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

"An Anthology of Verse By American Negroes" (Edited by N.I. White) (1924)


TRINITY COLLEGE PUBLICATIONS

AN ANTHOLOGY OF VERSE
BY

AMERICAN NEGROES


EDITORIAL NOTE

This book is published because it represents meritorious work in the study of a field of American literature hitherto somewhat neglected and for the purpose of providing for both white people and Negroes material in convenient form for the study of a body of poetic work in which both races are naturally interested.

White students are interested because the authors of these poems have achieved their capacity for this form of expression along side of and in close association with their own people. Negroes are interested because these selected poems are evidence of the actual accomplishment of the members of their race. 

Trinity College is glad to lend this encouragement to the study of achievements in which both races in America have just reasons to feel pride.


An Anthology of Verse

By American Negroes
Edited with a Critical Introduction, Biographical
Sketches of the Authors, and Biblio
graphical Notes by

Newman Ivey White, Ph.D.
Professor of English in Trinity College
and

Walter Clinton Jackson
Vice-President and Professor of History in the
North Carolina College for Women

With an Introduction by

James Hardy Dillard, Ph.D., LL.D.
President of the Jeanes Foundation and
the John F. Slater Fund

TRINITY COLLEGE PRESS

DURHAM , N. C.
1924

COPYRIGHT, 1924
BY TRINITY COLLEGE
DURHAM, N. C.

PRESSES OF
THE SEEMAN PRINTERY INCORPORATED

Durham , N. C.


PREFACE

This volume, except for some later additions, was ready for the press in 1921 , when it would have been a pioneer in the field. Though it has lost this primacy through the recent appearance of two other volumes, we feel that there is still a place for it in that it gives fuller representation to the older poets and includes some contemporary poets omitted by the later books. Our own sins of omission in this latter field — and there are so many Negroes writing respectable verse today that doubtless we have overlooked many desirable poems — must be left to the charity of the reader and to the chance of a second edition in which, proverbially, all things are to be made perfect. As Southern white men who desire the most cordial relations between the races we hope that this volume will help its white readers more clearly to understand the Negro's feelings on certain questions that must be settled by the co√∂peration of the two races. From the same point of view we hope that Negro readers, too accustomed, perhaps, to a debilitating literary patronage , will not misinterpret as unfriendly a critical attitude in which we have tried to supplant patronage with honest, unbiased appraisal. In the content of this volume Professor White is responsible for the Introduction and for the Bibliographical and Critical Notes ; Professor Jackson is responsible for the biographical sketches ; the choice of selections is a matter of joint responsibility .

It is a pleasure to acknowledge our indebtedness to Dr. J. H. Dillard , of the Jeanes Foundation , who has shown a friendly interest in the work and has helped with several valuable suggestions; to Dr. W. T. Laprade, of Trinity College, who supervised its publica tion for the Trinity College Press ; to all of the surviving poets represented in this book, most of whom have coöperated cordially in furnishing biographical data and in giving permission to quote their verse ; to The Century Magazine for the poems of J. D. Corrothers; The Crisis for poems by Countee P. Cullen and Jessie R. Fauset ; The Southern Warkman for the poem of Sarah C. Fernandez ; the Cornhill Co. for poems by Joseph Seaman Cotter, Jr., Charles Bertram Johnson and Georgia Douglas Johnson ; the R. G. Badger Co. for poems by Walter Everette Hawkins ; The Stratford Co. for poems by Leslie Pinckney Hill ; Neale and Co. for poems by John Wesley Holloway ; the Brimmer Co. for poems by Georgia Douglas Johnson ; The Grafton Press for poems by H. Cordelia Ray ; Sherman , French and Co. for poems by George Reginald Margetson ; Harcourt, Brace and Co. for poems by Claude McKay ; and to Dodd, Mead and Co. for poems by Paul Laurence Dunbar .

