For the month of March phenomenal women throughout history are celebrated for shaping history. I’ve chosen to dedicate this post to women that have helped shape the literally world. Women such as Maya Angelou, Nikki Giovanni, Sonia Sanchez, Zora Neale Hurston, Toni Morrison, Alice Walker and countless others. It because of their passion, courage and resilience; one way or another these women have helped shape me as a woman and a writer.
Maya Angelou, born Marguerite Johnson in St. Louis, Missouri is an acclaimed American poet, storyteller, activist, and autobiographer. Dr. Maya Angelou has had a broad career as a singer, dancer, actress and composer, but is most famous as a writer, editor, essayist, playwright, and poet. As a civil rights activist, Angelou worked with both Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and Malcolm X. She was also an educator and served as the Reynolds professor of American Studies at Wake Forest University.
Nikki Giovanni, born Yolande Cornelia Giovanni, Jr., on June 7, 1943 in Knoxville, Tennessee. Giovanni is a well-known poet reaching prominence in the late 1960’s and early 1970’s. Her unique and insightful style of poetry reveals her growth through her life experiences: from child to young woman, from an inexperienced college freshman to civil rights activist, from daughter to mother. She makes appearances on the college campus scene and is still well received. She’s known for “Black Feeling, Black Talk” (1968), “The Women and The Men”(1975), “The Collected Poetry of Nikki Giovanni: 1968-1998” (2003), “Chasing Utopia: A Hybrid”(2013).
Sonia Sanchez, born September 9, 1934, in Birmingham, Alabama. Sonia Sanchez is known for her poetry, activism and scholarly work. She was the Laura Carnell Professor of English and Women’s Studies at Temple University. She is the recipient of both the Robert Frost Medal for distinguished lifetime service to American poetry and the Langston Hughes Poetry Award. One of the most important writers of the Black Arts Movement, Sanchez is the author of sixteen books.
Zora Neale Hurston
Zora Neale Hurston, a writer often mentioned in discussions about the Harlem Renaissance is known for such works as “Their Eyes Were Watching God” “Jonah’s Gourd Vine” and “Dust Tracks On A Road,” in which chronicles her life growing up in Eatonville, Florida. An amazing folklorist and anthropologist as shown in “Mules and Men.”
Toni Morrison, born February 18, 1931 in Lorain, Ohio. Morrison is known for The Bluest Eye (1970), Song of Solomon (1977), Tar Baby (1981) and Beloved (1987), which won her a Pulitzer Prize for fiction. The central theme of Morrison’s novels is the black American experience; in an unjust society her characters struggle to find themselves and their cultural identity
Alice Walker, is a celebrated writer, poet and activist whose books include seven novels, four collections of short stories, four children’s books, and volumes of essays and poetry. The Color Purple, The Third Life of Grange Copeland, Meridian and The Way Forward Is With A Broken Heart are just a few of her popular titles. Alice Walker is the recipient of the Pulitzer Prize in Fiction in 1983 and the National Book Award and recently awarded the Mahmoud Darwish Literary Prize for Fiction 2016.