When I was…

When I was about eight, I decided that the most wonderful thing, next to a human being, was a book.

– Margaret Walker


born in The United States July 07, 1915
died: November 30, 1998
gender: female
genre: Literature & Fiction

Dr. Margaret Abigail Walker Alexander (July 7, 1915 – November 30, 1998) was an African-American poet and author born in Birmingham, Alabama. She wrote as Margaret Walker. One of her most known poems is “For My People”.

Her father Sigismund C. Walker was a Methodist minister and her mother was Marion Dozier Walker. They helped get her started in literature by teaching a lot of philosophy and poetry to her as a child.

In 1935, Walker received her Bachelors of Arts Degree from Northwestern University and in 1936 she began work with the Federal Writers’ Project under the Works Progress Administration. In 1942 she received her master’s degree in creative writing from the University of Iowa. In 1965 she returned to that school to earn her Ph.D. She also for a time served as a professor at what is today Jackson State University.

Her literature generally contained African American themes. Among her more popular works were her poem For My People, which won the Yale Series of Younger Poets Competition and her 1966 novel Jubilee, which received critical acclaim. In 1988 she sued Alex Haley, claiming his novel Roots: The Saga of an American Family had violated on Jubilee’s copyright. The case was dismissed.

Margaret Walker died of breast cancer in Chicago in 1998.



13 thoughts on “When I was…

  1. July 7, 1915: American writer Margaret Walker was an influential poet of the black experience who founded an institute to study African American history and culture, which now bears her name. She was born in Birmingham, Alabama, 98 years ago yesterday.

  2. When I was eight, the best thing is reading Comics. 😛

  3. Ela, what a wonderful post. I learn so much, reading your blog, thank you. Bill

  4. I like her quote! I didn’t read much when I was a child. Only when I had to and remember not enjoying the process. I do not remember my parents reading books. I’m playing catch up!!! 🙂

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s