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African American Poetry

Poems from 1750-1900 including Lucy Terry Prince, Phillis Wheatley, Jupiter Hammon, Paul Laurence Dunbar, and more.

Alternative Name or Keywords

African-American Poetry
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Overview

African American Poetry contains nearly 3,000 poems by African American poets of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. It provides a comprehensive survey of the early history of African American poetry, from the earliest published African American poems to the works of Paul Laurence Dunbar, the first African American poet to achieve national success and recognition.

The authors and works included in the collection show the huge variety of this relatively unexplored area of American literary history: coverage includes writers from both North and South, from rural and urban backgrounds, and ranges from University-educated professionals to those for whom the very acts of reading and writing constituted a defiance of Southern slave laws. Generically, poems range from ballads, broadsides and humorous verse to Romantic odes, sonnets and historical epics.

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