Essay Claude McKay & Jean Toomer

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Claude McKay was born on September 15th 1890, in the West Indian island of Jamaica. He was the youngest of eleven children. At the age of ten, he wrote a rhyme of acrostic for an elementary-school gala. He then changed his style and mixed West Indian folk songs with church hymns. At the age of seventeen he met a gentlemen named Walter Jekyll, who encouraged him to write in his native dialect. Jekyll introduced him to a new world of literature. McKay soon left Jamaica and would never return to his homeland.
In 1912, only 23 years old, Jekyll paid his way to the United Sates to study agriculture at Tuskegee Institute. Before leaving Jamaica, McKay had gotten a reputation as a poet. He had produced two volumes of dialect poetry, Song of
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They felt that too much emphasis on the Negro lower class would damage their fight for civil rights and delay their battle for liberty. McKay was not the only writer of the Negro Renaissance to upset respectable Negro society. One of the chief results of the Negro Renaissance was to force the Negro middle class to reevaluate their relationship to the Negro groups.
McKay stressed the value of the common Negro and joined other Negro Renaissance writers in a rediscovery of Negro folk culture. For in his poetry, he best expressed the New Negro's determination to protect his human dignity, his cultural worth, and his right to a decent life. After working closely with Max Eastman, he traveled to Moscow in 1923 in sympathy with the Bolshevik Revolution and became a sort of national hero there. Claude McKay died in 1948.
McKay was not the only writer of the Negro Renaissance to upset respectable Negro society. During the end of 1921, McKay started receiving stories from a gentleman named Jean Toomer. Nathan Eugene Toomer was born in Washington, DC on December 26, 1894. His surname was Pinchback but he used his father’s last name as an adult and changed his name from Eugene to Jean when he began to write. Toomer spent his early years in Washington in the home of his grandparents. They were racially mixed and could have been considered white but his grandfather identified with the blacks. He attended six institutions of higher
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