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Gwendolyn Mitchell

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Information about Gwendolyn Mitchell

Profile image of Gwendolyn Mitchell

Profession

Category:
MediaMakers
Occupation(s):
Book Editor

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Lavender
Favorite Food:
Macaroni, Cheese
Favorite Time of Year:
Spring
Favorite Vacation Spot:
California, Bahamas
Favorite Quote:
Do Unto Others As You Would Have Them Do Unto You.

Birthplace

Born:
12/27/1955
Birth Location:
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Profession

Category:
MediaMakers
Occupation(s):
Book Editor

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Lavender
Favorite Food:
Macaroni, Cheese
Favorite Time of Year:
Spring
Favorite Vacation Spot:
California, Bahamas
Favorite Quote:
Do Unto Others As You Would Have Them Do Unto You.

Birthplace

Born:
12/27/1955
Birth Location:
Pittsburgh
See how Gwendolyn Mitchell is related to other HistoryMakers

Biography

Editor and poet Gwendolyn Ann Mitchell was born December 27, 1955, in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, growing up in Pittsburgh. The daughter of a teacher and a pioneering black police commander, Mitchell attended Lemington Elementary School, Westinghouse High School, and graduated from Allendale High School in 1973. Moving to Dallas, Texas, she was hired as a sales clerk and was promoted to department manager at Neiman Marcus Department Store between the years of 1977 and 1987. Mitchell earned a B.A. in political science from Penn State University in 1988 and a M.F.A. in English poetry in 1991. In 1996, She earned a certificate in arts management from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst.

Between 1989 and 1993, Mitchell worked as a lecturer in Penn State’s English and women’s studies departments, and in 1994, she became a staff assistant to Pennsylvania Senator Harris Wofford in Pittsburgh. She worked for Youth Enrichment Services and the Pennsylvania Council for the Arts in Pittsburgh before moving to Chicago to become Editor of Third World Press in 1997. Working closely with Third World Press founder Haki Madhubuti, Mitchell manages one of the leading independent African American publishers in the nation, whose published authors include Chancellor Williams, Dudley Randall, Jacob Carruthers, Sonia Sanchez, Bakari Kitwana, Useni Eugene Perkins, Sterling Plumpp, Carolyn Rodgers, the late poet laureate Gwendolyn Brooks, Haki Madhubuti, and Gwendolyn Mitchell herself. Mitchell’s latest work, House of Women, reviewed by Gwendolyn Brooks, was published in 2002.

Mitchell is also the author of Veins and Rivers, and a book length poem, Ain’t I Black. She has co-edited two anthologies of creative writing. Mitchell now lives in Chicago with her son, Sankara.

See how Gwendolyn Mitchell is related to other HistoryMakers
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  • Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Gwendolyn Mitchell's interview
  • Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Gwendolyn Mitchell lists her favorites
  • Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Gwendolyn Mitchell talks about the migration of her maternal ancestors in the United States after the Civil War
  • Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Gwendolyn Mitchell talks about her mother's family history
  • Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Gwendolyn Mitchell talks about her paternal great-grandparents' employment by the Heinz family in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
  • Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Gwendolyn Mitchell talks about her paternal great-grandparents
  • Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Gwendolyn Mitchell describes her paternal great-grandfather and her paternal grandfather
  • Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Gwendolyn Mitchell describes how her parents met
  • Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Gwendolyn Mitchell talks about her parents' courtship and her father's near-death experience
  • Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Gwendolyn Mitchell describes her mother's personality, education, and career
  • Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Gwendolyn Mitchell continues to describe her mother's personality
  • Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Gwendolyn Mitchell describes her father's personality
  • Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Gwendolyn Mitchell talks about her father's career in the Pittsburgh Bureau of Police
  • Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Gwendolyn Mitchell describes the sights, smells, and sounds of her childhood in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
  • Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Gwendolyn Mitchell talks about her family's religious background
  • Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Gwendolyn Mitchell describes her childhood personality and early love of reading
  • Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Gwendolyn Mitchell describes her grade school years and teachers at Lemington Elementary School in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
  • Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Gwendolyn Mitchell recalls her experience at Westinghouse High School in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
  • Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Gwendolyn Mitchell talks about her family's singing group and her early love of poetry
  • Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Gwendolyn Mitchell recounts her family's move to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania's New Homestead neighborhood and the history of the black community there
  • Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Gwendolyn Mitchell remembers moving to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania's New Homestead neighborhood and attending Allderdice High School
  • Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Gwendolyn Mitchell talks about New Homestead, The Hill District, and East Liberty, the three historically black communities in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
  • Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Gwendolyn Mitchell talks about her activities as a student at Allderdice High School in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
  • Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Gwendolyn Mitchell recalls singing with her sisters and the music that was popular in high school
  • Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Gwendolyn Mitchell remembers her college years at Pennsylvania State University's Beaver and University Park campuses
  • Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Gwendolyn Mitchell talks about her career and community activities after moving to Dallas, Texas
  • Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Gwendolyn Mitchell recounts her involvement in black student organizations in college
  • Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Gwendolyn Mitchell describes returning to Pennsylvania to complete her college education
  • Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Gwendolyn Mitchell remembers influential figures at Penn State University including Bruce Weigl, John Balaban, and Carolyn Forche
  • Tape: 3 Story: 10 - Gwendolyn Mitchell talks about her marriage to Abdoulaye Harouna after completing her M.F.A. degree
  • Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Second slating of Gwendolyn Mitchell's interview
  • Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Gwendolyn Mitchell talks about her first jobs after graduating from Pennsylvania State University
  • Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Gwendolyn Mitchell describes her role as a staff assistant to U.S. Senator Harris Wofford
  • Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Gwendolyn Mitchell describes United States Senator Harris Wofford
  • Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Gwendolyn Mitchell talks about the "Republican Revolution" in 1994 and working for Senator Harris Wofford
  • Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Gwendolyn Mitchell talks about her involvement with arts organizations and her renewed focus on writing after leaving the office of Senator Harris Wofford
  • Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Gwendolyn Mitchell talks about her relationship with HistoryMaker Haki Madhubuti and her decision to join Third World Press as an editor
  • Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Gwendolyn Mitchell talks about her early days as an editor at Third World Press
  • Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Gwendolyn Mitchell describes her responsibilities as an editor at Third World Press
  • Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Gwendolyn Mitchell recalls some of her major projects as an editor at Third World Press
  • Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Gwendolyn Mitchell describes Third World Press' value for publishing poetry
  • Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Gwendolyn Mitchell talks about how Third World Press engages with poetry
  • Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Gwendolyn Mitchell talks about open submissions at Third World Press
  • Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Gwendolyn Mitchell talks about the mission and future of Third World Press
  • Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Gwendolyn Mitchell shares her memories of Gwendolyn Brooks
  • Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Gwendolyn Mitchell talks about her published works
  • Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Gwendolyn Mitchell recites a poem from her book, "House of Women"
  • Tape: 5 Story: 9 - Gwendolyn Mitchell talks about Third World Press' connection with the Institute of Positive Education and Betty Shabazz International Charter School
  • Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Gwendolyn Mitchell describes her hopes and concerns for the African American community
  • Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Gwendolyn Mitchell reflects upon her legacy and how she would like to be remembered
  • Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Gwendolyn Mitchell narrates her photographs, pt.1
  • Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Gwendolyn Mitchell narrates her photographs, pt.2