Book Cover

Title African American poetry : 250 years of struggle & song / Kevin Young, editor
Published New York, N.Y. : The Library of America, [2020]


Location Call no. Vol. Availability
 MELB  810.08109896 Y7375/A  DUE 03-06-22
Description lx, 1110 pages ; 21 cm
Series Library of America ; 333
Contents Introduction / by Kevin Young -- Bury me in a free land: 1770-1899 -- Lift every voice: 1900-1918 -- The dark tower: 1919-1936 -- Ballads of remembrance: 1936-1959 -- Ideas of ancestry: 1959-1975 -- Blue light sutras: 1976-1989 -- Praise songs for the day: 1990-2008 -- After the hurricane: 2009-2020
ONE: BURY ME IN A FREE LAND 1770-1899. On imagination On Recollection On the Death of the Rev. Mr. George Whitefield. 1770 To S. M. a young African Painter, on seeing his Works To His Excellency General Washington / Phillis Wheatley -- An Address to Miss Phillis Wheatly, Ethiopian Poetess, in Boston / Jupiter Hammon -- [Bars Fight] / Lucy Terry -- A Mathematical Problem in Verse / Benjamin Banneker -- To Eliza The Slave's Complaint On hearing of the intention of a gentleman to purchase the Poet's freedom Division of an estate The Art of a Poet George Moses Horton, Myself / George Moses Horton -- An Appeal to Woman The Grave of the Slave / Sarah Louisa Forten -- Concatination [Selected Pottery Verses, 1834-1862] / David Drake -- The Natives of America Reflections / Ann Plato -- Armand Lanusse: Epigram Camille Thierry Ideas Pierre Dalcour: Verse Written in the Album of Mademoiselle _____ Victor-Ernest Rillieux: Love and Devotion/ Les Cenelles -- America To Cinque / James M. Whitfield -- Hope and Confidence / Charles L. Reason -- A Life-Day / George B. Vashon -- The Emigrant / Benjamin Clark -- Song for the First of August / James Madison Bell -- A June Song A Parting Hymn In the earnest path of duty / Charlotte Forten Grimḱe -- Toussaint L'Ouverture Self-Mastery / Henrietta Cordelia Ray -- from The Rape of Florida A Question / Albery A. Whitman -- The Slave Mother Bury Me in a Free Land Learning to Read A Double Standard Songs for the People / Frances Ellen Watkins Harper
TWO: LIFT EVERY VOICE 1900-1918. The House of Falling Leaves / William Stanley Braithwaite -- Driftwood / Olivia Ward Bush -- America Character or Color--Which? Late Mother / Carrie Williams Clifford -- Paul Laurence Dunbar / James D. Corrothers -- A Prayer And What Shall You Say? Supplication A Woman at Her Husband's Grave / Joseph Seamon Cotter, Jr. -- Dr. Booker T Washington to the National Negro Business League / Joseph Seamon Cotter, Sr. -- A Litany at Atlanta / W. E. B. Du Bois -- We Wear the Mask A Negro Love Song When Malindy Sings When de Co'n Pone's Hot An Ante-Bellum Sermon Sympathy A Death Song Compensation / Paul Laurence Dunbar -- Violets I Sit and Sew The Proletariat Speaks / Alice Dunbar-Nelson -- The Black Finger A Mona Lisa El Beso You Rosabel The Eyes of My Regret Trees Tenebris Grass Fingers To Keep the Memory of Charlotte Forten Grimké / Angelina Weld Grimké -- Wooing A Spade Is Just a Spade Here and Hereafter / Walter Everette Hawkins -- Retrospect / Josephine D. Heard -- When I Die The Lonely Mother Who Is That A-Walking in the Corn? from African Nights / Fenton Johnson -- Lift Every Voice and Sing Sence You Went Away O Black and Unknown Bards My City Go Down Death / James Weldon Johnson -- from The Fledgling Poet and the Poetry Society / George R. Margetson -- Ode to the Sun / Eloise Bibb Thompson -- To a Little Colored Boy / Priscilla Jane Thompson -- The New Negro / Lucian B. Watkins
