Claude McKay (September 15, 1889 - May 22, 1948)
Born: 15th September, 1889
Died: 22nd May, 1948
Nationality: Jamaican
Profession/Occupation: Writer
Region: Jamaica, Chicago, Illinois
Notable works: "Home to Harlem", "Harlem Shadows", "Banjo"

Claude McKay Facts

Biography

Claude McKay, (born September 15, 1889, Nairne Castle, Jamaica, British West Indies--died May 22, 1948, Chicago, Illinois, U.S.), Jamaican-born poet and novelist whose Home to Harlem (1928) was the most popular novel written by an American black to that time. Before going to the U.S. in 1912, he wrote two volumes of Jamaican dialect verse, Songs of Jamaica and Constab Ballads (1912).

After attending Tuskegee Institute (1912) and Kansas State Teachers College (1912-14), McKay went to New York in 1914, where he contributed regularly to The Liberator, then a leading journal of avant-garde politics and art. The shock of American racism turned him from the conservatism of his youth. With the publication of two volumes of poetry, Spring in New Hampshire (1920) and Harlem Shadows (1922), McKay emerged as the first and most militant voice of the Harlem Renaissance. After 1922 McKay lived successively in the Soviet Union, France, Spain, and Morocco. In both Home to Harlem and Banjo (1929), he attempted to capture the vitality and essential health of the uprooted black vagabonds of urban America and Europe. There followed a collection of short stories, Gingertown (1932), and another novel, Banana Bottom (1933). In all these works McKay searched among the common folk for a distinctive black identity.

After returning to America in 1934, McKay was attacked by the communists for repudiating their dogmas and by liberal whites and blacks for his criticism of integrationist-oriented civil rights groups. McKay advocated full civil liberties and racial solidarity. In 1940 he became a U.S. citizen; in 1942 he was converted to Roman Catholicism and worked with a Catholic youth organization until his death. He wrote for various magazines and newspapers, including the New Leader and the New York Amsterdam News. He also wrote an autobiography, A Long Way from Home (1937), and a study, Harlem: Negro Metropolis (1940). His Selected Poems (1953) was issued posthumously.

Top 4 Claude McKay quotes

Upon the clothes behind the tenement, That hang like ghosts suspended from the lines, Linking each flat, but to each indifferent, Incongruous and strange the moonlight shines.
Behind
Clothes
Each
Flat
Ghosts
Hang
Indifferent
Like
Lines
Linking
Moonlight
Shines
Strange
Suspended
Nations, like plants and human beings, grow. And if the development is thwarted they are dwarfed and overshadowed.
Beings
Development
Grow
Human
Human beings
Like
Nations
Plants
Thwarted
Idealism is like a castle in the air if it is not based on a solid foundation of social and political realism.
Air
Based
Castle
Foundation
Idealism
Like
Political
Realism
Social
Solid
Solid foundation
If a man is not faithful to his own individuality, he cannot be loyal to anything.
Anything
Cannot
Faithful
He
His
Individuality
Loyal
Man
Own

Claude McKay essays

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Caribbean Literature 1900-1929 Essay
In the Caribbean, especially Jamaica, in the past year of 1900-1929 there were two poets in whose work genuinely stood away and made an argument. Those poets were Thomas Redcam (1870-1933) and Claude McKay (1878-1972). Thomas Redcam was a Jamaican poet whom came from Irish ancestry. During his life he promoted Jamaican books and was a notable poet.He was known as helpful and encouragement to younger poets during that time frame including Claude McKay. Equally poets had such a love for their region and made this clear inside their poems. They spoke about the beauty of Discovery bay, jamaica, how..
If We Must Pass away by Claude McKay Essay
If We Must Pass away by Claude McKayClearly provocative as well as chilling, "If We Must Die" by Claude McKay stirs deep and powerful thoughts in any who have reads that. A composition inspired by violent contest riots, this serves as a motivating anthem representative of an entire lifestyle. Graphic and full of vengeance this composition is strenuous action, not telling a story. McKay utilizes imagery to its maximum extent creating an end end result which any man or woman, black or perhaps white, who may have ever sensed the hard and hateful hand of oppression can relate with.Written..
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