- NAME: Jean Toomer
- OCCUPATION: Author, Playwright
- BIRTH DATE: December 26, 1894
- DEATH DATE: March 30, 1967
- EDUCATION: University of Wisconsin, Massachusetts College of Agriculture, American College of Physical Training, University of Chicago, New York University, City College of New York
- PLACE OF BIRTH: Washington, D.C.
- PLACE OF DEATH: Doylestown, Pennsylvania
- AKA: Jean Toomer
Best Known For
Poet, novelist and short-story writer Jean Toomer was a major figure during the Harlem Renaissance. He is best known for his first book, Cane.
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Jean Toomer was born on December 26, 1894, in Washington, D.C. In 1918, Toomer began writing several short stories and poems. In 1920, he developed his own philosophy of idealism, and stopped writing for a year. In 1921, he started working on his masterpiece, Cane. For the remainder of his life, he traveled and explored his philosophical and religious beliefs. Toomer died on March 30, 1967, in Doylestown, Pennsylvania.
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They are the famous African-American writers who have fearlessly examined cultural stigmas, provided intimate life details, presented new ideas and created remarkable fiction through literary works. For their prophetic genius, these men and women have received Pulitzer Prizes, NAACP awards and even Nobel Prizes, among other honors. Our list of prominent African-American authors includes Toni Morrison, who has detailed the lives of black characters who struggle with identity amidst racism and hostility; Langston Hughes, a founder of the Harlem Renaissance; and Maya Angelou, who has eloquently chronicled various eras of her life through her autobiographies.
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During the early 20th century, African-American poets, musicians, actors, artists and intellectuals moved to Harlem in New York City and brought new ideas that shifted the culture forever. From approximately 1918 to the mid 1930s, talent began to overflow within this newfound culture of the black community in Harlem, as prominent figures—Langston Hughes, Duke Ellington and Billie Holiday, to name a few—pushed art to its limit as a form of expression and representation. These are some of the famous African Americans who shaped the influential movement known as the Harlem Renaissance.
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