By Dr. Brenda M. Greene, Director, Center for Black literature at Medgar Evers College

As part of American Masters’ Inspiring mrs campaign, Dr. Brenda Greene shows on the trailblazing poet Gwendolyn Brooks. The 2017 national Black authors Conference will acknowledge the enduring heritage of Brooks on Saturday, in march 25, 2017 at Medgar Evers university in Brooklyn, NY. The public is invite to register here. Track in to American Masters’ blog and also follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and also Tumblr because that updates and also interviews from the event. Share her thoughts on Gwendolyn Brooks and also other women in literature by utilizing the hashtag

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This year marks the centennial the the bear of Gwendolyn Brooks, a literary giant, poet, novelist, advocate, and educator who chronicled black life with grace and also vision because that 70 years. In she 1972 autobiography, Report from component One, Brooks writes of she dedication come bringing the lives of Black world to the page: “If you wanted a poem, girlfriend only had actually to look the end of her window.”

Brooks was a black color writer that conscience who concentrated on the resides of city Blacks, the migration movement, world War II as well as the social justice motions throughout the last 3 decades. She was a understand of the handmade of city who believed in studying and adhering to her craft and also would not sacrifice she craft for the message.

Brooks’ life spans the Civil legal rights Movement, the Black power Movement, the black Arts Movement and the i know good Hop Movement. From the 1970s come the 1990s, she published more than a dozen volumes of poetry and nearly a dozen nonfiction titles, which included two autobiographical works — Report From component One (1972) and Report From component Two (1995). Before that she released the poetry collections, A Street in Bronzeville, Annie Allen (which winner the Pulitzer), The Bean Eaters, and also the novel Maud Martha.

A poet Laureate the the State that Illinois, Brooks was the first Black author to win the Pulitzer Prize and was the an initial Black mrs to serve as the poetry consultant to the Library that Congress. V her powerful, passionate, social and also politically conscious poetry and also prose, Brooks supplied a range of contemporary literary aesthetics to carry out a window into the life the Blacks in 20th-century city America. On Saturday, march 25, 2017, the facility for Black literary works at Medgar Evers College will certainly honor and also celebrate the life that this an excellent poet, who has actually authored much more than 20 books but has actually been too long under-represented in the literature canon.

I had actually an chance to meet Miss Brooks as soon as she attend the national Black authors Conference at Medgar Evers university in the 1980s. She was a tenderness spirit and also I am honored to have met such an outstanding, humble and also literary legend in mine lifetime. As I’ve attended talks and also readings in respect of miss Brooks end the last several months, I’ve likewise felt privileged to have met her.

“Brooks supplied a range of contemporary literary aesthetics to administer a home window into the life the Blacks in 20th-century city America.”

The facility for black color Literature’s honoring that Gwendolyn Brooks is particularly significant as the Gwendolyn Brooks center for Black literature and creative Writing at Chicago State college was the model used to develop the facility for Black literary works at Medgar Evers College, CUNY. Our facility is the only facility for Black literary works nationally that is still committed to the mission of providing emerging and established writers and other members the the literature community, and also the basic public, through a venue for sharing the writing released by black writers, pointing out the trends and also themes in black color literature, and identifying the significant issues and challenges faced by black writers and also those in the company of reading, publishing, and also selling black color literature. This symposium, hosted biennially, is a component of the nationwide Black writers Conference which was originally inspired by the late john Oliver Killens, novelist, activist, screenwriter and writer-in-residence at Medgar Evers College.

We live in a political and also social climate where it is extremely vital to raise vital questions and to know the past so the we may critique the present and chart the future. The arts provide a way to understand the human being experience and also social and also political activities in multiple ways. Ours celebration the Gwendolyn Brooks is designed come both memory this writer the conscience and to recognize the impact that writers, artists and scholars have actually on our society. Our writers space our leaders in social movements. They space our storytellers, our contemporary day griots, our witnesses come life. The writers, scholars and artists that are part of the Gwendolyn Brooks Tribute room carrying forth critical legacy.

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We have actually to proceed to tell the story of Gwendolyn Brooks in ours homes, our schools, ours libraries and also our communities and we have to share she story through the larger society. We must remember that as long as us tell the stories of our ancestors, lock will stay alive.

Please visit the facility for Black literary works at for an ext information top top this historical program, “Our miss Brooks: A Centennial Celebration.”