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

Afro-Cuban, Lydia Cabrera, writer and activist

Lydia Cabrera

Lydia Cabrera was born on this date in 1899. She was an Afro Cuban writer and literary activist.

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Carolyn Rodgers, an interesting poet

Carolyn Rodgers

Carolyn Rodgers, an African American writer, poet, and educator, was born on this date in 1945.

Born in Chicago, Carolyn Marie Rodgers attended the University of Illinois in 1960, but transferred to Chicago's Roosevelt University one year later and received her BA in 1965. She began writing as a college freshman. In 1980, she earned a master's degree in English from the University of Chicago. She achieved a national reputation as a writer whose works largely relate to her concern with feminist issues and a particular concern for Black women.

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American's first Black Poet Laureate, Robert Hayden

Robert Hayden

*Robert Hayden was born on this date in 1913. He was an African American poet.

Born Asa Bundy Sheffey, Hayden was raised in the poor Paradise Valley neighborhood in Detroit, Michigan. He had an emotionally turbulent youth and was shuttled between the home of his parents and that of a foster family, who lived next door. Childhood events would result in times of depression he would call 'my dark nights of the soul'. A nearsighted boy, he was often ostracized by his peers and was excluded from many physical Hobbies. Reading on the other hand occupied a great deal of his time.

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Toi Derricotte, one of Michigan's finest

Toi Derricotte

Toi Derricotte was born on this date in 1941. She is an African American writer.

From Hamtramck, Michigan, "toy dare-i-cot"; Derricotte is the daughter of Benjamin Sweeney Webster and Antonia Webster Cyrus. She studied special education at Wayne State University, where she earned a B.A., and studied English literature and creative writing at New York University, where she received her M.A.

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Henry Dumas, a legacy carried on

Henry Dumas

Henry Dumas was born on this date in 1934. He was an African American teacher and writer.

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Marcus B. Christian, Bayou poet and teacher

Marcus B. Christian

*Marcus B. Christian was born on this date in 1900. He was an African American poet, and educator.

From Mechanicsville (Houma), LA, he was the son of Emanuel and Rebbecca (Harris) Christian, Sr. Marcus Bruce Christian was educated at Houma Academy in New Orleans, from 1906-1913. He and his family moved to New Orleans in 1919. Christian also started Bluebird Cleaners in 1926. From 1932-1976, his writing career began and flourished with the Louisiana Weekly, New Orleans, as poetry editor and as a special feature writer.

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From Kentucky to the World, writer Margaret Danner

Margaret Danner (portrait)

Margaret Danner, an African American writer, was born on this date in 1915.

Born in Kentucky, Danner and her parents moved to Chicago when she was young. When Margaret Esse Danner was in the eighth grade, she wrote her first prize-winning poem, "The Violin." Although it would be many years before her first book of poetry was published, the image and theme of the violin reappeared many times in later works.

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Johari Amini, a theater director and teacher

Johari Amini

Johari Amini (her name may also appear as JohariCourts-Amini, JCourts-Amini, JohariC) was born on this date in 1948. She is an African American teacher of theater, director of several outstanding plays, an educator, a writer, and an administrator.

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An African writing voice, Willie Kgositsile

Willie Kgositsile

*Willie Kgositsile was born on this date in 1938. He is an African poet, educator, and activist.

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Evelyn Williams, a pasionate southern poet


*Evelyn Dilworth-Williams was born on this date in 1945. She is an African American poet, teacher, author, and motivational speaker.

A native of Birmingham, Alabama, she is the seventh child of Guy and Bertha Dilworth. She has nine siblings, six older and three younger. Williams spent her early childhood living in the mining and farm community, Edgewater and Panola in Alabama. As a teenager and young adult, she actively participated in the 1963 Civil Rights Movement demonstrations and Voter Rights demonstration in Birmingham, Alabama.

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