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Salisbury Colored High School Diploma, 1945

Education

Born 1928 in rural Wetipquin, Maryland, Sarah E. Wright began writing poetry as a student in a two-room Rosenwald schoolhouse. Encouraged by local teacher Carrie Bailey, Wright claimed her identity as a poet and future novelist. In 1945, after graduation from the Salisbury Colored High School, Wright enrolled at Howard University, where she studied under the renowned Harlem Renaissance writer Sterling Brown and met Langston Hughes, with whom she maintained literary ties. Following Howard, she spent nearly a decade in Philadelphia, teaching poetry and publishing her first book of poems Give Me A Child (1955). Two years later, Wright settled on Manhattan’s Lower East Side, where she joined the Harlem Writers Guild and engaged in progressive politics, making a lifelong commitment to her craft and to social reform.