Mississippi Writers Trail Unveils Marker Honoring Margaret Walker
Jackson, Mississippi — July 8, 2019 — The Mississippi Writers Trail celebrated the literary contributions of poet and novelist Margaret Walker on Monday with the dedication of a marker at Jackson State University.
The Margaret Walker marker is located at the Margaret Walker Center on JSU’s campus at 1400 J.R. Lynch Street.
“Margaret Walker contributed not only to the world of literature, but also to the world at large with her narratives on African-American history,” said Visit Mississippi Director Craig Ray. “It is only appropriate to place Walker’s Mississippi Literary Trail marker at her namesake institute at Jackson State University where her works continue to influence generations.”
Born July 7, 1915, in Birmingham, Alabama, Margaret Abigail Walker was raised in New Orleans. She attended Northwestern University in Illinois and later received her M.A. and Ph.D. from the University of Iowa. Her seminal volume of poetry, For My People, won the 1942 Yale Prize. In 1949, Walker began a 30-year teaching career at what is now Jackson State University. After decades of research, she published her novel Jubilee in 1966, ushering in a genre of modern slave narratives.
In 1968, Walker founded an institute at JSU to preserve and interpret African-American history and culture. This institute was later named in her honor as the Margaret Walker Center. She died in 1998.
The Mississippi Writers Trail is an initiative of the Mississippi Arts Commission, in partnership with Visit Mississippi, the Community Foundation for Mississippi, Mississippi Book Festival, Mississippi Humanities Council, Mississippi Department of Archives and History and Mississippi Library Commission. The trail will span the state and highlight notable places that helped shape some of the world’s most acclaimed authors’ lives and influenced their renowned works.