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WILLIAM MELVIN KELLEY was born in New York City in 1937 and attended the Fieldston School and Harvard. The author of four novels and a short story collection, he was a writer in residence at the State University of New York at Geneseo and taught at The New School and Sarah Lawrence College. He was awarded the Anisfield-Wolf Book Award for lifetime achievement and the Dana Reed Prize for creative writing. He died in 2017. In 2014, Kelley was officially credited by the Oxford English Dictionary with coining the political term “woke” in a 1962 New York Times article entitled “If You’re Woke You Dig It.”
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