National Poetry Month: Margaret Walker

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Margaret Abigail Walker Alexander (July 7, 1915 – November 30, 1998) was an African-American poet and writer. Born in Birmingham, Alabama, she wrote as Margaret Walker. One of her best-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 Writer’s 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. You can read her poetry at the links below.

Dark Blood
Molly Means
Sorrow Home
Southern Song
I Want to Write
We Have Been Believers
Lineage
Childhood
Kissie Lee
For My People
For Malcolm X
Big John Henry
Love Song for Alex, 1979
THE STRUGGLE STAGGERS US
Long John Nelson And Sweetiepie