Margaret Walker’s Century
The other week I drove from DC to the coast of Connecticut to join a panel at the Poetry by the Sea conference honoring African American poet and novelist Margaret Walker, whose works include the award-winning poem For My People (1942) and the novel Jubilee (1966), based on the story of her great-grandmother during the slavery era. I learned about Walker while researching the book and documentary Soul of a People.
This year marks the centennial of Walker’s birth, and Jackson State University, where she nurtured generations of writers for decades, has organized a slate of events to celebrate. Hopefully the world will know Walker’s vital work much better as a result.
I thank my friends at Turner Publishing for posting my piece Young People Finding a Passion for Expression about Walker and her surprising formative years as a young woman working with other writers in a depressed Chicago during the late 1930s. Read the post here.