Writer’s Quote Wednesday 2015

Thank you to Silver Threading for hosting this weekly event.

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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.