From NKAA, Notable Kentucky African Americans Database (main entry)

Knight, Etheridge

(born: 1931  -  died: 1991) 

Etheridge Knight was born near Corinth, MS and grew up in Paducah, KY. He was the son of Bushie and Belzora Knight, one of their seven children.

Knight mastered the art of toast - a form of poetry that dates back to the 19th century - and began writing poetry while serving an eight-year sentence in Indiana State Prison on a conviction for robbery. His works include Poems from Prison and Black Voices From Prison.

Knight was a member of the Black Arts Movement. He was also a veteran, having served as a medic in the Army during the Korean War.

Knight was the husband of Sonia Sanchez. They  divorced in 1972, and the following year Knight married Mary Ann McAnally.

For more see In Black and White. A guide to magazine articles, newspaper articles, and books concerning Black individuals and groups, 3rd ed. Supp.; "Etheridge Knight" in Notable African American Writers; and Etheridge Knight, Jr. Papers at the Indiana Historical Society.


Cited in this Entry

NKAA Source: Poems from prison
NKAA Source: Black voices from prison, by Etheridge Knight and other inmates of Indiana State Prison
NKAA Source: In Black and white : a guide to magazine articles, newspaper articles, and books concerning more than 15,000 Black individuals and groups
NKAA Source: Notable African American writers

Cite This NKAA Entry:

“Knight, Etheridge,” Notable Kentucky African Americans Database, accessed April 1, 2023,

Last modified: 2022-06-15 16:43:07