THREE: THE DARK TOWER 1919-1936. Japanese Hokku Negro Woman Effigy / Lewis Grandison Alexander -- Heritage Lines written at the Grave of Alexander Dumas Fantasy To a Dark Carl Dirge for a Free Spirit I Build America Epitaph / Gwendolyn B. Bennett -- The Return A Black Man Talks of Reaping Southern Mansion The Day-breakers / Arna Bontemps -- Ma Rainey Old Lem Slim Greer Strange Legacies Southern Cop To a Certain Lady, in Her Garden Let Us Suppose / Sterling A. Brown -- Portraiture Black Baby Impressions from a Family Album Coveted Epitaph Denial Idle Wonder / Anita Scott Coleman -- Longings Goal Farewell Having Had You Four Poems--After the Japanese For a New Mother I Look at Death / Mae V. Cowdery -- Yet Do I Marvel Incident Tableau Saturday's Child Heritage from Epitaphs From the Dark Tower Uncle Jim Scottsboro, Too, Is Worth Its Song / Countee Cullen -- No Images Nineteen-twenty-nine My Lord, What a Morning Down-Home Boy Carry Me Back / Waring Cuney -- The Mask Solace / Clarissa Scott Delany -- Dead Fires La Vie C'est la vie Oblivion / Jessie Redmon Fauset -- My Last Name / Nicolas Guillen -- Notes Found Near a Suicide / Frank Horne -- The Negro Speaks of Rivers The Weary Blues Mother to son Jazz Band in a Parisian Cabaret Beale Street Love Cross Personal Midwinter Blues Bound No'th Blues Dream Variations I, Too Song for a Dark Girl Let America be America Again from Montage of a Dream Deferred Madam and the Rent Man from Ask Your Mama / Langston Hughes -- The Singer The Maestro / Eva A. Jessye -- The Heart of a Woman Cosmopolite Black Woman Old Black Men Common Dust I Want to Die While You Love Me Interracial / Georgia Douglas Johnson -- Sonnet to a Negro in Harlem Poem Invocation / Helene Johnson -- Jamaica Market / Agnes Maxwell-Hall -- Christmas in de Air The Harlem Dancer Harlem Shadows If We Must Die On Broadway The Tropics in New York The Lynching America My Mother "The white man is a tiger at my throat" / Claude McKay -- Man and Maid / Myra Estelle Morris -- Shadow / Richard Bruce Nugent -- Requiem This Is My Vow / Lucia Mae Pitts -- October Prayer Flag Salute / Esther Popel -- Black and Blue The Tree of Hope / Andy Razaf -- At the Carnival White Things Sybil Warns Her Sister / Anne Spencer -- Five Vignettes Her Lips Are Copper Wire from Cane from Essentials Be with Me / Jean Toomer
FOUR: BALLADS OF REMEMBRANCE 1936-1959. To Satch (American Gothic) Nat Turner or Let Him Come If the Stars Should Fall / Samuel Allen -- Narrative Night and a Distant Church It's Here in The Spyrytual / Russell Atkins -- from A Street in Bronzeville Beverly Hills, Chicago The Bean Eater We Real Cool A Bronzeville Mother Loiters in Mississippi. Meanwhile, a Mississippi Mother Burns Bacon The Last Quatrain of the Ballad of Emmett Till The Chicago Defender Sends a Man to Little Rock The Lovers of the Poor Malcolm X The Second Sermon on the Warpland Paul Robeson The Life of Lincoln West The Boy Died in My Alley Infirm I Am a Black An Old Black Woman, Homeless, and Indistinct / Gwendolyn Brooks -- To Julia de Burgos Ay, Ay, Ay of the Kinky-Haired Negress Poem of the Unborn Child Farewell in Welfare Island The Sun in Welfare Island / Julia de Burgos -- The Small Bells of Benin Etta Moten's Attic / Margaret Danner -- from Ebony Under Granite Mojo Mike's Beer Garden Four Glimpses of Night / Frank Marshall Davis -- Sorrow Is the Only Faithful One The Morning Duke Ellington Praised the Lord and Six Little Black Davids Tapped Danced Unto / Owen Dodson -- Those Winter Sundays Frederick Douglass Middle Passage Runagate Runagate A Letter from Phillis Wheatley Paul Laurence Dunbar [American Journal] / Robert Hayden -- The Truth Jazz Is My