In 1999, the Uncrowned Queens Institute for Research and Education on Women, Inc. was established in Buffalo, New York in honor of Drusilla Dunjee Houston.
Drusilla Dunjee Houston was a writer, historian, educator, journalist, musician, and screenwriter from West Virginia. Houston was born in Harper’s Ferry, West Virginia in 1876 to Rev. John William and Lydia Taylor Dunjee. Her brother was the founder of the black newspaper the Black Dispatch, which Dunjee worked as a contributing editor and frequently dedicated columns to uplift African Americans.
During her early teens, Houston taught in segregated schools of pre-Territorial Oklahoma. Over time, she became the model race woman during the time she lived. She had been influenced by DuBois’ The Negro (1915), which discredited white racist scholarship that Africans had no history, Houston without the help of any assistants, funding, or access to research repositories set out to write a three-volume study on the influence of ancient Cushites in the Nile Valley, India, Europe, and America.
Her writings cross multiple literary periods including the race writers, the Black Women’s Era (1890-1900), and the Harlem Renaissance or the New Negro era. Despite numerous writings for more than four decades including editorials, pamphlets, poetry, screenplays and historical texts, she remained one of the most overlooked black women writers of her time. On February 11, 1941, Houston died in Phoenix, Arizona after many years of illness from tuberculosis.