Anita Cornwell

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Anita Cornwell (born September 23, 1923)[1] is an American lesbian feminist author. In 1983 she wrote the first collection of essays by an African-American lesbian, Black Lesbian in White America.[2]


Born in Greenwood, South Carolina, Cornwell moved to Pennsylvania at age sixteen, living first in Yeadon with her aunt, then in Philadelphia with her mother,[1] who moved north when Cornwell was eighteen. She graduated from Temple University in 1948.[1][3] She worked as a journalist for local newspapers and a clerical worker for government agencies.[1]

Cornwell has had work published in Feminist Review, Labyrinth, National Leader, Los Angeles Free Press and The Negro Digest, were among the first to identify the author as a black lesbian.

Cornwell was honored by the Annual Lambda Literary Festival which was held in Philadelphia in 2000.[2]



  1. ^ a b c d Zimmerman, Bonnie (2000). Lesbian Histories and Cultures: an Encyclopedia. Taylor & Francis. p. 203. ISBN 0-8153-1920-7. 
  2. ^ a b Nickels, Thom (2002). Gay and lesbian Philadelphia. Arcadia Publishing. p. 74. ISBN 0-7385-1000-9. 
  3. ^ "Anita R. Cornwell", The Negro Digest, p. 22, retrieved January 28, 2010