Religion The Nice Colored Man / Ted Joans -- Hawk Lawler: Chorus I, Too, Know What I Am Not Would You Wear My Eyes? War Memoir Walking Parker Home Crootey Songo Heavy Water Blues Blues for Hal Waters Oregon / Bob Kaufman -- from Dark Testament Prophecy / Pauli Murray -- A Private Letter to Brazil Review from Staten Island Man White, Brown Girl and All That Jazz / Gloria C. Oden -- Young Poet / Myron O'Higgins -- Harlem Dawn A Definition Jean-Jaques / Oliver Pitcher -- Booker T. and W.E.B. An Answer to Lerone Bennett's Questionnaire On a Name for Black Americans A Poet Is Not a Jukebox / Dudley Randall -- Ballad of American Mores Face of Poverty / Lucy E. Smith -- Dark Symphony from Harlem Gallery, Book I: The Curator / Melvin B. Tolson -- For My People Molly Means October Journey / Margaret Walker -- Between the World and Me Selected Haiku / Richard Wright
FIVE: IDEAS OF ANCESTRY 1959-1975. Still I Rise Phenomenal Woman / Maya Angelou -- Preface to a Twenty Volume Suicide Note Look for You Yesterday, Here You Come Today Notes for a Speech The Liar Short Speech to My Friends Three Modes of History and Culture SOS Black Art Why's 12 / Amiri Baraka (Leroi Jones) -- King: April 4, 1968 / Gerald Barrax -- Blues All God's Chillun The White River Sam Lord / Kamau Brathwaite -- "in the inner city" miss rosie good times admonitions "being property once myself" the lost baby poem from some jesus cutting greens homage to my hips "the light that came to lucille clifton" jasper texas 1998 why some people be mad at me sometimes "i am accused of tending to the past" Jump Rope Rhymes (transcribed) study the masters to my last period wishes for sons "surely i am able to write poems" "won't you celebrate with me" / Lucille Clifton -- How Long Has Trane Been Gone Orisha Rape Jazz Fan Looks Back / Jayne Cortez -- Son of Msippi Black Star Line Outer Space Blues / Henry Dumas -- I Am a Black Woman / Mari Evans -- I Would Be for You Rain / Sarah Webster Fabio -- High on the Hog / Julia Fields -- Black Power Nikki-Rosa For Saundra Ego Tripping A Poem for Carol Legacies / Nikki Giovanni -- American History Dear John, Dear Coltrane Nightmare Begins Responsibility Reuben, Reuben Tongue-Tied in Black and White Last Affair: Bessie's Blues Song The Love Letters of Helen Pitts Douglass / Michael S. Harper -- Do Nothing till You Hear from Me A Coltrane Memorial / David Henderson -- Medicine Man / Calvin Hernton -- What Would I Do White? These Poems I Must Become a Menace to My Enemies Poem about My Rights Poem for Haruko / June Jordan -- Blues for Some Literary Friends & Myself For Art Blakey and the Jazz Messengers / Keorapetse Kgositsile -- A Poem for Myself The Idea of Ancestry The Bones of My Father Haiku For Freckle-Faced Gerald The Violent Space Hard Rock Returns to Prison from the Hospital for the Criminal Insane For Eric Dolphy Feeling Fucked Up / Etheridge Knight -- On Being Head of the English Department / PInkie Gordon Lane -- Coal Revolution Is One Form of Social Change A Litany for Survival Power Lunar Eclipse Inheritance--His / Audre Lorde -- But He Was Cool Don't Cry, Scream / Haki Madhubuti (Don L. Lee) -- Swallow the Lake Hair / Clarence Major -- Malcolm X--An Autobiography Don't Say Goodbye to the Porkpie Hat / Larry Neal -- 26 Ways of Looking at a Black Man / Raymond R. Patterson -- Howlin Wolf Big Maybelle / Sterling D. Plumpp ; From Where the Blues? ; "WE NEED" ; " ; Metagnomy / N. H. Pritchard -- Beware: Do Not Read This Poem Paul Laurence Dunbar in the Tenderloin The Reactionary Poet / Ishmael Reed -- sonnet poll the poor houses othello jones dresses