Wikimedia Commons/ Louise Meriwether
On Tuesday, filmmaker Cheryl Hill revealed that Meriwether’s death was due to natural causes attributed to age, as reported by The Associated Press. Hill, an extended family member of the late activist, shared that Meriwether passed away in Manhattan’s Amsterdam Nursing Home.
An overview from Barnes & Noble describes the book as a modern classic and “a tough, tender, bitter novel of a Black girl struggling towards womanhood.” A line from the book reads, “We was all poor and Black and apt to stay that way, and that was that.”
The Associated Press reported that hundreds of thousands of copies of Meriwether’s novel, which depicted race, gender, and class during that era in America, were sold. The author was a major contributor to the enlightenment of Black women in literature. In a book review for The New York Times, the late, influential Black novelist Paule Marshall described Meriwether’s work as “a most important novel.” James Baldwin wrote the foreword.
Her position as a story analyst with Universal Studios marked her as one of the few Black women working in Hollywood at the time. Meriwether returned to her childhood grounds in New York and became part of the Harlem Writers Guild.
Source: Black Enterprise