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South Eastern Region Research Index

mwaSorority Profile:  

  • Undergraduate chapliter:
  • Graduate chapter:  Beta Delta Omega (Jackson, MS)

Biographical Profile:

  • Author
  • 1915 – 1998
  • Born in Birmingham, Alabama
  • Graduated from Northwestern University in 1935
  • Remained in Chicago to work with the Federal Writers’ Project.
  • Soror Alexander started her writing career during the years of the Great Depression.   As a result of funding provided through one of President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s New Deal programs, the Works Progress Administration (WPA), she and other writers were afforded the opportunity to develop their literary craft.   Inspired by the Harlem Renaissance, young, creative geniuses scattered with the wind, finding Chicago to be another mecca  for black life and culture.   As a young writer, Soror Alexander joined other young writers like Richard Wright, James Baldwin, and Arna Bontemps to form the Chicago Southside Writers.   With WPA funds, Soror Alexander published her first book of poetry, For My People in 1937, at the age of 22.

CONTRIBUTIONS TO THE CIVIL RIGHTS MOVEMENT:

  • Soror Alexander was acutely aware of the contentious climate that existed in the South.   Her observations of the Civil Rights Movement were often transferred onto paper.   These writings proved to be very powerful works that served as social and political commentary for one of the most turbulent periods in American history.
  • Soror Alexander moved to Jackson, Mississippi, in 1949, when she joined the faculty in the Department of English at Jackson State College.   During her tenure, she completed her doctoral dissertation, turned into the acclaimed novel, Jubilee (1966).
  • At a time when Black Studies programs were being created at academic institutions across the nation, Dr. Margaret Walker Alexander played an integral role in developing a forum in which Jackson State students could discuss and study black life and history.  In 1968, she founded Institute for the Study of the History, Life, and Culture of Black People.
  • In 1971, Soror Alexander organized the National Evaluative Conference on Black Studies.
  • Soror Alexander has been recognized as one of the foremost African American writers of the 20th century, receiving numerous literary awards and accolades for her creative prowess.

Documentation:

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