Lucille Clifton (1936-2010)
From Encyclopedia of African-American Literature
American poet, children's fiction writer; also known as Thelma Lucille Sayles. Born in 1936 in Depew, New York, to Samuel L. Sayles, a steel worker, and Thelma Moore Sayles, a homemaker, poet Lucille Clifton grew up in Depew and Buffalo, a child of the Great Migration of southern blacks to the industrial North. Blackness and femaleness are at one with her art's humanity. Clifton asks us to see individual experience, race, and gender not as qualifiers limiting a person's ability to relate to others but as revelations of selfhood that open up new possibilities of communication, communion, and collective action.