Harlem Shadows

Claud McKay (September15, 1889 –May 22, 1948)


v  Name: Festus Claudius McKay

v  Date of Birth: September 15, 1889

v  Place of Birth: James Hill, Clarendon, Jamaica

v  Family Position: The youngest child of   Thomas Francis McKay and Hannah Ann Elizabeth Edwards

v  Date of Death: May 22, 1948

Early Life:

v  While living with his oldest brother McKay started writing poetry at the age of 10.

v  in 1907, McKay met a man named Walter Jekyll who helped him publish his first book of poems Songs of Jamaica, in 1912

v  In 1914 McKay decided he did not want to be an agronomist and went to New York, where he married his childhood sweetheart Eulalie Lewars


v  In 1919 he met Crystal and Max Eastman, who produced The Liberator. It was here that he published one of his most famous poems, "If We Must Die"

v  In 1919 McKay traveled to England

v  In 1922 he visited the Soviet Union and attended the fourth congress of the Communist International in Moscow.


v  In 1928, McKay published his most famous novel, Home to Harlem (1928).

v  He also wrote two novels Banjo (1930), and Banana Bottom (1933).

v  McKay also authored a collection of short stories, Gingertown (1932), and two autobiographical books, A Long Way from Home (1937) and Harlem: Negro Metropolis (1940).

v  His book of collected poems, Selected Poems (1953), and his second autobiography, My Green Hills of Jamaica (1979), were published posthumously.

v  He got three awards :

     1. Gold medal from the Jamaican Institute of Arts and Sciences for two volumes of                      poetry, Songs of Jamaica and Constab Ballads (1912)

     2. Harmon Foundation Award for distinguished literary achievement, for Harlem Shadows and Home to Harlem (1929)

     3. James Weldon Johnson Literary Guild Award (1937)

About the poem:

v  The title of the poem, "Harlem Shadows," portrays the blindness, ignorance, and indifference of (white American) society toward the suffering of the young African-American girls who basically live in shadows from society and are forced to live a life of prostitution

v  The poem contain of three stanzas, each stanza contains of 6 lines.

v  The rhyme scheme in this poem is ABABCC




http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Claude_McKay                                                 Done by:

http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/ARTmckay.htm                                 Muneera Alyaseen

http://www.associatedcontent.com                                                                 Shahad Alshaalan