McKay, Claude. (1889 - 1948).
L i f e
- born in Jamaica x but: lived in England, Japan, and US
W o r k
P o e t r y :
Songs of Jamaica (1912):
- a collection of rural poems in an authentic local Jamaican dialect
- a romantic glorification of the soil and the black race
Constab Ballads (1912):
- a collection of poems in an authentic local dialect
- his own experience as a policeman: city = the symbol of evil, social and moral decay, and racial tensions
Spring in New Hampshire (1920):
- published in London when he lived in England
Harlem Shadows (1922):
- published by a national publisher
- a conventional form x but: themes of racial pride, social protest, and occasionally militancy
- the ‘revolutionary sonnets’: “If We Must Die”
F i c t i o n :
Home to Harlem (1928):
- a novel concerned with street life in Harlem
- contains frank depictions of sexuality and night life
> criticised by W.E.B. DuBois who preferred socially conscious writing fighting for the Afro-American cause
"Although she feeds me bread of bitterness, / And sinks into my throat her tiger’s tooth, / Stealing my breath of life, I will confess / I love this cultured hell that tests my youth"!
(Photo: Uta edu).
AuthorClaude McKay. (1889 - 1948). Jamaican.
WorkPoet. Novelist. Short story writer. Writer of the Harlem Renaissance.
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