Anne Spencer was a poet, a civil rights activist, a teacher, librarian, wife and mother, and a gardener.
More than thirty of her poems were published in her lifetime, making her an important figure of the black literary and cultural movement of the 1920s—the Harlem Renaissance—and only the second African American poet to be included in the Norton Anthology of Modern Poetry (1973).
Noted for verse preoccupied with biblical and mythological themes, as well as those of her garden and nature, Spencer shared intellectual respect and repartee with such notables as James Weldon Johnson, who first discovered her poetic talents in 1919, Langston Hughes, W.E.B. DuBois, Countee Cullen, Sterling A. Brown, Marian Anderson, Paul Robeson, Thurgood Marshall, Zora Neal Hurston, Mary McLeod Bethune, Adam Clayton Powell, Claude McKay, George Washington Carver, H.L. Mencken, Amaza Lee Meredith, Gwendolyn Brooks, and the Rev. Martin Luther King.
The Anne Spencer House and Garden Museum is a Virginia Landmark and was placed on the National Register of Historic Places on December 6, 1976.