Gwendolyn Brooks

Brooks was born in Topeka, Kansas in 1917. She was an African American poet. Throughout her life she faced racism with her neighbors and at school. Brooks attended high school at Hyde park High which happened to be the leading high school in Chicago in whites. She had transferred schools later on to Wendell Phillips which is an all black school. Later on she had finally transferred to Englewood High wich is an interracial school. By 1936 Brooks had become a college graduate from Wilson Junior College. She had broadened her outlook on city racial dynamics. This was one influence to her poems. Her first poem was published in 1930 which was in a children’s magazine. The first book of poetry she published was in 1945. Her work was becoming known world wide leading her to winning a Pulitzer prize for poetry in 1950. By 1962, she had impressed the president, JFK, who had then asked her to recite poes at the Library of Congress poetry festival. Brooks lived to be 83 when she died of cancer in Chicago.

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