Josephine D. Heard

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search

Josephine Delphine Henderson Heard (1861 – c. 1921) was born the daughter of two enslaved parents in Salisbury, North Carolina. She was a teacher, poet and wife of an AME Church minister.


After slavery ended a goal was set for her to become a teacher. She married William Henry Heard at age 21 in 1882. She held teaching position in many cities as she traveled with her husband, who was prominent in the AME Church. Her joy in teaching is reflected in the preface of her 1890 volume of poetry entitled Morning Glories. She wrote “from a heart that desires to encourage and inspire the youth of the Race.” The work contained seventy-two original poems by her. It was revised and expanded in 1891. Additional insight into her life is provided by her husband wrote in his memoir, “She is scholarly and poetic, and her use of the English language, as well as the criticism of my sermons, have done much in making me the preacher they say I am."[1]

She died in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania,[1] around 1921.

Heard's poem "Black Sampson" as included in the anthology She Wields a Pen: American Women Poets of the Nineteenth Century edited by Janet Gray.[2]


  1. ^ a b Bolden, Tonya. "Digital Schomburg African American Women Writers of the 19th Century". The New York Public Library. Retrieved December 9, 2012. 
  2. ^ Bennett, Juda (September 30, 1998). "She Wields a Pen: American Women Poets of the Nineteenth Century". Transformations. 
  • Josephine D. Heard. Notable Black American Women (1992) Gale Biography in Content (Web 13 Sep 2012).

Further reading[edit]

  • Heard, Josephine Delphine Henderson. Morning Glories. New York: The Digital Schomburg, The New York Public Library. File number 1997wwm9710.sgm. 1997.