Margaret Walker's Poetry

"Margaret Walker is a national treasure. Her signature poem 'For My People' is one of the best summaries of the Black experience." - E. Ethelbert Miller, Howard University

"I can't contain my excitement over this long overdue tribute to an exemplary life. Margaret Walker single-handedly turned poetry upside down with her declaration of love and her challenge to the future of her people." - Nikki Giovanni

"Highly recommended for American literature collections, poetry collections, and Black Studies collections, high school level and up." - Melinda Davis, University of Tennessee, EMRO

For My People - The Margaret Walker Song Cycle

"If anyone has a chance to attend a performance with anything written or performed by Randy Klein, I don’t think we should dream of missing it!" - Homes and Estates

Read the review.

Listen to the interview from Mississippi Public Broadcasting, featuring Randy Klein and Dr. Robby Luckett, Director of the Margaret Walker Center.

"The performance was a powerful blend of compositions, lyrically identical to a variety of Margaret Walker’s works. The powerful performance moved audience members joined with clapping. The musical transformation of Walker’s poems into lyrics was soulful. The music bellowed and the audience swayed with the powerful words. As the song came to an end the audience erupted into a standing ovation." - The Breeze

James Madison University students talk about the concert:
'It’s very important to show poetry can be very relative and expressive,' - Marissa Dennehy.
'Some people have a hard time connecting to poetry, but you can bring life into poetry by adding music,' - Aishah McNeil.
'It expresses the history of how people have overcome their struggles and just the way they express this is a beautiful art,' - Melodie Barefield.

Read the review


On October 18, 2013 at the Cranford High School in Cranford, NJ and on November 24, 2013 at the Bethel Presbyterian Church in Plainfield, NJ, For My People - A New Musical Work was performed with Randy Klein on piano, vocal solos by Aurelia Williams, featuring the Cranford High School Chorale under the direction of Anthony Raffaniello.

On March 24, 2013 For My People - A New Musical Work has been performed at San Diego State University School of Music and Dance. The concert featured composer Randy Klein on piano, vocal solos by Aurelia Williams, the 80-voice Aztec Concert Choir under the direction of Dr. Patrick Walders.

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On July 7, 2012 For My People - A New Musical Work has been performed for the Margaret Walker’s 97th Birthday at the Margaret Walker Center, Jackson, MS featuring vocalist Aurelia Williams and members of Jackson State University Chorale.

For My People - A New Musical Work has been performed at the University of Kansas (2005) and the Furious Flower Poetry Conference’s at James Madison University in Harrisonburg, VA (2004, 2010). The premiere of the iconic poem For My People took place on April 2, 2011 at the Forbes Center for the Performing Arts at JMU. It featured the JMU Chorale under the direction of Dr. Patrick Walders with guest vocalist Aurelia Williams.