NEWMAN I. WHITE

W. C. JACKSON
March, 1924 .


CONTENTS*
INTRODUCTORY NOTE


INTRODUCTION

PHILLIS WHEATLEY On Imagination
To a Gentleman and Lady on the Death of the Lady's
Brother, etc.
Liberty and Peace


GEORGE Moses HORTON
Meditations on a Cold, Dark and Rainy Night
Praise of Creation
James Madison BELL
Song for the First of August


FRANCES ELLEN WATKINS HARPER
The Slave Mother
Bury Me in a Free Land

CHARLES L. REASON

Freedom

ALBERRY A. WHITMAN

To the Student
Ye Bards of England

PAUL LAURENCE DUNBAR

The Crisis
Dreams ( 1 )
Dreams ( 2)
The End of the Chapter
Ere Sleep Comes Down to Soothe the Weary Eyes
A Hymn
Love Despoiled
Love's Phases
The Warrior's Prayer
Night
Ode to Ethiopia
Slow Through the Dark
By Rugged Ways
Drizzle
A Banjo Song
The Deserted Plantation
Angelina
Expectation
A Frolic
How Lucy Backslid
Possum
Temptation
When Malindy Sings
A Choice
Mortality
The Sum
Life
Life's Tragedy
The Poet and the Baby
Compensation
A Death Song

GEORGE MARION MCCLELLAN

The Path of Dreams
To Hollyhocks
The Feet of Judas
A Belated Oriole


DANIEL WEBSTER Davis

Night on the Ol’ Plantashun
Hog Meat
Stickin ' to de Hoe
Pomp's Case Argued
Crispus Attucks


CHARLES R. DINKINS

Invocation


GEORGE HANNIBAL TEMPLE

We Are Black, but We Are Men
“ Thy Works Shall Praise Thee"


TIMOTHY THOMAS FORTUNE
We Know No More
Lincoln


J. MORD ALLEN

The Psalm of the Uplift
The Devil an' Sis' Viney
When the Fish Begin to Bite
Shine on, Mr. Sun
Counting Out

CLARA ANN THOMPSON
His Answer
Mrs. Johnson Objects

WILLIAM STANLEY BEAUMONT BRAITHWAITE

A Little Song
By An Inland Lake
In a Grave-Yard
Song : To- Day and To-Morrow
This Is My Life
Sandy Star
The Mystery
To the Sea
From the Crowd
Song of a Syrian Lace Seller
A Song of Living
The Eternal elf
Golden Moonrise
Sic Vita

JOSEPH SEAMAN COTTER

The Negro's Educational Creed
On a Proud Man
Destiny

WALTER EVERETTE HAWKINS

Wrong's Reward
A Spade Is Just a Spade
The Death of Justice

H. CORDELIA Ray

Dawn's Carol
Our Task
The Triple Benison

EDWARD SMYTHE JONES
A Song of Thanks

BENJAMIN GRIFFITH BRAWLEY

The Plan
Chaucer
The Bells of Notre Dame
Ballade of One that Died before his Time


FENTON JOHNSON

In the Evening
When I Die
Love's Good -Night..
Death of Love


JAMES DAVID CORROTHERS

An Indignation Dinner
The Negro Singer
Paul Laurence Dunbar
The Dream and the Song


GEORGE REGINALD MARGETSON

A Prayer
Time
Resurrection


JAMES WELDON JOHNSON

Fifty Years
O Black and Unknown Bards
"Lazy”
Answer to Prayer
Mother Night


JOSEPH S. COTTER, JR.
The Goal
Rain Music
Sonnet to Negro Soldiers
And What Shall You Say ?


JOHN WESLEY HOLLOWAY

Discouraged
Plowin' Cane
Calling the Doctor
The Corn Song


CHARLES BERTRAM JOHNSON
A Rain Song
Old Things


Ray E. DANDRIDGE

Days
Tracin' Tales
Zalka Peetruza


Jessie REDMOND FAUSET

Oriflamme

LESLIE PINCKNEY HILL

The Wings of Oppression
Tuskegee
Freedom
"So Quietly"
Self -Determination
To the Smartweed
Christmas at Melrose
The Symphony
Spring

CLAUDE McKay

The Easter Flower
The Tropics in New York
Harlem Shadows
In Bondage
The Lynching
Baptism
Absence


GEORGIA DOUGLAS JOHNSON

Isolation
The Octoroon
Little Son


COUNTEE P. CULLEN

The Touch


SARAH COLLINS FERNANDIS

A Vision

BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL NOTES


INDEX OF AUTHORS

INDEX OF TITLES
 

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