The Book of American Negro Poetry

Front Cover
James Weldon Johnson
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 1983 - Literary Criticism - 300 pages
James Weldon Johnson declares here in his preface that there is a need for African-American poets to "work out a new and distinctive form of expression, " and he predicts that "the undeniable creative genius of the Negro is destined to make a distinctive and valuable contribution to American poetry." His anthology went on to become a historic event, for in his selection of the forty poets collected here, he gathered not only the best of the Harlem Renaissance writers, but also the post-World War I poets such as Countee Cullen and Langston Hughes, who went on to challenge racial stereotypes in an effort to be recognized simply as poets.
 

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Contents

Paul Laurence Dunbar
5
James Edwin Campbell
64
James David Corrothers
72
William H A Moore
85
George Marion McClellan
95
George Reginald Margetson
107
Lucian B Wat kins
211
Countee Cullen
219
Langston Hughes
232
Waring Cuwy
283
SUGGESTIONS FOR COLLATERAL READING
295
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About the author (1983)

Born in Jacksonville Fla. in 1871, James Weldon Johnson was one of the leaders of the Harlem Renaissance of the 1920s. His career was varied and included periods as a teacher, lawyer, songwriter (with his brother J. Rosamond Johnson), and diplomat (as United States Consul to Puerto Cabello, Venezuela, from 1906 to 1909). Among his most famous writings are Autobiography of an Ex-Coloured Man, published anonymously in 1912, and God's Trombones: Seven Negro Sermons in Verse (1927), the winner of the Harmon Gold Award. He was also editor of several anthologies of African-American poetry and spirituals, and in 1933 his autobiography, Along This Way, was published. He served as Secretary to the NAACP from 1916 to 1930 and was a professor of literature at Fisk University in Nashville from 1930 until his death in 1938.

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