Illinois State Library

Illinois Center for the Book

Individual Author Record

General Information


Pen Name: Margaret Walker

Genre: C:ADULT Non-Fiction

Born: July 7, 1915 in Birmingham, Alabama


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.

Published Works Expand for more information

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-- Chicago Literary Hall of Fame, 2014