A native of South Florida, Julius Jamaal McLean is an African American writer, poet, and creator striving to encourage, influence, and represent the voice of young artists. Inspired by the work and creativity of African American writers like Langston Hughes and James Baldwin, his debut poetry book Harlem Nights and Footstep Blues evolved organically from a desire to create something relatable, impactful, and relevant to modern social issues and culture. Julius’ poetry is a way for him to speak from the perspective of those from his demographic who are not given the opportunity to speak for themselves often. His desire is for the sound of his own voice to ignite the passion within those of his generation and motivate them to express themselves in the same manner.
Harlem Nights and Footstep Blues is a poetry collection consisting of 65 poems. The poems are separated into 11 distinct sections. Harlem Nights and Footstep Blues is rooted in a modern sense of black cultural, social, and artistic rebirth while paying homage to the artistic foundation laid by the great pioneers of the past.