February 14, 2011
Biography of Gwendolyn Brooks
Born in Topeka, Kansas on June 7, 1917 Gwendolyn Brooks was the new born child of Keziah and David Brooks. Her mother was a school teacher, while her father was an aspiring doctor. Although her father never became a doctor, because of his lack of funds for school, he took upon the job of being a janitor. Gwendolyn was raised in Chicago, Illinois and was always taught and read to by her parents. Throughout her childhood she was teased repeatedly in school by members of her own race because she did not fit the normality of being a light skin, athletic, straight hair girl. Brooks felt discouraged in school so instead of retaliating she began to write throughout her entire childhood. She was inspired by other African American writers in Chicago such as James Weldon Johnson, and Langston Hughes. The inspiration brought her the gift of writing and by the age of 16 she had already written over 75 poems. In 1937 Brooks graduated from Wilson Junior College and later married Henry L. Blakely, who was another young male writer, and together raised two children. Brooks’s writings were based on African American’s city activities, the prejudices African Americans have against African American women of dark skin, and then later she based her writings on her political awareness of her time. She was the first African American women to receive a Pulitzer Prize for poetry, but the awards did not begin then. She also received tributes from Chicago to Washington for her writings at the age of eighteen. On December 3,2000 Cancer got the best of Gwendolyn Brooks and she passed away. Her body was buried, but her soul and legend still carries on in the streets of Southside Chicago, and in many homes of African Americans in the United States. In one of many Gwendolyn Brooks’s poems “The Mother”, the female speaker releases her regret on abortions that she has gone through, and what motherly activities she...