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About Me

Valerie Harris, writer
Valerie Harris, here. I am a writer

I’ve enjoyed a diverse career that spans creative and professional genres, all centered around the written word. I’ve done everything from writing and producing dramatic plays, publishing a magazine, and scripting an award-winning documentary, to leading writing workshops for teens and contributing to publications and corporate blogs. Add to that a long and successful career in nonprofit communications, working with organizations, large and small, in the arts, social justice, and education. It’s been my privilege to find “write livelihood” in the world of art, culture, history, and community.

Under the VHarrisProjects menu, I share some of my current work in nonprofit communications and management on the 4 the Nonprofit Professional page. I also offer expertise development Resources that many young professionals find useful. Lastly, this site hosts a gallery of my past and ongoing creative projects, appropriately called:   My Life in Projects.

I'm currently at work on a novel based (loosely) on the African American artist, Laura Wheeler Waring and a number of her contemporaries active before, during, and beyond the Harlem Renaissance. 


Speaking of which, I am thrilled to be your guide on this journey into the life and times of  Laura Wheeler Waring (1887-1948) via this biographical blog.

Who is Laura Wheeler Waring? A 2017 Huffington Post entitled, “Museums Celebrate The Black Women Artists History Has Overlooked, ranked Waring high on the list.

My extensive research, writing, and impactful presentations have made me a recognized expert on Laura Wheeler Waring. One of my current passions is shedding light on her remarkable life and career.

New England-born, Philadelphia-based, Laura Wheeler Waring (1887-1948) was a nationally known portraitist and illustrator and a major contributor to the cultural and social activities of the black community in Philadelphia and elsewhere from the 1920s through the 1940s.

Although a descendant member of the black elite, Waring never attempted to support herself solely by her art. She taught for over forty years at what is now Cheyney State University, outside Philadelphia, one of the oldest HBCU’s in the country. That’s where I first heard her name. Waring’s paintings graced the walls of the library when I attended Cheyney years ago as an undergraduate. Waring Hall, on Cheyney’s campus at the time, was named in her honor. But we knew little of who she was.

By uncovering multiple layers of Waring's life, I have found an intriguing story that will engage literary readers, social history buffs, and contemporary, career-minded women alike. Waring’s many professional “firsts,” her role in shaping cultural narratives, her strategic relationships, the impact of race, gender, and class upon her visibility as an artist, are all aspects that I am eager to delve into through this Bio-Blog. Together, we’ll explore a seldom seen view of African American cultural history through insightful episodes of one woman’s life and times.


I hope you enjoy the Laura Wheeler Waring Bio-Blog. Join the contact list and follow me on social to receive regular updates.

Thanks for visiting vharriswrites!


Valerie Harris

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