Gwendolyn Brooks Research Paper

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The first African American poet to win the Pulitzer Prize, Gwendolyn Brooks is an inspirational artist who has set the path for other black artists. She focused on the lives of regular black citizens and the struggles they endure on a regular basis, educating those of the culture of black Americans. Gwendolyn Brooks’ poems were influential in depicting the issues of the era in the African American community. Born on June 7, 1917 in Topeka, Kansas, Brooks moved at an early age to Chicago Illinois. Here, her experiences grew and her perspective on racial dynamics grew as she attended three completely different high schools. She first attended the leading white school in Chicago, Hyde Park High School, then transferred to an all black school,…show more content…
She went on to publish many more works to the Chicago Defender, “the leading African-American newspaper”. Her big break came in 1945 when her book of poetry, A Street in Bronzeville became an instant success. In this book she focused on the everyday lives of black Americans, chronicling their “aspirations and disappointments”. This book brought her first Guggenheim Fellowship and other awards. She went on to receive more awards such as the Pulitzer Prize for her second book Annie Allen. In this book, Brooks follows the life an African American girl as she grows into adulthood. It focuses on the “role of women and social issues”. It relates to Brooks as she is taking this stand as a woman, “even though she never defined herself as a feminist...throughout Annie Allen she created a poetry in which the voice of a woman is unmistakably heard”. She doesn’t limit herself to women though as she makes her voice powerful enough to make men listen, “as part of her importance of black literature is that white readers must recognize her force.” Brooks allowed her poetry to take a stand against the trials and tribulations her character endured being a black and a

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