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

Theodore Henry Shackelford, "Paul Laurence Dunbar" (1908)

An immortal name and eternal fame
Are not judged by color of the skin,
The true and best sign is an active mind—
It is there all true greatness begins .

In the hall of fame is 'graven a name—
The son of a down-trodden race ;
Though of humble birth , this genius of worth
In the forum of fame holds a place .

His name and song will ever live long
To chase from life sorrow and strife ;
Poems of praise will our voices raise
Notes and lyrics of lowly life.

Then shine, bright star , on heights afar;
Blaze out a sure path for all men:
Thy light lose not, all else forgot;
Bid them come to thee and ascend .

Published in Colored American Magazine, November 1908

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