for dinner American Jazz Quartet / Ed Roberson -- how i got ovah / Carolyn Rodgers -- for our lady A Poem for My Father A poem for my brother from Philadelphia: Spring, 1985 haiku (for Osage ave and Doorknop) haiku (for mungu and morani and the children of soweto) two haiku (for Clarence H. Watson and The Count) tanka (for papa Joe Jones who used to toss me up to the sky) haiku (for domestic workers in the african diaspora) haiku ("man. you write me so") tanka ("like dark old men the") haiku ("like ermine when i") haiku ("i want to make you") blues Song No. 2 / Sonia Sanchez -- Whitey on the Moon The Revolution Will Not Be Televised Home Is Where the Hatred Is / Gil Scott-Heron -- After Vallejo / A. B. Spellman -- Inauguration Song / Lorenzo Thomas -- One for Charlie Mingus Poem for My Father After Hearing a Radio Announcement: A Comment on Some Conditions / Quincy Troupe -- A Far Cry from Africa Codicil Blues from The Schooner Flight Sea Canes Volcano Easter from Omeros: Chapter VIII / Derek Walcott -- Women / Alice Walker -- blues for franks wooten from Maumau American Cantos: Canto 4 / Tom Weatherly -- How Stars Start Dance of the Infidels Boogie with O.O. Gabugah The Old O.O. Blues A Poem for Players / Al Young
SIX: BLUE LIGHT SUTRAS 1976-1989. Twenty-Year Marriage I Can't Get Started Two Brothers The Good Shepherd: Atlanta, 1981 / AI -- from Haiti / Will Alexander -- Titta / George Barlow -- Soul Make a Path Through Shouting Sally Hemings to Thomas Jefferson / Cyrus Cassells -- from Portrait of a Nude Woman as Cleopatra / Barbara Chase-Riboud -- What It Means to Be Dark Mastectomy from American Sonnets / Wanda Coleman -- Harriet in the Promised Land / Sam Cornish -- Blackbottom The Weakness On the Turning Up of Unidentified Black Female Corpses Black Boys Play the Classics / Toi Derricotte -- Leaving Eden from The Arcanum Poems Father / Ralph Dickey -- Tour Guide: La Maison des Esclaves Turning Forty in the 90's Wednesday Mourning Heartbeats / Melvin Dixon -- The House Slave David Walker (1785-1830) Adolescence--II Banneker from Thomas and Beulah Canary The Return of Lieutenant James Reese Europe Hattie McDaniel Arrives at the Cocoanut Grove from Sonata Mulattica / Rita Dove -- The Dance The Supremes from Brutal Imagination / Cornelius Eady -- Brown Girl Levitation, 1962-1989 Concerto no. 7: Condoleezza [working out] at the Watergate / Nikky Finney -- Some Pieces Hand Me Down Blues Dark Mirror / Calvin Forbes -- This Bridge Across Time with Stevie Wonder in It Chris Gilbert: An Improvisation / Christopher Gilbert -- Vernacular Examples Palaver Sotto Voce / C. S. Giscombe -- For My Mother (May I Inherit Half Her Strength) For Claude McKay / Lorna Goodison -- Goldsboro Narrative #4: My father's Viet Nam tour near over Goldsboro Narrative #28 Goldsboro Narrative #33 Goldsboro Narrative #7 Annual Visit of the Quiet, Unmarried Son / Forrest Hamer -- Heavy Corners Civil Servant For My Own Protection / Essex Hemphill -- "C"ing in Colors: Blue / Safiya Henderson-Holmes -- Surplus Future Imperfect Woman, with wings Should you find me / Erica Hunt -- Deep Song / Gayl Jones -- i done got so thirsty that my mouth waters at the thought of rain / Patricia Spears Jones -- Fragments from the Diary of Amelie Patiné, Quadroon, Mistress of Monsieur Jacques R _____ / Sybil Kein -- from The Women of Plums / Dolores Kendrick -- Annabelle More Girl Than Boy Letter to Bob Kaufman Blue Light Lounge Sutra for the Performance Poets at Harold Park Hotel February in Sydney from Dien Cai Dau Venus's-flytraps My Father's Love Letters Anodyne Ode to the Maggot / Yusef