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Gwendolyn Brooks
Stories of inspiration from Smart Girl Stories across the globe. Gwendolyn Brooks – American Poet/ Writer

Gwendolyn Brooks – American Poet/ Writer

Gwendolyn Brooks was a trailblazing American poet, author, and teacher whose remarkable legacy continues to inspire readers today. Throughout her illustrious career, Gwendolyn made it her mission to shed light on the experiences of African Americans through her powerful poetry and prose. Whether highlighting the struggles of the civil rights movement or exploring the complexities of everyday life, Brooks had a unique ability to capture the essence of the human spirit in her writing.

Thanks to her incredible talent and unwavering dedication to social justice, Gwendolyn remains an icon in the world of African-American literature, and her work continues to inspire new generations of poets, writers, and activists alike.

Gwendolyn Brooks – The Early Years

Gwendolyn Brooks was born in Topeka, Kansas on June 7th 1917 and moved to Chicago when she was three years old, where she lived until her death in 2000. She began writing poetry at an early age and published her first poem in the magazine American Childhood at age 13. In 1950 she became the first African American to win a Pulitzer Prize for Poetry with her book Annie Allen.

Her Career

Throughout her career she wrote more than twenty books of poetry, including such classics as The Bean Eaters (1960), Maud Martha (1953), In the Mecca (1968), Bronzeville Boys and Girls (1956), and We Real Cool (1966). Her works often centered around themes of family life, racial identity, class conflict and injustice. She also wrote several novels for children as well as an autobiography titled Report from Part One which was published in 1972.

In addition to writing books, Brooks served as a professor at many different universities throughout the United States including Northeastern Illinois University where she taught for 25 years until her retirement in 1985. During that time, she was an advocate for civil rights issues and actively participated in protests against segregation and racism. She was also involved with organizations such as the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), Urban League, Congress on Racial Equality (CORE) and the National Council of Negro Women (NCNW).

Celebrating Her Accomplishments

It is clear that Gwendolyn Brooks made a huge impact on society during her lifetime through both her writing and activism. Today we honor this great poet by celebrating all that she has accomplished in her lifetime! From being one of the most influential African-American writers to becoming a leader in civil rights movements; Gwendolyn Brooks’ legacy will continue to inspire generations to come!

We are proud to highlight this story as part of our partnership with The National Women’s Hall of Fame.

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