Claude McKay: Biography
Claude McKay was born on September 15, 1890 in Jamaica, West Indies. His namewhen he was born was Festus Claudius McKay. He was the youngest child. He was theson of Thomas Francis McKay and Hannah Ann Elizabeth Edwards. He started schoolwhen he was four but, when he turned seven he moved with his oldest brother so hecould get the best education he possibly could that was available to him. His brother¶sname was Uriah Theodore and he was a school teacher. When he was with his brother,he became an avid reader of classic and British literature, also as well as philosophy,science and theology. He was 10 when he started writing poetry. He became anapprentice to a carriage and cabinet maker named or known as Old Brenga. He did thatfor about two years and while he was doing that he met a man named Walter Jekyllwho, became a mentor and also an inspiration. When it came to writing Walter encouraged him to focus on his writing. Jekyll helped published McKay¶s first book of poems, ³Songs of Jamaica´ in 1912, and these were his first poems published inJamaican Patois (dialect from mainly English words and African structure). His nextvolume ³Constab Ballads´ came out the next year. That one was about him being apolice officer and also his experiences as one in Jamaica. In 1912, he had come to theUnited States to attend Tuskegee Institute. He was there for a few months then he leftand studied agriculture at Kansas State University. While he was there he read W.E.B.