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

Travel, Migration, and Great Migration poetry

This tag is associated with poetry dealing with travel and migration of various kinds. 

One category might be connected to poets who were themselves migrants, like Claude McKay, who migrated from Jamaica to the U.S. in the early 1910s. A good place to start with McKay might be "Tropics in New York." 

Others experienced domestic migration, with many Black poets of this period moving from the American South to northern cities like New York and Chicago. T. Thomas Fortune, for example was born in Florida but moved to New York City; he writes about this in "The Clime of My Birth."  Other "Great Migration" poems include Georgia Douglas Johnson's "Hegira" and Lucy Ariel Williams' "Northboun'"

Others were travelers -- visiting Europe, Latin America, and Africa. Langston Hughes, for example, wrote memorably of his visit to West Africa in the early 1920s. James Weldon Johnson spent time in Latin America between 1906 and 1913, while working as a U.S. Consul in Venezuela and Nicaragua. Others traveled as tourists. Countee Cullen wrote memorably about a trip to Europe. 

Finally, there are a few poems here connected with imaginations of the African 'homeland', sometimes from the point of view of UNIA members who were envisioning migrating back to Africa at some point. 

Contents of this tag: