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Margaret Abigail Walker

Born: July 7, 1915 in Birmingham, Alabama
Died: November 30, 1998 in Chicago, Illinois

Pen Name: Margaret Walker

Connection to Illinois: 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.

Biography: 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

Primary Literary Genre(s): Non-Fiction

Primary Audience(s): Adult readers


Selected Titles

For my people /
ISBN: 9780405019029 OCLC: 17329280

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

Feminist Press at The City University of New York, New York : 1990.

ISBN: 9780395924952 OCLC: 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: 797988

This is my century :
ISBN: 9780820311357 OCLC: 861200137

Brings together one hundred of Margaret Walker's poems.