African-American poet, author, and teacher whose works include Mirror, a Soul and Black Talk: Shield and Sword. Rainbow Signs, a seven-volume collection published in 1973, is perhaps her best-known poetic work.
She was born in Nashville, Tennessee, and began writing poetry during her high school years. She went on to study at Spelman College and Fisk University.
She relocated to the San Francisco area in the early 1960s and became associated with the West Coast branch of the Black Arts Movement. She taught at the University of California, Berkeley, where she created a Black Studies department.
She and her husband, Cyril Fabio, had five children together.
She taught for a time at Merritt College in Oakland, California, where civil rights activist Bobby Seale was a student.