Sylvia Lyons Render


Sylvia Lyons Render
June 8, 1913 – February 3, 1986
Eno River Congregation

  • Founding member and first board secretary of Eno River Congregation in Durham, North Carolina
  • Along with other founding members, she is memorialized on a plaque at Eno River
  • Professor of English at North Carolina Central University, the local HBCU in Durham, and at Florida A&M and North Carolina Central Universities
  • In 1982, left Durham to work in the manuscript division of the Library of Congress; was the first manuscript historian on the subject of Afro-American history and culture there
  • Founded the Daniel A.P. Murray Afro-American Culture Association of the Library of Congress and served as its first president
  • Received post-doctoral awards and grants from National Endowment for the Humanities and Ford Foundation
  • Received Ph.D. at George Peabody College of Vanderbilt University; was the first Black person to be awarded a Ph.D. from this University
  • Her book, Charles W. Chestnutt earned her the distinction of being the foremost authority on the life and work of this Black essayist and novelist of the early twentieth century; she also authored a collection entitled The Short Fiction of Charles W. Chestnutt in 1974
  • Edited the Quarterly Journal of the Library of Congress: vol. 32, issue 4, entitled Afro-American Women: The Outstanding and the Obscure
  • Was featured in Who’s Who of Women, Who’s Who in Black America, Who’s Who in Education, and Outstanding Black Citizens by Governor Bob Graham