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Arthur Huff Fauset Collection

Arthur Huff Fauset (1899-1983) was an African American anthropologist, folklorist, writer, educator, and activist. His collection of papers includes creative writing, journalism, and correspondence. The Rare Book Collection also holds a small group of books and pamphlets that belonged to Fauset.

The front cover of Black Opals, an African American literary journal published by Arthur Huff Fauset. The cover is purple with the title "BLACK OPALS," a female nude figure standing on an island, and the text "HAIL NEGRO YOUTH"

Collection Overview

Born in New Jersey, Fauset was educated in Pennsylvania. He attended the University of Pennsylvania, receiving an A.B. in 1921, an M.A. in anthropology in 1923, and a PhD in Anthropology in 1942.

Fauset published short stories beginning in the 1920s. He also began publishing articles on African American folklore during this period. In 1944, he published a pioneering study of Black religious life in Philadelphia, Black Gods of the Metropolis. He also wrote on African American history, including a biography of Sojourner Truth. Fauset worked in Philadelphia public schools into the 1940s and was active in Civil Rights organizations and labor organizations throughout his life. Fauset's half-sister was the novelist, essayist, and editor Jessie Redmon Fauset (a photograph of her is contained in his papers).

The Fauset papers (Ms. Coll. 1, 32 boxes) contain a small amount of correspondence. Included are drafts of fiction; an unpublished autobiography; essays and lectures; notes; pedagogical materials; and scrapbooks.

Finding aid for the papers of Arthur Huff Fauset, including a more detailed biographical profile.


Accordion List