Graham, Shirley (1896–1977)

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Graham, Shirley (1896–1977)

African-American playwright and composer. Name variations: Shirley Graham Du Bois. Born Shirley Lola Graham, Nov 11, 1896, in Indianapolis, Indiana; died Mar 27, 1977, in Peking, China; dau. of the Rev. David Graham and Etta B. Graham; Oberlin College, BA and MA in music; m. Shadrach McCants, 1918 (div. 1927); m. W.E.B. Du Bois (writer and founder of NAACP), 1951 (died 1963); children: 2.

Directed Negro United at Federal Theater, Chicago; founded civil-rights magazine Freedomways (1960); moved with husband to Ghana after continuous harassment from US officials (1961); left Ghana after coup and moved with son to Cairo, where she continued work on behalf of liberation causes; writings include Tom-Tom (1932), Dust to Earth (1940), It's Morning (1940), His Day is Marching On (1971), and Zulu Heart (1974); also wrote biographies of Phillis Wheatley, Frederick Douglass, George Washington Carver, Booker T. Washington, Gamal Abdel Nasser, Julius Nyerere, Jean Baptiste du Sable, and Paul Robeson.

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Graham, Shirley (1896–1977)

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