The Pool Players.
Seven at the Golden Shovel
By Gwendolyn BrooksWe real cool. WeLeft school. WeLurk late. WeStrike straight. WeSing sin. WeThin gin. WeJazz June. WeDie soon.Gwendolyn Elizabeth Brooks (June 7, 1917 – December 3, 2000) was an American writer. She was appointed Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry to the Library of Congress in 1985. Gwendolyn Elizabeth Brooks was born on June 7, 1917, in Topeka, Kansas to David Anderson Brooks and Keziah Wims, their first child. Her mother was a former school teacher who left teaching for marriage and motherhood, and her father, the son of a runaway slave who fought in the Civil War, had given up his ambition to become a doctor to work as a janitor because he could not afford to attend medical school. When Brooks was only six weeks old, her family moved to Chicago, Illinois, where she grew up. Her home life was stable and loving, although she encountered racial prejudice in her neighborhood and in her schools. She attended Hyde Park High School, the leading white high school in the city, before transferring to all-black Wendell Phillips. Brooks eventually attended an integrated school, Englewood High School. In 1936, she graduated from Wilson Junior College. These four schools gave her a perspective on racial dynamics in the city that continued to influence her work.
Her enthusiasm for reading and writing was encouraged by her parents. Her father provided a desk and bookshelves, and her mother took her, when she was in high school, to meet Harlem Renaissance poets Langston Hughes and James Weldon Johnson.