive of southern, black histories. In 1990 Marshall Linnemeier graduated with honors a BFA in Photography and a personally invented medium she ...