Literature

Blacks who influence the written word, novelist, poets, playwrights, etc.

Thomas Dixon Jr., segregationist and author


Thomas Dixon Jr.

*The birth of Thomas Dixon is marked on this date in 1864. He was a White American novelist, segregationist and minister.

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Colored American Magazine is published

*May 19, 1900 celebrates the first publication of the Colored American Magazine (CAM).  This was one of the first monthly magazines created for the national African American consumer.  

 

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Susan King Taylor born


Susan King Taylor

*Susan King Taylor was born on this date in 1848. She was a Black writer.

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Pauline Hopkins was an excellent writer


Pauline Hopkins

*The birth of Pauline Hopkins in 1859 is celebrated on this date. She was a Black playwright, journalist, novelist, short story writer, biographer, and editor.

Pauline Elizabeth Hopkins was the daughter of Northrup Hopkins and Sarah Allen. From Portland, Maine, she was raised in Boston, Massachusetts. Her skill as a writer gained recognition in 1874, when, at the age of fifteen, she received first prize in a contest for her essay titled "Evils of Intemperance and Their Remedy."

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Sonia Sanchez, poet and sister


Sonia Sanchez

*Sonia Sanchez was born on this date in 1934.She is an African American writer.

Born Wilsonia Benita Driver in Birmingham, Alabama, her mother was Lena Jones Driver and her father was Wilson L. Driver. Her mother died a year after her birth, and Sanchez lived with her paternal grandmother and other relatives for several years. In 1943 Sanchez moved to Harlem, NY with her sister to live with their father and his third wife. She earned a B.A. in political science from Hunter College in 1955. She also did postgraduate work at New York University and studied poetry with Louise Bogan.

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Black Poetry Day is celebrated


Ray Heath of South
Westlyan University reads

This date 1985 is Black Poetry Day established in 1985. An unofficial holiday, it celebrates past and present poets like Langston Hughes, Phillis Wheatley, Frank X. Walker and Maya Angelou.

This day is not officially endorsed by an American city, state, or federal government, but it has gained fame and grown because of its importance in black heritage, in literacy, and in community meaning. Schools and the general public are asked to spend this day appreciating African-American authors and spreading the word of Black poets through friends, family members, and throughout the world.

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The Watts Writers' Project is formed.


Schulberg and early writers

On this date we celebrate the Watts Writers’ Workshop, a creative writing group based in Los Angeles, CA., and begun in 1965

Screenwriter Budd Schulberg started the Watts Writers’ Workshop in response to the damage from the Watts Riots of South Los Angeles neighborhood a month earlier. Early contributors included poets Quincy Troupe and John Eric Priestley. Another of the first participants was Johnie Scott, who became the director of the Pan-African Studies Writing program at California State University, Northridge.

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Sekou Sundiata combined words, music, theater to teach


Sekou Sundiata

Sekou Sundiata was born on this date in 1948. He was an African American poet who writes for print, performance, music, and theater and he is a teacher.

Born Robert Feaster in Harlem, NY, he changed his name to Sekou Sundiata in the late 1960s to honor his African heritage. He taught at New York City's New School. Famous students include musicians Ani DiFranco and Mike Doughty.

Sundiata graduated with a bachelor's degree in English from the City College of New York in 1972 before successfully completing a master's degree in creative writing from the City University of New York.

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Bebe Moore, a writer of depth


Bebe Moore
Campbell

*Bebe Moore was born on this date in 1950. She was an African American teacher, journalist, and novelist.

Elizabeth Bebe Moore Campbell Gordon was born in Philadelphia Pennsylvania, the only child of Doris Moore and George L. P. Moore. She was educated in the Philadelphia Public Schools, graduating from the Philadelphia High School for Girls.

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John Edgar Wideman, his words "Do Apply"


John Edgar Wideman

*John Edgar Wideman was born on this date in 1941. He is an African American writer and educator.

From Washington, D.C., shortly before his first birthday, his family moved to Homewood, a black community in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, that has been the locale of much of his writings. He attended Peabody High, one of Pittsburgh’s best secondary schools. There, he excelled in his studies as well as in sports.

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