John Oliver Killens : An African American Writer And Activist

1557 Words Dec 25th, 2016 7 Pages
The next writer who addresses race and talks about social issues in their writings is John Oliver Killens. John Oliver Killens is an African American writer and activist, born January 14, 1916 in Macon, Georgia. From an early age, John was exposed to African American writers and scholars. John’s father encouraged him to read Langston Hughes, and his mother introduced him to poet Paul Laurence Dunbar. John’s great-grandmother tales of slavery were another important factor in his gaining knowledge of traditional black folklore and mythology which he later incorporated into his writings. John graduated in 1933 from Ballard Normal School in Georgia. In 1934, John attended historically black colleges such as: Edward Waters College, Morris Brown College, and Howard University to pursue his law degree. In 1939, John left law school to study creative writing at Columbia University in New York. John moved to New York City, where he worked to establish his literary career. He attended writing classes at Columbia University and New York University. He was an active member of many organizations such as the National Labor Relations Board and the Congress of Industrial Organizations. In 1950, John cofounded with Rosa Guy and other writers that became the Harlem Writers Guild. The Harlem Writers Guild was a set up as a forum where African-American writers could develop their craft and aid in the publication of works by writers of the African Diaspora. In 1954, John published his first…

Related Documents