African-American poet, author, and dramatist known for a 1970 poetry collection entitled I am a Black Woman. Her other works include Where is the Music (poems), Jim Flying High (children's fiction), and River of My Song (stage play).
She studied fashion design at the University of Toledo before settling on a writing career.
She often worked as an activist for the cause of prison reform.
She was raised in Toledo, Ohio. She later produced a television program in Indianapolis, Indiana and taught at several universities, including Indiana University, Purdue, and Cornell.
She based her 1979 musical theatre piece, Eyes, on Their Eyes Were Watching God, a famous novel by Zora Neale Hurston.