STORY BY BRIONNA WIGGINS PHOTO BY www.psupress.org
FNN CELEBRATES BLACK HISTORY: FEB. 18, 2014. Clarissa Minnie Thompson Allen. Do you know the name? No? Well, it’s not surprising. Not many people know about her, or much anyways—even with Black History month in the hearts and classrooms of so many. You probably won’t hear the name Clarissa Minnie Thompson Allen and the work that she has done being mentioned by teachers and presented by students giving reports. You are more likely to hear about the famous Civil Rights leaders—not black authors from the 19th century.
Even though she was an African-American author, she lead an outstanding life if you compare it to the limitations that blacks AND women had in the later 1800s. She was an American educator and author, who wrote fictional stories of wealthy African-American families in the South. Despite being one in nine children who lived in both South Carolina and Texas, she made the best of it.
Clarissa Minnie Thompson Allen was probably a well known author in her time. Her most notable work was Treading the Winepress which is also called A Mountain of Misfortune. The book was about two fictional, wealthy, African-American families in the fictional place of Capitolia. The book contained 41 stories and had everything from love triangles to murder and madness. She also wrote poems that were in African-American newspapers.
Although she is unknown in today’s society, she still was a talented writer in her time. Even when researched, there is little information about her! Not many people know that she even existed. But, even if she isn’t known very well today, she still deserves to be acknowledged. And, she may not be the only African-American who is deprived of praise—especially during Black History Month.
Brionna Wiggins is a 7th grade scholar at Friendship Woodridge Academy.