African American Poetry (1870-1928): A Digital Anthology

"Negro World": a Collection of Poems from the Newspaper (1919-1921)

Below is a collection of poems, most of them published in the "Poetry for the People" section of the UNIA newspaper Negro World. This is a section that ran between 1919-1921, though only the archives from 1921 are presently available through digital repositories. Most of the authors who published in "Poetry for the People" were writing as advocates for the UNIA and Garveyism and not out of any ambition to produce 'serious' poetry. 

One exception might be Lucian B. Watkins, who also published throughout the 1910s in The Crisis. Watkins published a number of poems in "Poetry for the People" between 1919 and 1921, and his death in 1921 was followed by several tribute poems from readers and fans. Another important writer who contributed poems to Negro World was Zora Neale Hurston, who published her first four poems in the newspaper in 1922. 

Many issues of Negro World have been digitized and are accessible via Readex's African American Newspapers, Series 2 collection, for universities that have access to institutional subscriptions. 

A website sponsored by the UNIA has a fairly substantial history of the newspaper that can be found here. (Among other things, one sees that the editor of the newspaper between 1923 and 1928 was T. Thomas Fortune, an important writer in his own right and also earlier the editor of New York Age.)

A few additional poems from Negro World can be found digitized by Jessica Covil, a Ph.D. student at Duke University, here.

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