Essay on Jean Toomer- An African American Writer

Essay on Jean Toomer- An African American Writer

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Jean Toomer was an African American writer. He was known as the leading American writer of the 1920s after he established his book "Cane" which inspired authors of the Harlem Renaissance.
Jean Toomer was born on December 26, 1894 as Nathan Pinchback Toomer. His mother was the governor of Louisiana during Reconstruction and the first U.S. governor of African American descent (Jones 1). In 1985, Toomer's father abandoned him and his mother. He forced them to live with his mother cruel father in Washington. P.B.S. Pinchback made a deal to support them only if they changed Toomer's name to Eugene Pinchback. Toomer later shortened Eugene to Jean. Toomer appreciated all the major American poets as part of his self-directed education. He was mostly interested in the Imagists that used concrete language and précised visual images to describe traditional romanticism (Claypool 2).
When he was fifteen years old his mother died from appendicitis. From fifteen years of age to his college years he lived in an all-white neighborhood. From 1914-1917, he shifted from many colleges and academic courses of study as well as he changed his cultural identity growing up. He studied physical education, agriculture, and literature at a total of six colleges and universities from Wisconsin to New York. Although he never completed a degree, his educational pursuits laid the foundation for his writing career. He had the knowledge of philosophy and psychology. He attempted to write when he was a youth, but he made a choice to pursue a literary career in 1919. After he published Cane he became part of New York literary circles. He objected both rivalries that prevailed in the fraternity of writers and to attempts to promote him as a black writer (Clay...


... middle of paper ...


...ail. He was crippled with arthritis until he died on March 30, 1967 in Doylestown. Many people now look up to Toomer as a


courageous man who hold on to his idealistic principles of racial unity and the meaning of race in America (Claypool 4).
Toomer became a famous African American writer after publishing Cane. Toomer inspired many authors with his book Cane. He had a lot of knowledge and education, but never completed a degree. He was a very intelligent man.



Works Cited

Claypool, June. Jean Toomer. New York: Great Neck Publishing, 2005. Print.
Cofer, Jordan. The “Cain” Allusion as a Unifying Theme in Jean Toomer’s CANE. Boca Raton:
Taylor and Frances Group, LLC, 2011.
Golding, Alan. Jean Toomer. Nokomis: Beacham Group, LLC, 1985.
“Toomer, Jean.” World Book Online InfoFinder. World Book, 2014.Web 28 Apr. 2014.


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