African American Poetry (1870-1926): A Digital Anthology

Alice Dunbar-Nelson, "The Dunbar Speaker and Entertainer" (1920)

[Editor's Note: The version below is incomplete. A complete, plain-text version of The Dunbar Speaker and Entertainer has been digitized by the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and can be accessed here.] 


The DUNBAR SPEAKER and ENTERTAINER

Containing the Best Prose and Poetic Selections by the NEGRO RACE With Programs arranged for special entertainments
Edited by Alice Moore Dunbar-Nelson And an Introduction by Leslie Pinckney Hill
Illustrated
Published by J. L. Nichols and CO.
Naperville Ill.

Copyright 1920 by J.L. Nichols and CO.

Permission to use some of the copyrighted material in this volume is hereby acknowledged by special arrangement with the authors and with Messrs. F.P. Collier and Son, Dodd, Mead and Co., Doubleday Page and CO., The Cornhill Company, Houghton Mifflin Company, The Crisis Magazine, and others


FOREWORD (Leslie Pinckney Hill) 13
INTRODUCTION    14

Book 1. JUVENILE, 15-30

The Birdlet    Alexander Poushkin    17
The Sparrow's Fall    Frances E. W. Harper    18
The Seedling    Paul Laurence Dunbar    19
A song for Arbor Day    D. T. Williamson    20
Thanksgiving    William Stanley Braithwaite    22
The Cucuya    Anonymous    23
The Clock that Gains    Anonymous    25
A June Song    Charlotte Forten Grimke    26
A City Garden    William Stanley Braithwaite    28

Book II. DIALECT (Humorous), 31-57

In the Morning    Paul Lawrence Dunbar    33
Dat Ol' Mare o' Mine    Paul Lawrence Dunbar    36
The Case o' Ca'line: A Kitchen Monologue    Paul Lawrence Dunbar    38 [prose]
Tunk    James Weldon Johnson    52
Uncle Ike's Roosters    Anonymous    55

Book III. DIALECT (Serious), 59-79

A Little Christmas Basket    Paul Laurence Dunbar    61
When Dey 'Listed Colored Soldiers    Paul Laurence Dunbar    62
The Praline Woman    Alice Ruth Moore    65

Book IV. DRAMATIC

The Band of Gideon    Joseph H. Cotter, Jr.    83
The White Witch    James Weldon Johnson    85
The Unsung Heroes    Paul Laurence Dunbar    87
Black Samson of Brandywine    Paul Laurence Dunbar    89
The Haunted Oak    Paul Laurence Dunbar    91
Ode to Ethiopia    Paul Laurence Dunbar    94
The Finish of Patsy Barnes    Paul Laurence Dunbar    96
A Prophecy    Reverdy C. Ransom    98
Hear, O Church    E. A. Long    99
Dessalines    William Edgar Easton    100 [Prose]
The Sisters    Charles W. Chestnutt    103 [Prose]
The Modern Christmas on the Plantation    W. E. B. DuBois    110 [Prose]
The Lights at Carney's Point    Alice Dunbar-Nelson    132
How France Received the Negro Soldiers    Ralph W. Tyler    136
Shall I say, My Son, You Are Branded?    Georgia Douglas Johnson    143
In Flanders Fields, An Echo    Orlando C. W. Taylor    144
I Sit and Sew    Alice Dunbar-Nelson    145
Whether White or Black, a Man    Ethel Davis    158
Ethiopian Maid    Walter Everette Hawkins    161
Mat    D. Webster Davis    162
Belgium    Lester B. Granger    163
O Black and Unknown Birds    James Weldon Johnson    167
Mine Eyes Have Seen    Alice Dunbar-Nelson    171
Winter Morning    Alexander Poushkin    182
Winter Evening    Alexander Poushkin    183
Friendship    Alexander Poushkin    184
The Bard    Alexander Poushkin    184

Book V. ORATORICAL, 185-233

Frederick Douglass    J. W. Chipman    187
A Negro's Rebuke    Roscoe Conkling Simmons    190
An Appeal for Constitutional Rights    Clayton Powell    191
The Fourth of July    Frederick Douglas    194
Lincoln and Douglass    Alice Dunbar-Nelson    197
The Better Part    Booker T. Washington    204
Memorial Day in the South    David B. Fulton    210
Abraham Lincoln    Frederick Douglass    216
The Boys of Howard School    Alice Dunbar-Nelson    226
The Mulatto to His Critics    Joseph S. Cotter, Jr.    228
Crispus Attucks    George C. Ruffin    231

Book VI. COMMEMORATIVE, 236-277

To the Negro Farmers    Alice Dunbar-Nelson    240
Memorial Day    Alice Ruth Moore    251
George Washington    Phyllis Wheatley    253
Abraham Lincoln    David B. Fulton    255
Charles Sumner    Charlotte Forten Grimke    258
Nat Turner    T. Thomas Fortune    262
Emancipation    D. Webster Davis    264
Fifty Years    James Weldon Johnson    270
Booker T. Washington    J. R. Dungee    274



INTRODUCTION (Alice Dunbar-Nelson) 

VOLUMES might be written about the manner of presenting the selections in this little volume. Oratorical rules and elocutionary efforts have been written about time out of mind, and it is fairly safe to say that none of them ever made a really good speaker. The one safe guide is one's feelings. Be sure that the selection has become a part of your inner feeling, and the expression, gestures, proper inflections, will come naturally. Stilted gestures, learned by rote, fail to impress an audience, as inflections and modulations learned by rule are mechanical and unpleasant to the hearers.

Before you begin to learn anything to recite, first read it over and find out if it fires you with enthusiasm. If it does, make it a part of yourself, put yourself in the place of the speaker whose words you are memorizing, get on, fire with the thought, the sentiment, the emotion—then throw yourself into it in your endeavor to make others feel as you feel, see as you see, understand what you understand. Lose yourself, free yourself from physical consciousness, forget that those in front of you are a part of an audience, think of them as some persons whom you must make understand what is thrilling you—and you will be a great speaker.

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