Claude Mckay

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by alexegarcia
Last updated 8 years ago

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Claude Mckay

Claude McKay was born on 15 Sept. 1889 in Jamaica. He lived with his older brother, who was a school teacher, in order to receive the best education he could. After he began writing, an englishman named Wlater Jekyll became his mentor who encouraged him to become a writer. After he moved to America, he enrolled at Tuskegee Institute which is where he first encountered racism, which became the basis for much of his writing. He became known as a protest writer, writing poems in protest of events such as the Red Summer and his early sonnets and lyrics were considered his greatest literary works.

Political Life

Claude McKay was a radical socialist for most of his life. When he lived in America he joined a radical socialist group called the African Blood Brotherhood. In London he became more commited to socialism when he wrote for a socialist newspaper and joined the International Socialist Club. He also went to Russia twice in his life meeting various communist leaders.

Lasting Impact

Many consider McKay's poetry to be one of the greatest forces in bringing about the "Negro Literary Renaissance" and he influenced a generation of black authors.


Throughout his life Claude McKay received various awards including:Musgrave Medal from the Institute of Jamaica for "Songs of Jamaica" and "Constab Ballads"Harmon Foundation Award for distinguished literary achievement, for "Harlem Shadows" and "Home to Harlem"James Weldon Johnson Literary Guild Award, 1937Order of Jamaica, 1977.

Claude McKay


Literary Works

1912 - Constab Ballads1919 - If We Must Die1920 - Spring in New Hampshire1921 - How Black Sees Green and Red1928 - Home to Harlem1929 - Banjo1939 - A Long Way from Home

"If We Must Die"


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