McKay, Claude (məkāˈ) [key], 1890–1948, American poet and novelist, b. Jamaica, studied at Tuskegee and the Univ. of Kansas. A major figure of the Harlem Renaissance, McKay is best remembered for his poems treating racial themes. His works include the volumes of poetry Spring in New Hampshire (1920) and Harlem Shadows (1922); and the novels Home to Harlem (1927), Banjo (1929), and Banana Bottom (1933). For years McKay was involved in radical political activities, but he became increasingly disillusioned, and in 1944 he converted to Roman Catholicism.
See his autobiography, A Long Way from Home (1937).