Skip to main content

Marita Golden papers

Identifier: MS2235

Collection Scope and Content

This collection contains hand-written and typed drafts, edited drafts, galley proofs, articles, audiocassettes, interviews, research notes related to the literary career of Marita Golden, and the Marita Golden website. The material is dated from 1969-2023, although most of the manuscript drafts are not dated.


  • Creation: 1969-2023


Restrictions on Access

This collection is open for research.

Restrictions on Use

Some material may be copyrighted or restricted. It is the patron's obligation to determine and satisfy copyright or other case restrictions when publishing or otherwise distributing materials found in the collections.

Historical or Biographical Note

Marita Golden, local author and teacher, founder of both the Hurston/Wright Foundation and the African American Writers Guild, has spent more than 30 years teaching at many universities including George Mason and American University.

Her fiction includes the novel After, Long Distance Life, (a best-seller, cited as a "Best Book of the Year" by The Washington Post), A Woman's Place, And Do Remember Me, and The Edge of Heaven. In the genre of nonfiction, Marita Golden has edited two anthologies, Wild Women Don't Wear No Blues: Black Women Writers on Love, Men and Sex; and with writer Susan Shreve, Skin Deep: Black and White Women on Race and the book Don't Play in the Sun. As a memoirist and essayist, Golden has authored Migrations of the Heart, Saving Our Sons: Raising Black Children in a Turbulent World, and A Miracle Everyday: Triumph and Transformation in the Lives of Single Mothers.

All of Marita Golden's texts are widely read and used in college courses that represent a wide range of disciplines, from literature, African American Studies, and anthropology, to Women's Studies.

As a teacher of writing, Marita Golden has held appointments at George Mason University, and Virginia Commonwealth University, where she served as a member of the MFA Graduate Creative Writing programs. She has also taught at Emerson College, The University of Lagos (Nigeria), Roxbury Community College.

Marita Golden has lectured on the topic of literature, women's studies, African-American Studies and African American literature nationally and internationally. She has read from her work and held writer-in-residence positions at many schools, including Brandeis University, the University of the District of Columbia, Hampton University, Simmons College, Columbia College, William and Mary, Old Dominion University and Howard University. She has also been a guest on the Oprah Winfrey Show, and has appeared on ABC's Primetime Live. Articles and essays by Marita Golden have appeared in Essence Magazine, The New York Times and The Washington Post.

Marita Golden founded and served as the first president of the Washington-D.C. based African American Writers Guild. Since 1990 she has headed the Zora Neale Hurston/Richard Wright Foundation, which presents the nation's only national fiction award for college writers of African descent and an annual summer writer's workshop for Black writers, Hurston/Wright Writers' Week, as well as the Hurston/Wright Legacy Award for published Black writers.

Among the awards Marita Golden has received in recognition of her writing career and her work as a literary cultural worker are The 2002 Distinguished Service Award from the Authors Guild, The 2001 Barnes and Noble Writers for Writers Award presented by Poets and Writers; an honorary Doctorate from the University of Richmond; induction into the International Hall of Fame for Writers of African Descent at the Gwendolyn Brooks Center at Chicago State University; Woman of the Year Award from Zeta Phi Beta; and a Distinguished Alumni Award from American University. Her novel AFTER received 2007 Fiction Award from the Black Caucus of the American Library Association and was nominated for Outstanding Literary Work Fiction by the 38th annual NAACP Image Awards.

Marita Golden holds a B.A. from American University in American Studies and English and an Masters Degree from the Graduate School of Journalism at Columbia University. She is writer in residence at the University of the District of Columbia.

(from the biography at the website:


11.25 Linear Feet

Language of Materials



The material in this collection consists of manuscript drafts, galleys, and research notes related to the work of author and teacher Marita Golden. The collection also includes archived versions of the Marita Golden website. The material dates from 1969-2023.

Collection Organization

Organized into seven series: Book drafts and research materials; Articles, Non-book writings; Speeches, talks, and programs; Hurston/Wright Foundation; professional materials and publicity; and the Marita Golden website (captured using the Internet Archive's Archive-it service in 2023 and then once a year after that).

Physical Location

Materials are stored off-site, and will require additional retrieval time. Please contact the Special Collections Research Center for more information.

Acquisition Information

Gift of Marita Golden, 2007 (Accession 2007.062) Gift of Marita Golden, 2016 (Accession 2016.095) Gift of Marita Golden, 2017 (Accession 2017.021) Gift of Marita Golden, 2018 (Accession 2018.005) Gift of Marita Golden, 2018 (Accession 2018.045) Gift of Marita Golden, 2022 (Accession 2022.049) Gift of Marita Golden, 2023 (Accession 2023.040)

Separated Materials

The following books were added to the Special Collections stacks: "Word Nation" and "The Wide Circumference of Love" and from the 2022.029 donation "The Strong Black Woman" published 2021; "Saving our Sons" published 2022; and "A Woman's Place" new edition published 2021. "The New Black Woman" from the 2023 donation.

Guide to the Marita Golden papers, 1969-2023
Special Collections Research Center, The George Washington University
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Finding aid written in English

Repository Details

Part of the Special Collections Research Center, The George Washington University Repository

George Washington University Gelman Library
2130 H Street NW
Washington DC 20052 United States of America