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Claude McKay Bio

Claude McKay Bio

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Published by: NayNay Makesmesmile Stradford on Feb 17, 2012
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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.
 
D
u Bois¶ Souls of Black Folk, which had a major impact on his political involvement. Hemarried his childhood sweetheart in New York. When he went out there a couple of years he created one of his most famous poems ³If We Must
D
ie´. He wrote during theHarlem Renaissance. He had written so many great works at that time. He wrote somany poems and stories and all that. He wrote on a variety of subjects. He also wroteabout things that were going on with African Americans. When he moved back toHarlem, he turned his attention to the teaching of political and spiritual leaders of Harlem. In the earlier part of the twentieth century, he had set the tone for the HarlemRenaissance and gained deep respect of younger black poets of that time includingLangston Hughes.

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