Women of Black History: Regina Anderson


Regina Anderson

Dates: May 21, 1901 – February 5, 1993
Occupation: librarian, playwright

Known for: role in Harlem Renaissance
Also known as: Regina M. Andrews (married name), Regina Anderson Andrews, Ursala Trelling

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 Krigvva 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, Regina Anderson 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 UNESCG. 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 Gosining, New York, in 1993.
Regina Anderson 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:
* Climbing Jacob’s Ladder, 1931
*  Underground, 1932

Regina Anderson and Ethel Ray Nance edited the Chronology of African-Americans in New York 7627-7966(1971).

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