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Black History and Blacks in U.S. History
Gwendolyn Brooks



Gwendolyn Brooks
Reading Level
     edHelper's suggested reading level:   grades 4 to 6
     Flesch-Kincaid grade level:   5.94

Vocabulary
     challenging words:    consultant, eventide, existence, inner-city, laureate, legacy, publication, poet, classic, writing, ordinary, productive, dreams, shortly, title, public
     content words:    Gwendolyn Brooks, Pulitzer Prize, Jefferson Lecturer, United States, American Childhood Magazine, James Weldon Johnson, Langston Hughes, Henry Blakely, Midwestern Writers Conference Poetry Award, Young Women


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Gwendolyn Brooks
By Jane Runyon
  

1     Gwendolyn Brooks was a poet. Her poetry earned her the first Pulitzer Prize for poetry ever awarded to a black woman. She was named the 1994 Jefferson Lecturer. This is the highest award the United States gives to someone in the field of arts. How did these honors come about? How could a black child born in Kansas reach such heights?
 
2     Gwendolyn was born on June 7, 1917, in Topeka, Kansas. She didn't spend much time in Kansas. Her parents moved to Chicago, Illinois, shortly after her birth. If you had asked Gwendolyn where she was from, she would have told you that she was a "Chicagoan" through and through.
 
3     The Brooks family wasn't rich. They struggled to make ends meet. But her family was filled with love. In later life, Gwendolyn had little time for people who blamed their poverty for their hard lives. She believed you could still live a happy, productive life without being rich.

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