Pauline Hopkins: Boston

Pauline Hopkins: Boston

  • <p>Pauline Hopkins Photograph</p>

"Fiction is of great value to any people as a preserver of manners and customs – religious, political, and social. It is a record of growth and development from generation to generation."

Pauline Hopkins was an African American editor, playwright and novelist, who often explored racial themes in her work. Her first published work was a musical play, performed initially in 1880, titled Slaves’ Escape; or, The Underground Railroad. Hopkins is also credited with the first African American mystery, the short story "Talma Gordon."

However, Hopkins is best known for her work from 1900-1903. During this time she published Contending Forces: A Romance Illustrative of Negro Life North and South and several serial novels. She also served as editor and contributor of the Colored American Magazine, a literary journal. The magazine was the most widely read African American periodical of its time. Its offices were located in Park Square in Boston from 1900 to 1904 when it was sold. Its run ended in 1907.

The the former site of the Colored American and, as well, Pauline Hopkins's Cambridge residence are now privately owned.