Research Catalog

Donna Allegra papers

Title
Donna Allegra papers, 1981-2002.
Author
Allegra, Donna.
Supplementary Content
Finding aid

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StatusVol/DateFormatAccessCall NumberItem Location
Box 1Mixed materialUse in library Sc MG 792 Box 1Schomburg Center - Manuscripts & Archives

Details

Description
.4 linear feet (1 half box)
Subjects
Genre/Form
  • Fiction.
  • Poetry.
  • Essays.
Source (note)
  • Donna Allegra
Biography (note)
  • Donna Allegra was an African-American lesbian writer, poet, essayist and dancer. Born and raised in Brooklyn, Allegra studied theater at Bennington College and Hunter College, graduating from New York University in 1977 with a Bachelor's degree in dramatic literature, theater history and cinema. She worked as a construction electrician to support her writing and dancing; reviewed dance, theatre, and film productions as a freelance cultural journalist; and produced lesbian and feminist-oriented radio programming for WBAI from 1975-1981.
  • Allegra was an early member of the Jemima Writers Collective, the first Black lesbian writing group in New York City. The collective grew out of the Salsa Soul Sisters, the oldest Black lesbian organization in the United States, and was founded to encourage Black women writers to share their creative work with each other in a supportive environment. Fellow members of Jemima included Candace Boyce, Georgia Brooks, Linda Brown, Robin Christian, Yvonne Flowers (Maua), Chirlane McCray, Irare Sabasu, and Sapphire. Allegra later joined the Gap-Toothed Girlfriends Writers Workshop.
  • A prolific writer of poetry, short stories, and biographical essays, Allegra has been published in over thirty lesbian and feminist anthologies and numerous black and lesbian journals and magazines. In 2001, she published her first book, "Witness to the League of Blonde Hip Hop Dancers," a collection of twelve short stories and a novella about bBack lesbian dancers. In addition to her writing career, Allegra was an accomplished African folklore and jazz dancer. Allegra passed away on January 13, 2020.
Call Number
Sc MG 792
OCLC
943226361
Author
Allegra, Donna.
Title
Donna Allegra papers, 1981-2002.
Type of Content
text
Type of Medium
unmediated
Type of Carrier
sheet
volume
Summary
The Donna Allegra Papers, 1981-2002, contain twenty-five published essays, short stories and poems spanning across Allegra's writing career. Prominent subjects include race and anti-black racism, feminism, social class, and butch gender identity. Allegra draws on her experiences as a construction electrician and a dancer in her fictional work, and her memoir writing explores her strained relationship with her mother and her travels in Guinea studying dance.
The Donna Allegra Papers are organized into two series. The Biographical series, approximately 2000-2001, contains bibliographies of her published essays, short stories and poems, short biographies and various material related to public appearances. The Writings series, 1981-2002, consists of twenty-two photocopied biographical essays and short fiction centered on the black lesbian experience and organized chronologically by date of publication in gay and lesbian anthologies, including excerpts of an unpublished novel, "The Secrets of Light and Power." Also included are four poems published in two lesbian poetry anthologies.
Biography
Donna Allegra was an African-American lesbian writer, poet, essayist and dancer. Born and raised in Brooklyn, Allegra studied theater at Bennington College and Hunter College, graduating from New York University in 1977 with a Bachelor's degree in dramatic literature, theater history and cinema. She worked as a construction electrician to support her writing and dancing; reviewed dance, theatre, and film productions as a freelance cultural journalist; and produced lesbian and feminist-oriented radio programming for WBAI from 1975-1981.
Allegra was an early member of the Jemima Writers Collective, the first Black lesbian writing group in New York City. The collective grew out of the Salsa Soul Sisters, the oldest Black lesbian organization in the United States, and was founded to encourage Black women writers to share their creative work with each other in a supportive environment. Fellow members of Jemima included Candace Boyce, Georgia Brooks, Linda Brown, Robin Christian, Yvonne Flowers (Maua), Chirlane McCray, Irare Sabasu, and Sapphire. Allegra later joined the Gap-Toothed Girlfriends Writers Workshop.
A prolific writer of poetry, short stories, and biographical essays, Allegra has been published in over thirty lesbian and feminist anthologies and numerous black and lesbian journals and magazines. In 2001, she published her first book, "Witness to the League of Blonde Hip Hop Dancers," a collection of twelve short stories and a novella about bBack lesbian dancers. In addition to her writing career, Allegra was an accomplished African folklore and jazz dancer. Allegra passed away on January 13, 2020.
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Finding aid
Local Subject
Black author.
Research Call Number
Sc MG 792
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