Today would have been author, poet and writer Gwendolyn Brooks 99th birthday!
In 1950, Brooks made history as the first African-American woman to win a Pulitzer prize when she was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry for her second collection, Annie Allen.
But her contribution to the world of literature didn't stop there.
While the Poet Laureate receipient died in 2000 from cancer, during her 70 year career she collected 75+ honorary degrees from various universities and colleges around the world.
Her literary works including poems like "We Real Cool" and "A Song in the Front Yard" along with novels Maud Martha, a Pulitzer Prize winning fiction novella, and countless other pieces cemented her legacy far beyond the African American community.
In 2012, she was honored with a postage stamp from the United States postal service in honor of her prolific life.
Happy Birthday Ms. Brooks, we salute you!
WANT MORE FROM ESSENCE? Subscribe to our daily newsletter for the latest in hair, beauty, style and celebrity news.