Anita Cornwell is a lesbian feminist author and activist. She was an important participant in early LGBTQIA activism in Philadelphia. Cornwell was born in Greenwood, South Carolina and moved to Yeadon when she was 16. Shortly after, she moved to Philadelphia. Cornwell went to Temple University for journalism and social sciences and graduated in 1948. She worked as a journalist for a number of local publications and her work appeared in Feminist Review, Labyrinth, National Leader, Los Angeles Free Press and The Negro Digest. In 1983, Cornwell published the first collection of essays by a Black lesbian, titled Black Lesbian in White America.
Cornwell is living in Philadelphia.