Writer’s Quote Wednesday 2015

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Thank you to Silver Threading for hosting this weekly event.

writers-quote-wed-20151

My  Writer’s Quote this week is one by Gwendolyn Brooke:

 “What I’m fighting for now in my work … for an expression relevant to all manner of blacks, poems I could take into a tavern, into the streets, into the halls of a housing project.”

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The first African-American to win a Pulitzer Prize in 1950, Brooke published her first book of poetry in 1945.

Her awards and recognitions are many including a 1962 invitation from President John F. Kennedy to read at a poetry festival being held at the Library of Congress.

Though ten years younger and we never met; I grew up in Chicago, we lived in the same neighborhood, and we attended the same school (Englewood).

Yet, I didn’t connect with this distinguished, gifted and talented writer until 1970 as a college freshman.

Sadly, in the 1950s, the Chicago Public School System did not include the literary works of  Gwendolyn Brooke in their curriculum.  At least, on the South Side of Chicago where I grew up.

Gwendolyn Brooke died on December 3, 2000 at the age of 83.  The gift of her poetic words remain for us to share and reflect upon for generations to come.

 

6 thoughts on “Writer’s Quote Wednesday 2015

  1. She was a gifted poet with an important message. When I lived in Chicago I used to drive by the Gwendolyn Brooke School on the way to the church my husband pastored. She is certainly one of Chicago’s beloved poets, and now the country’s and beyond.

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    • I am so glad I discovered her poetry and saddened that it took me so long. What a wonderful gift to a young black girl growing up in the 1950s to have known someone of this status emerged from her community and school system. I could have used a role model and felt certain others did as well.

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