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William Melvin Kelley
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Author
    (November 1, 1937-February 1, 2017)
    Born in The Bronx, New York
    Novelist and short story writer
    Invented the social term 'woke'
    Author of 'A Different Drummer' (1962)
    Also wrote 'A Drop of Patience,' 'Dancers on the Shore,' and 'Dunfords Travels Everywheres'
    Taught creative writing at Sarah Lawrence College
    He claimed to have moved his family to France merely so he could learn to speak French.
    When he discussed his wish to write books that spoke directly to the black experience, he took a swipe at his literary predecessors, saying: 'The older black writers have been talking mainly to the white man.'
    He claimed that he only succeeded in making friends as a kid in the Bronx by imitating Frank Sinatra and agreeing to play Tonto in neighborhood games.
    He never reached the level of promise he showed at the start of his writing career.
    He was dubbed 'the Godfather of Woke.'
    He was mentored by Langston Hughes.
    Both of his parents died before his senior year of college.
    He was awarded the Dana Reed Prize for creative writing, while a student at Harvard.
    He received the Anisfield-Wolf Book Award for Lifetime Achievement (2008).
    He coined the term 'woke' in a 1962 New York Times article he penned in which he dryly pointed out that much of the Beatknik slang common to young people originated with African Americans ('If You're Woke, You Dig It').

Credit: BoyWiththeGreenHair


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