Joseph A. Walker Biography | Author of The River Niger

Joseph A. Walker
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Joseph A. Walker made a name for himself in the 1970s with his dramatic stage plays highlighting the struggles of African-American men in a white-dominated, racist society. Walker was born on February 23, 1935, in Washington, D.C., to Joseph (a house painter) and Florine Walker. In 1956, Walker graduated from Howard University, where he majored in philosophy and minored in drama. From 1956 to 1960, Walker was in the United States Air Force, reaching the rank of first lieutenant before being discharged.

While in the Air Force, the experience of being teased by a white fellow Air Force member for writing poetry inspired Walker to quit the armed forces and devote himself to the craft of writing. In the one-paragraph "Joe Walker's Autobiography," which prefaces The River Niger, Walker explains, "I started to become a professional philosopher, whatever that means, changed my mind on account of I got what you may stuffily...

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This section contains 395 words
(approx. 1 page at 400 words per page)
Buy The River Niger Study Guide
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The River Niger from Drama for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.