The Book of American Negro Poetry eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 148 pages of information about The Book of American Negro Poetry.

Joseph S. Cotter, Jr
  A Prayer
  And What Shall You Say
  Is It Because I Am Black? 
  The Band of Gideon
  Rain Music

Roscoe C. Jamison
  The Negro Soldiers

Jessie Fauset
  La Vie C’est la Vie
  Christmas Eve in France
  Dead Fires

Anne Spencer
  Before the Feast of Shushan
  At the Carnival
  The Wife-Woman

Alex Rogers
  Why Adam Sinned
  The Rain Song

Waverley Turner Carmichael
  Keep Me, Jesus, Keep Me
  Winter Is Coming

Alice Dunbar-Nelson

Charles Bertram Johnson
  A Little Cabin
  Negro Poets

Otto Leyland Bohanan
  The Dawn’s Awake! 
  The Washer-Woman

Theodore Henry Shackleford
  The Big Bell in Zion

Lucian B. Watkins
  Star of Ethiopia
  Two Points of View
  To Our Friends

Benjamin Brawley
  My Hero

Joshua Henry Jones, Jr
  To a Skull


There is, perhaps, a better excuse for giving an Anthology of American Negro Poetry to the public than can be offered for many of the anthologies that have recently been issued.  The public, generally speaking, does not know that there are American Negro poets—­to supply this lack of information is, alone, a work worthy of somebody’s effort.

Moreover, the matter of Negro poets and the production of literature by the colored people in this country involves more than supplying information that is lacking.  It is a matter which has a direct bearing on the most vital of American problems.

A people may become great through many means, but there is only one measure by which its greatness is recognized and acknowledged.  The final measure of the greatness of all peoples is the amount and standard of the literature and art they have produced.  The world does not know that a people is great until that people produces great literature and art.  No people that has produced great literature and art has ever been looked upon by the world as distinctly inferior.

The status of the Negro in the United States’ is more a question of national mental attitude toward the race than of actual conditions.  And nothing will do more to change that mental attitude and raise his status than a demonstration of intellectual parity by the Negro through the production of literature and art.

Is there likelihood that the American Negro will be able to do this?  There is, for the good reason that he possesses the innate powers.  He has the emotional endowment, the originality and artistic conception, and, what is more important, the power of creating that which has universal appeal and influence.

Project Gutenberg
The Book of American Negro Poetry from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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