Shaun Spencer-Hester, The Anne Spencer House & Garden Museum
Edankraal: A made-up word…
Edward and Anne Spencer cultivated a vegetable that grew from their back door into a lavish spring flower garden. Anne, a nationally recognized poet associated with the Harlem School of Writers and Edward a genius and upcycled with an artist eye and creative mind designed four garden rooms. All walks of life come, play and escape racial slurs outside the garden gate during Jim Crow and the Civil Rights eras. Family, neighbors and friends, leading figures who visit the sacred shrine are James Weldon Johnson, W.E.B.Dubois, Langston Hughes, Thurgood Marshall, Vernon Johns, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Zora Neal Hurston, Marion Anderson, and Mya Angelou, just to name a few.
Traditional storytelling and documented history told by their Granddaughter.
Meet Shaun Spencer-Hester
Shaun Spencer-Hester serves as the Executive Director and Curator at the Anne Spencer House & Garden Museum, Inc., located in Lynchburg, VA. A Virginia Historic Landmark listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Shaun is the widow of Jerome A. Hester and the mother of one son Jordan Alexander Hester, and resides in Lynchburg, Virginia.
Spencer-Hester is an Artisan, Historian, Fashion Designer, Interior Designer, Museum Curator, Playwright, Preservationist, Social, Community Supporter and upcoming author.
Shaun is the granddaughter of Edward and Anne Spencer. Her grandmother Anne Spencer was an American Poet associated with the Harlem Renaissance School of Writers, and the first African-American women from Virginia published in the Norton Anthology of American Poetry. (1973). Anne Spencer archival collection of papers, books and family memorabilia are held at the University of Virginia in the Albert & Shirley Smalls Special Collections Library located in Charlottesville, Virginia. Anne Spencer’s garden was restored by the Hillside Garden Club (1983), a Garden Club of Virginia and is the “Only Known Restored Garden of an African-American in the United States of America”. Shaun joined the Hillside Garden Club as the first African American to become a member and in honor of her grandparents in 2018.
Shaun is the daughter of Chauncey E. Spencer, Sr., Edward and Anne’s son, a famed aviator and Tuskegee Airman whose papers are held at the Bentley Library in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Her father’s flight suit, goggles silk scarf and papers are included in the exhibit “Black Wings” at the National Air & Space Museum in Washington, DC.
Shaun’s professional work in Interior Design and Architecture led her to work for the prestigious Stark Company (New York, NY) in the Washington, DC showroom she assisted Designers and Architects on various residential and commercial design projects such as the Blair House, and Congressional and Senate offices just to name a few.