Of her nine siblings, only Roscoe, Irving, Blanche, and Ella lived to adulthood. The Dunjee family came to Oklahoma in Although from a wealthy family, Drusilla Dunjee never attended college; however, she attended finishing schools in the North. Despite plans to be a concert pianist, she gave up the stage to teach. From to she was employed as a kindergarten teacher in Oklahoma City and was one of the first elementary school teachers in the district. Houston devoted her early years to education.
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Of her nine siblings, only Roscoe, Irving, Blanche, and Ella lived to adulthood. The Dunjee family came to Oklahoma in Although from a wealthy family, Drusilla Dunjee never attended college; however, she attended finishing schools in the North. Despite plans to be a concert pianist, she gave up the stage to teach. From to she was employed as a kindergarten teacher in Oklahoma City and was one of the first elementary school teachers in the district.
Houston devoted her early years to education. In , at twenty-two, Houston eloped and married Price Houston. The couple settled in McAlester, in Indian Territory.
She soon opened McAlester Seminary for Girls, which she operated for twelve years. After she served as religious director of the Oklahoma Home for Delinquent Boys. The earliest African American woman to write a multivolume study of ancient Africa, she is best known for her classic American historical text, Wonderful Ethiopians of the Ancient Cushite Empire. Written over a twenty-five-year period, the book was published in and reprinted in Wonderful Ethiopians was written to correct distortions in the historical record of ancient African people and their descendants worldwide.
In a sense, she anticipated the Negritude movement, early Pan-Africanism, and the black studies and African American studies movements. Her journalistic career began in with editorials written for the Bookertee Searchlight, an earlier paper owned by Roscoe. Much later, she wrote for the Arizona Journal and Guide after she moved to Arizona for health reasons in Houston received nationwide recognition for her editorial work after as a syndicated writer with the Associated Negro Press ANP.
A few years after syndication of her articles, ANP director Claude Barnette appointed her director of research, a position she maintained until when she became too ill to write. Throughout most of her years of journalism and church work Houston also stayed involved in the social activities of that time.
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This is a pioneering, long-lost, work of Afrocentric history. Drusilla Dunjee Houston, was a teacher, journalist and self-taught historian. Inspired by W. Africa had several advanced civilizations in antiquity which flourished at the same time as the better known European and Asian ones. However, at the time that Houston wrote, history was viewed through a Eurocentric perspective and any mention of advanced African cultures was considered on a par with Atlantis. Houston believed the Cushite civilization to be the motherland of humanity. The Cushite civilization did exist, although it was not as ancient as Egypt, and certainly not the origin of all culture.
Drusilla Dunjee Houston (1876-1941)
She was a skilled journalist, Racial Uplift matriarch, and community builder in early Oklahoma Brooks-Bertram , xlii. Regrettably, four volumes in the series appear lost, but Volume II subtitled Origin of Civilization from the Cushites was discovered in and published again in Houston was the daughter of Rev. In addition to writing historical texts, Houston worked as a contributing editor for the Oklahoma Black Dispatch, a newspaper she ran with her brother civil rights activist Roscoe Conkling Dunjee who founded the Oklahoma branch of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People. Between and her death in Houston wrote nearly 3, editorials on subjects including the Tulsa Race Riot, the Houston Riots of , and the East St. Louis Massacre, one example of which is a article in the Oklahoma Black Dispatch on caring for Black children. See Gillespie and Hall, 7,
Drusilla Dunjee Houston
Her parents were Rev. Her father was influential in the American Baptist Home Missionary Society and traveled throughout the country establishing Baptist congregations in areas inhabited by poor Black rural dwellers. During these times Houston lived in numerous states on the Eastern Seaboard, in the South, the Northeast and finally the Midwest in Oklahoma. Houston and was one of ten siblings, only five of whom lived to adulthood.