Claude McKay (1889–1948) grew up in British-controlled Jamaica, but he spent his entire adult life based in the United States. Thus, whereas he was born as a British subject, he died as an American. His numerous novels, protest poems, and works of vernacular verse won him world renown during his lifetime. Today, he is particularly remembered for his contributions to the Harlem Renaissance. McKay began writing poetry at the age of seventeen. With the support of his white neighbor, Walter Jekyll, who tutored him in English literature, McKay produced his first two collections of verse. Both collections were published in London in the same year, 1912, and a cash award for one of the volumes enabled him to study in the United States. He would remain there for the rest of his life, based mainly in Harlem but with long stretches of travel abroad in Europe and North Africa. McKay was a singularly devoted artist who dedicated himself to writing as an act of social protest. Across the three decades and more of his career, in poems like “If We Must Die” (1919) and novels like Home to Harlem (1928), he explored the complexities of Black identity under conditions of anti-Black racism.