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Margaret Walker

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  1. MargaretWalker July 7th 1915- 1998

  2. Biographical facts Walker was born to Sigismund C. Walker, a Methodist minister and Marion Dozier Walker, who helped their daughter by teaching her philosophy and poetry as a child. Her family moved to New Orleans when Walker was a young girl. She attended school there, including several years of college before she moved north. Walker was born on July 7, 1915, in Birmingham Walker completed her high school education at Gilbert Academy in New Orleans, Louisiana, where her family had moved in 1925. She went on to attend New Orleans University (now Dillard University) for two years. Then, after acclaimed poet Langston Hughes recognized her talent and urged her to seek training in the North, she transferred to Northwestern University in Chicago, Illinois, where she received a B.A. in English in 1935, at the age of nineteen ForFarish Street Green, Walker’s fourth poetry volume, appeared in 1986 Walker died of breast cancer in Chicago, Illinois in 1998 Walker married Firnist Alexander in 1943; they had four children and lived in Mississippi.

  3. Dark Blood There were bizarre beginnings in old lands for the making        of me. There were sugar sands and islands of fern and        pearl, palm jungles and stretches of a never-ending sea.There were the wooing nights of tropical lands and the cool        discretion of flowering plains between two stalwart        hills. They nurtured my coming with wanderlust. I        sucked fevers of adventure through my veins with my        mother's milk.Someday I shall go to the tropical lands of my birth, to the        coasts of continents and the tiny wharves of island        shores. I shall roam the Balkans and the hot lanes of        Africa and Asia. I shall stand on mountain tops and        gaze on fertile homes below.And when I return to Mobile I shall go by the way of        Panama and Bocas del Toro to the littered streets and        the one-room shacks of my old poverty, and blazing suns        of other lands may struggle then to reconcile the pride        and pain in me.

  4. I Want to Write I want to writeI want to write the songs of my people.I want to hear them singing melodies in the dark.I want to catch the last floating strains from their sob-torn        throats.I want to frame their dreams into words; their souls into        notes.I want to catch their sunshine laughter in a bowl;fling dark hands to a darker skyand fill them full of starsthen crush and mix such lights till they becomea mirrored pool of brilliance in the dawn.

  5. Southern Song I want my body bathed again by southern suns, my soul        reclaimed again from southern land. I want to rest        again in southern fields, in grass and hay and clover        bloom; to lay my hand again upon the clay baked by a        southern sun, to touch the rain-soaked earth and smell        the smell of soil.I want my rest unbroken in the fields of southern earth;        freedom to watch the corn wave silver in the sun and        mark the splashing of a brook, a pond with ducks and        frogs and count the clouds.I want no mobs to wrench me from my southern rest; no        forms to take me in the night and burn my shack and        make for me a nightmare full of oil and flame.I want my careless song to strike no minor key; no fiend to        stand between my body's soutnern song--the fusion of        the South, my body's song and me.

  6. accomplishments Wins Yale Younger Poet Award for poetry collection For My People, subsequently published by Yale University Press Receives National Endowment for the Humanities senior fellowship for independent study; conducts seminar at Atlanta’s Institute of the Black World; How I Wrote Jubilee later  Receives Living legend Award for Literature from National Black Arts Festival,   Atlanta; How I Wrote Jubilee and Other Essays on Life and Literature

  7. Motivations Margaret Walker motivations were to inspire African American women. In the "Southern Song" and "Sorrow Home’’ she re-visions as a place of freedom and beauty for African Americans. Because she has freed up emotionally, she has the capacity to imagine herself and Black field hands as courageous, self-sufficient people taking back the land that they believe is theirs.

  8. Influences on Walker Walker father taught her philosophy and poetry as a child. He was a Methodist minister and told Walker to always follow her dream. He sent her to many years on collage so she can become a famous writer.


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