Claude McKay, Jamaican-American writer and poet, was born on this day, September 15, 1889. Jamaican born McKay moved to Harlem, after studying the Tuskegee Institute and Kansas State College, when he published some of his first collections of poetry and became a prominent literary artist in the midst of the Harlem Renaissance. Amongst the four novels he authored, “Banjo” was a best seller and won the Harmon Gold Award for Literature. “Harlem Shadows,” a collection of poetry written in 1922, was one of the first books published during the Harlem Renaissance. McKay wrote about social and political issues from the black point of view in the United States. He also wrote about love, life in Jamaica and a wide range of subjects he felt were relevant to the time.
Image: NYPL Digital Collections