Songs of Jamaica


Claude McKay A major literary figure of the Harlem Renaissance of the 1920s, Jamaican-born American poet Claude McKay dedicated his life to writing verse that promoted spiritual freedom and humanitarian social and political values. Tormented by the discriminatory barriers confronting African Americans in the twentieth century, McKay vented his feelings of frustration through poetry and served as a voice for awakening the masses to the devastating effects of racism in a white-dominated society. Although he is best known for his militantly angry poetic style, McKay also dealt with less inflammatory themes: his colorful pastoral scenes of the Jamaican countryside and lyrical ruminations on the beauty of Harlem dancers are especially memorable. A respected philosopher, a celebrant of primitivism, and the author of poetry, fiction, and nonfiction works, McKay produced a vast number of writings that helped lay the foundation for the emergence of modern African American literature



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