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Saturday, January 3, 2015



Henrietta Cordelia Ray,  poet, writer, teacher, and activist, was born somewhere between 1849 and 1852. Her specific year of birth is uncertain. The fact that she was born into a well-to-do family, however, is not.

She was one of seven children. Her father, Charles Ray, a minister and abolitionist,  believed that breeding and culture were important assets in life.

Henrietta had high aspirations. She wanted to make her mark in literature, gaining major notice as a writer in 1876, when her poem  "Lincoln" was read at a dedication ceremony attended by Frederick Douglas. 

After graduating from the Sauvener School of Languages and the University of the City of New York in 1891, she went on to become a NYC school teacher and taught in the public school system for over 30 years.

Meanwhile, her poetry over the years, appeared in several publications and friends encouraged her to publish a complete collection. She published two collections of 146 poems, whose technique has been described as "unusually rich."

"Sonnets" was published in 1893 and "Poems" in 1910.

Ray died in 1917.

To read her complete bio Google-search her name

To read her poetry log on to or

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