Regina Anderson

Playwright, Librarian, Harlem Renaissance Figure

New York Public Library, mid 1920s
New York Public Library, mid 1920s. Hulton Archive/Getty Images

Known for: role in Harlem Renaissance

Occupation: librarian, playwright
Dates: May 21, 1901 - February 5, 1993
Also known as: Regina M. Andrews (married name), Regina Anderson Andrews, Ursala Trelling, Ursula Trelling

About Regina Anderson

Regina Anderson was a professional librarian in New York City; her Master of Library Science was from Columbia University. She also studied at Wilberforce University in Ohio and the University of Chicago.

In her role as a librarian for the New York Public Library, and as an individual, Regina Anderson sponsored and promoted many artists and projects in the movement known as the Harlem Renaissance.

Regina Anderson, Ethel Ray Nance, and Gwendolyn Bennett made their apartment available as a salon or meeting place of the artists and intellectuals of the Harlem Renaissance. It was at a dinner on March 21, 1924, which Anderson, Nash, and Bennett urged Charles Johnson to organize, that W.E.B. DuBois, Jean Toomer, Countee Cullin, Langston Hughes, James Weldon Johnson, and others essentially began the movement called the Harlem Renaissance with readings and speeches.

Regina Anderson helped found the Krigwa Players (later the Negro Experimental Theatre or Harlem Experimental Theatre) with W. E. B. Du Bois. She helped it find a home in the basement of the 135th Street Public Library in Harlem, and Anderson wrote several plays under her pseudonym Ursula or Ursala Trelling.

In 1926, she married William T. Andrews, a New York State Assembly representative.

Regina Anderson worked with groups such as the National Council of Women and the National Urban League, which she represented at the United States Commission for UNESCO. She retired from the New York Public Library in 1967.

In 1981, Anderson said in an interview, looking at the progress of African Americans in theater arts, "It gives me a great deal of personal satisfaction to have lived to see much of what we and other pioneers worked to achieve becoming a reality. However, we need more and more opportunities for our actors, writers, and directors."

Regina Anderson died in Ossining, New York, in 1993.

She was one of ten African American women whose contributions were recognized at the 1939 World's Fair in New York.

Works of Regina M. Anderson

Plays:

  • Climbing Jacob's Ladder, 1931
  • Underground, 1932

Regina Anderson and Ethel Ray Nance edited the Chronology of African-Americans in New York, 1621–1966 (1971).

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Lewis, Jone Johnson. "Regina Anderson." ThoughtCo, Mar. 30, 2017, thoughtco.com/regina-anderson-3529266. Lewis, Jone Johnson. (2017, March 30). Regina Anderson. Retrieved from https://www.thoughtco.com/regina-anderson-3529266 Lewis, Jone Johnson. "Regina Anderson." ThoughtCo. https://www.thoughtco.com/regina-anderson-3529266 (accessed October 18, 2017).