Dunjee Houston

The Uncrowned Community Builders was named after a poem entitled America's Uncrowned Queens Dedicated to the Heroic, Toiling Black Woman. It was written by Drusilla Dunjee Houston in 1917. She wrote it to celebrate the work of Black women community matriarchs who were being tossed aside by the "Talented Tenth." The Black male intellectuals who comprised this group of elite Black men went to great lengths to "push them to the rear and make them sit down and be quiet." Houston refused to do that and wrote this poem to commemorate that struggle. Not only did she write this poem in 1917, she continued her support for Black women and their work in racial uplift by actually creating a column in the Oklahoma Black Dispatch where she called for women to identify members of the community, both male and female to be recognized for their community service. She urged that no one be excluded believing that if a man or woman planted a blade of grant and was rewarded with two blades of grass, they should be celebrated. I am indebted to Houston for her unswerving dedication to the entire Black community