Jean Toomer

1894 - 1967

Jean Toomer (1894 – 1967) was an American poet and novelist commonly associated with the Harlem Renaissance and modernism. His reputation stems from his novel, Cane (1923), which Toomer wrote during and after a stint as principal at a black school in Sparta, Georgia. Sociologist Charles S. Johnson called the novel "the most astonishingly brilliant beginning of any Negro writer of his generation." Toomer resisted being classified as a Negro writer, as he identified as "American."