Opportunity was most influential in African American literary circles for its literary contests, which ran between 1924-1927, and helped to strengthen the reputations of important writers like Langston Hughes, Zora Neale Hurston, Sterling Brown, Arna Bontemps, and Countee Cullen. The contests were also accompanied by award dinners, which were often quite glamorous, and featured many writers, publishers, and patrons.
In 1928, Charles Johnson was appointed as President of Fisk University, a Historically Black university. At that time, the editorship shifted, as did the priorities of the journal. After 1928, the magazine was more narrowly focused on sociology and race, and the literary emphasis diminished.
Here, we have been in the process of digitizing the poems published in the 1920s in Opportunity based on facsimile copies available at Archive.org; those are collected below. We are also developing an Index of poems published in Opportunity during these years; that Index can be found here.