Literature

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

A true Delta poet, Al Young


Al Young

Al Young was born on this date in 1939. He is an African American writer and educator.

Born in Ocean Springs, Mississippi, Young's family lived there until his father was discharged from the Navy. Then the entire family moved to Detroit, Michigan. After graduating from high school, Young attended the University of Michigan where he majored in Spanish. In 1961, Young moved to San Francisco where he pursued a music career and worked as a disc jockey, writing instructor, and held various jobs to make ends meet between musical gigs.

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Yusef Komunyakaa, a man of many words


Yusef Komunyakaa

*The birth of Yusef Komunyakaa in 1947 is celebrated on this date. He is an African American poet and writer.

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A poetic talent, Clarrisa Scott Delaney


Clarissa Scott Delaney

The birth of Clarissa Scott Delaney in 1901 is celebrated on this date. She was an African American educator, poet, and social worker.

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Ishmael Reed is a total writer


Ishmael Reed

*Ishmael Reed was born on this date 1933. He is an African American writer.

From Chattanooga, Tennessee, when he was still a child, he and his family moved to Buffalo, New York, where Reed eventually attended the University of New York at Buffalo from 1956-1960. Reed is total writer, creating in poems, novels, essays, articles and more.

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Haki Madhubuti, a great contemporary writer


Haki Madhubuti

*Haki R. Madhubuti was born on this date in 1942. He is an African American poet, essayist, and editor.

Born Donald Luther Lee (Don L. Lee) in Little Rock, Arkansas, he attended the University of Illinois and received an M.F.A. from the University of Iowa.

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An author of "Thought," Harold Cruse


Harold Cruse

*Harold Cruse was born on this date in 1916. He was an African American author and intellectual.

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Pearl Cleage, playwright, artistic director, essayist and novelist


Pearl Cleage

Pearl Cleage, an African American writer, was born in Springfield, MA, on this date in 1948.

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Austin Steward, from servitude to authorship


Austin Steward

*The birth of Austin Steward in 1793 is celebrated on this date. He was a Black slave, businessman, administrator and biographer of his life as a slave in America.

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A great contemporary writer, Gloria Naylor


Gloria Naylor

*Gloria Naylor was born on this date in 1950. She is an African American author.

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"And That's The Truth," Bell Hooks


Bell Hooks

*Bell Hooks was born on this date in 1952. She is an African American author, Black feminist and social critic.

Born Gloria Watkins in Hopkinsville, Kentucky, she uses the name bell hooks (spelled without capitals) to honor her mother and grandmother. In 1973, she graduated Stanford University, followed by a degree from University of Wisconsin in 1976 and her Ph.D. from the University of California, Santa Cruz in 1983.

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