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PoemHunter.com • 1 year ago

Today is the birthday of Lucille Clifton, born in 1936. She was an American writer and educator from Buffalo, New York. From 1979–1985 she was Poet Laureate of Maryland. Common topics in her poetry include the celebration of her African American heritage, and feminist themes, with particular emphasis on the female body.

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Phillis Wheatley was the first known African American poet and the first known female African American to publish a book. Her writings helped create African American Literature. She was bought at 17 by the Wheatley family who taught her how to read and write. Many white Americans didn’t believe an African could write poetry so they examined Wheatley in court later concluding that the poems she wrote were hers.

On May 5, 1950 poet Gwendolyn Brooks became the first African American to win a Pulitzer Prize.

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