Illinois State Library

Illinois Center for the Book

Individual Author Record

General Information

Name:  Margaret Abigail Walker  

Pen Name: Margaret Walker

Genre: Non-Fiction

Audience: Adult;

Born: July 7, 1915 in Birmingham, Alabama

Died: November 30, 1998 in Chicago, Illinois

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Illinois Connection

In 1935, Walker received her Bachelors of Arts Degree from Northwestern University. She spent her last years back in Chicago and died of breast cancer in 1998.

Biographical and Professional Information

Margaret's literature generally contained African American themes. Among her more popular works was her poem ''For My People'', which won the Yale Series of Younger Poets Competition and her 1966 novel ''Jubilee'', which received critical acclaim. She joined the Federal Writers' Project with Richard Wright and Gwendolyn Brooks and taught English at Jackson State University from 1946 to 1979.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.


Chicago Literary Hall of Fame, 2014

Selected Titles At Your Library

For my people /
ISBN: 9780405019029. OCLC Number: 17329280

. .

How I wrote Jubilee and other essays on life and literature /
ISBN: 1558610049. OCLC Number: 20088623

Feminist Press at The City University of New York,. .

ISBN: 9780395924952. OCLC Number: 273394

. .

A novel based on the life of the author's great-grandmother follows the story of Vyry, the child of a white plantation owner and one of his slaves, through the years of the Civil War and Reconstruction.

October journey /
ISBN: 9780910296960. OCLC Number: 797988

. .

This is my century :
ISBN: 9780820311357. OCLC Number: 861200137

. .

Brings together one hundred of Margaret Walker's poems.