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

"The Crisis": a Collection of Poems

The Crisis was a monthly magazine published by the NAACP, which began publication in 1910. Throughout its early years, the magazine was edited by W.E.B. Du Bois. Between 1919-1926, Jessie Fauset served as its Literary Editor. During that period of time, many young writers who would later be mainstays of the Harlem Renaissance began publishing poetry and criticism in the pages of The Crisis, including Langston Hughes, Countee Cullen, as well as Fauset herself. In addition to poetry, the newspaper frequently published criticism and reviews of poetry by Black poets. The most influential of these might be William Stanley Braithwaite's 1919 essay, "The Negro in American Literature" (a revised version of that essay was later reprinted in Alain Locke's The New Negro: an Interpretation). 

Between 1911 and 1926, the magazine published more than 150 poems by a wide range of authors. Below, you'll find the poems we have collected thus far that appeared in the magazine. 

Source: Many of the poems collected on this page were discovered via the digital repostiory of The Crisis at Modernist Journals Project. Others (mainly poems published after 1922) have been sourced from digital versions of The Crisis found on sites like and HathiTrust. 

Acknowledgments: This page has benefited from the efforts of Christian Farrior, a Graduate Research Assistant who assisted in retyping and formatting poems from page image format in the summer of 2022. 


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