Clarissa Scott Delany was an African American poet, essayist, educator and social worker during the Harlem Renaissance.
Scott was born in Tuskegee, Alabama. Her father, Emmet Jay Scott was secretary to Booker T. Washington, founder of Tuskegee Institute, the historically black college.
After her early years in Alabama, she was sent to New England where she was educated at Bradford Academy and then, at Wellesley College, where she graduated Phi Beta Kappa in 1923. She was an active college student: she was a member of Delta Sigma Theta, she played varsity field hockey, and she was a member of the debating team and a member of the Christian Association.
During her Wellesley years, she attended meetings in Boston of the Literary Guild, where young black people gathered weekly to listen to featured speakers, such as Claude McKay.
She married young lawyer, Hubert T. Delany, in Washington, D.C. in 1926, and they moved to New York City. She worked as a social worker there and worked with the National Urban League and Woman’s City Club of New York, to gather statistics for a “Study of Delinquent and Neglected Negro Children.”
Although she died at 26, she contributed to her community and she published journal articles and poetry in Opportunity: A Journal of Negro Life, the periodical of the black intelligentsia of the time. Clarissa Scott Delany later passed away in 1927 due to kidney disease.