Rudolph Fisher was a Harlem Renaissance era writer and medical doctor. A graduate of Providence’s Classical High School and Brown University, Fisher was known for his academic prowess which led to him be elected commencement speaker for Brown in 1919. Langston Hughes describes Fisher as “The wittiest of these New Negroes of Harlem, whose tongue was flavored with the sharpest and wittiest humor…He was a young medical doctor and x-ray specialist who always frightened me a little, because he would think of the most incisively clever things to say – and I could never think of anything to answer.” Fisher told the story of black expressive culture, social status, and inequality, through literary articles, short stories and novels. He zealously worked on publishing 15 short stories with two of them, “The City of Refuge” and “Miss Cynthie,” being named as “The Best American Short Stories” of their time. The novel, The Walls of Jericho, could be considered one of the most innovative and telling literary works of the Harlem Renaissance. Interestingly, Fisher also delved into mystery-detective books that attracted enough interest to have one adapted for the stage.
– written by Keila Davis
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