Brenda Estelle Ray Moryck


Black writer and social activist born in Newark. Worked with Newark Bureau of Charities. She published short stories, essays, and book reviews in national journals and magazines. Photo from Wellesley College. At the time of her graduation from Wellesley in 1916 her address was 61 Kearny (31 Kearney seems to be the correct address) Street. She attended Miller Street School and Barringer High under the name “Estelle Moryck”

William Ashby wrote, “John Moryck [owned] a saloon on Academy Street. He lived on Kearney Street. Moryck had an unusual daughter, Brenda. She graduated from Barringer High School, and won a scholarship at Wellsley College, certainly the first Negro girl from Newark to attend a prestigious white school.”

In 1925, she was featured in Opportunity Magazine when she won second prize in a contest. She said she’d been writing since age 6. She taught at Armstrong Technical High in Washington DC. She wrote several articles in this year of Opportunity including in Aug 1925 a Point of View column that was widely quoted.

She married twice and had a daughter and a foster daughter. She was active in the NAACP, Wellesley Club and other groups.

Newark Evening News, June 26, 1907, lists “Estelle Moryck”
Opportunity 1925
Opportunity 1925


Williams, Noelle Lorraine. The Incredible Legacy of Newark’s Black Women Activists.

Bragg, Susan. “Brenda Ray Moryck”.

Wellesley College digitized yearbooks.

Google Books.

Ashby, William. “Reflections on the Life of Negroes in Newark

Education Bulletin, 1917

“New Jersey Graduates Young Women of Wellesley” Morning Call Jun 22 1916

“Married Teachers to Get Extra Tests” Baltimore Sun Sept 12, 1924

Opportunity, 1925

“Manahattan Personals” New York Age Nov 23, 1929

“Harlem Experimental Theaters New Officers” New York Age Jul 12 1930

“Aaron Douglas Guest of Honor at Luncheon” New York Age Feb 28, 1931

“Harlem Experimental Theater Gives Three Plays” New York Age May 2, 1931

“Guy Hickock Speaker at Wellesley Club Meeting” Brooklyn Eagle Dec 12, 1933

 “Mrs. John W. Moryck Dies Here in 80th Year; Of Old Family”The New York Age. 1942-01-24. p. 4. Retrieved 2021-03-01 – via

“C. C. S. Girls Meet in Staten Island”The New York Age. 1930-04-12. p. 2. Retrieved 2021-03-02 – via

Roses & Randolph. Harlem Renaissance and Beyond Literary Biographies of 100 Black Women Writers, 1900-1945