Margaret Walker

Margaret Walker
Margaret Walker

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.



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.[1]

In 1935, Margaret Walker received her Bachelor 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.

Walker married Firnist Alexander in 1943; they had four children and lived in Mississippi. Walker was a literature professor at what is today Jackson State University (1949 to 1979). In 1968, Walker founded the Institute for the Study of History, Life, and Culture of Black People (now the Margaret Walker Center). She went on to serve as the Institute's director.[2]

Among Walker's more popular works are her poem For My People, which won the Yale Series of Younger Poets Competition in 1942 under the judgeship of editor Stephen Vincent Benet,[3] and her 1966 novel Jubilee, which also received critical acclaim. The book was based on her own great-grandmother's life as a slave.[4]

In 1975, Walker released three albums of poetry on Folkways Records - Margaret Walker Alexander Reads Langston Hughes, P.L. Dunbar, J.W. Johnson; Margaret Walker Reads Margaret Walker and Langston Hughes, and The Poetry of Margaret Walker. In 1988, she sued Alex Haley, claiming his novel Roots: The Saga of an American Family had violated Jubilee's copyright. The case was dismissed.


Walker died of breast cancer in Chicago, Illinois in 1998.[5]


Film biography


  1. ^ Biodata
  2. ^ Ibid.
  3. ^ Bradley, George. The Yale Younger Poets Anthology, Yale University Press, New Haven and London, p. 24, Introduction
  4. ^ University of Pennsylvania archives on Walker
  5. ^ University of Pennsylvania archives

External links

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Margaret Walker — Margaret Abigail Walker (* 7. Juli 1915 in Birmingham, Alabama; † 30. November 1998 in Chicago, Illinois) war eine US amerikanische Schriftstellerin, Dichterin und Hochschullehrerin, die insbesondere durch ihren Roman Jubilee bekannt und damit zu …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Margaret (name) — Margaret Margaret the Virgin is one of many saints named Margaret. Gender female Origin Word/Na …   Wikipedia

  • Walker (surname) — Walker is a surname of English origin. In English, the name comes from the medieval profession of a ‘walker’, a person who trod on woollen cloth in a bath of Fuller s earth, and sometimes urine, in order to thicken the fibres and ready the cloth… …   Wikipedia

  • Walker (Familienname) — Walker ist ein Familienname. Bekannte Namensträger Inhaltsverzeichnis A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Margaret Alexander — may refer to: Margaret Walker (1915–1998) (born as Margaret Alexander), African American poet and writer Margaret F. Alexander, British nursing administrator and medical professional Margaret Alexander, Countess Alexander of Tunis (1905 – 1977),… …   Wikipedia

  • Margaret Kivelson — Margaret Galland Kivelson (* 1928) ist eine US amerikanische Astrophysikerin und Professorin an der University of California, Los Angeles. Sie ist Spezialistin für die Magnetosphären von Erde, Jupiter und Saturn sowie generell der Interaktion von …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Margaret Mary Beckett — Margaret Beckett (2007) Margaret Mary Beckett, geb. Jackson (* 15. Januar 1943 in Ashton under Lyne, Lancashire) ist eine britische Politikerin (Labour) und war von 2006 bis 2007 Außenministerin in der Regierung von Tony Blair. Sit Oktober 2008… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Margaret Avery — Born January 20, 1944 (1944 01 20) (age 67) Mangum, Oklahoma, U.S. Occupation Actress, singer Years active 1972–present Spouse Robert Gordyn Hunt (1 …   Wikipedia

  • Margaret McJannett — is an Australian naturalist and author. She was born in Canberra. She is best known for her books about the Brindabella Ranges near Canberra which she wrote with her former partner Ian Fraser. Bibliography Above the Cotter A driver s and walker s …   Wikipedia

  • Margaret Island (Nunavut) — Margaret Island Geography Location Northern Canada Coordinates 76° …   Wikipedia

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.