Date Approved


Degree Type

Open Access Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Department or School

English Language and Literature

Committee Member

Robin Lucy

Committee Member

Abby Coykendall


Too often, writing by and about Black women has been sidelined in scholarly work about African American writing prior to the post-World War II era. This is especially true in the recently emergent school of work surrounding the Chicago Black Renaissance. This thesis focuses on a single literary magazine, Negro Story, in order to explore the complexity of Black female identity in the 1940s through the work of the female editors and contributors to the periodical. These contributors come from varied racial and socioeconomic backgrounds, but their work takes on a cohesive quality as the stories are constantly in conversation with one another. Negro Story represents a unique opportunity for women to assert themselves as both activists and artisans, and the stories collected here pave the way for an emergent Black female voice over the second half of the twentieth century.