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  • Pauline Elizabeth Hopkins was a prominent African-American novelist, journalist, playwright, historian, and editor. She is considered a pioneer in her use of the romantic novel to explore social and racial themes. Her work reflects the influence of W. E. B. Du Bois. Her first known work, a musical play called Slaves’ Escape; or, The Underground Railroad, first performed in 1880, is one of the earliest-known literary treatments of slaves escaping to freedom. Her short story "Talma Gordon", published in 1900, is often named as the first African-American mystery story. She explored the difficulties faced by African-Americans amid the racist violence of post-Civil War America in her first novel, Contending Forces: A Romance Illustrative of Negro Life North and South, published in 1900. She published three serial novels between 1901 and 1903 in the African American periodical Colored American Magazine: Hagar's Daughter: A Story of Southern Caste Prejudice, Winona: A Tale of Negro Life in the South and Southwest, and Of One Blood: Or, The Hidden Self. She sometimes used the pseudonym Sarah A. Allen. Hopkins spent the remainder of her years working as a stenographer at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. She died in Cambridge, Massachusetts, from burns sustained in a house fire. Wikipedia

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