Komunyakaa -- Falso Brilhante Song of the Andoumboulou: 31 / Nathaniel Mackey -- Gra'ma Try to Understand Papa Throwing Stones at the All White Pool Fade to Black / Colleen J. McElroy -- Life in a Sterile Environment: A Case Study The Day before Kindergarten: Taluca, Alabama, 1959 A Reconsideration of the Blackbird An Anointing Poem for My Mothers and Other Makers of Asafetida The Lynching / Thylias Moss -- from Muse & Drudge from Sleeping with the Dictionary / Harryette Mullen -- A Strange Beautiful Woman Sleepless Nights Lonely Eagles Star-Fix / Marilyn Nelson -- How I Became the Blues / Brenda Marie Osbey -- The Broken English Dream / Pedro Pietri -- The Black Back-Ups / Kate Rushin -- All the Way Home from Dreamer / Primus St. John -- Trying for Fire / Tim Seibles -- from for colored girls who have considered suicide / when the rainbow is enuf / Ntozake Shange -- Building Nicole's Mama Don't Drink the Water / Patricia Smith -- from Free! / Sekou Sundiata -- Inside the Blues Whale Scrapple Washing the car with My Father John Henry Sleeping in High Grass / Afaa Michael Weaver -- from Letters to a New England Negro / Sherley Anne Williams
SEVEN: PRAISE SONGS FOR THE DAY 1990-2008. Blue The New Religion / Chris Abani -- The Venus Hottentot Nineteen Ars Poetica #28: African Leave-Taking Disorder Ars Poetica #100: I Believe Praise Song for the Day / Elizabeth Alexander -- loose strife Doug Flutie's 1984 Orange Bowl Hail Mary as Water into Fire / Quan Barry -- Verbal Mugging / Paul Beatty -- Prayer of the Backhanded Bullet Points 'N'em Another Elegy The Tradition / Jericho Brown -- A Balance of Blues & Angels / Darrell Burton -- nap-i-ness / Kyle Dargan -- Natural Black Funk / Kwame Dawes -- Wednesday Poem / Joel Dias-Porter -- Frequently Asked Questions #10 / Camille Dungy -- View of the Library of Congress from Paul Laurence Dunbar High School / Thomas Sayers Ellis -- Sugar and Brine: Ella's Understanding Salt / Vievee Francis -- burial A Small Needful Fact / Ross Gay -- Santa Ana of Grocery Carts Teeth Ode to the Little "r" / Aracelis Girmay -- Seeing the Body / Rachel Eliza Griffiths -- Black Mary Integrates the School House / Duriel E. Harris -- Touch Satchmo Returns to New Orleans The Golden Shovel Carp Poem / Terrance Hayes -- How to Listen Euphoria Ferguson / Major Jackson -- The Gospel of Barbecue / Honorée Fannone Jeffers -- Charity on Blind Tom General Bethune on Blind Tom Blind Boone's Vision Minnehaha / Tyehimba Jess -- Jesse Owens, 1963 Rope / A. Van Jordan -- Thirty Lines About the Fro My Father's Kites / Allison Joseph -- Drop it Like It's Hottento Venus / Douglas Kearney -- Hostage / Daniell Legros Georges -- Plantation from Voyage of the Sable Venus "Lucy Terry Prince Prepares for Her Marriage" / Robin Coste Lewis -- Ode to the Diasporican / Mariposa -- from Good Stock Strange Blood / Dawn Lundy Martin -- from The Big Smoke Robot Music / Adrian Matejka -- What the Oracle Said / Shara mcCallum -- The Keepin' It Real Awards / Tony Medina -- Blackout 1977 / Tracie Morris -- gayl jones cecil taylor johnny cash I ran from it but was still in it / Fred Moten -- On Confessionalism / John Murillo -- Written by Himself Raisin / Gregory Pardlo -- Bembe-Faced Arroz con Son y Clave / Willie Perdomo -- Blue Cotillion A Great Noise Speak Low / Carl Phillips -- I want to not have to write another word about who cops keep killing / Khadijah Queen -- from Citizen: An American Lyric / Claudia Rankine -- The Difficult Music The Lucky One Hesitation Theory My Mother Was No White Dove / Reginald Shepherd -- from The Lost Letters of Frederick Douglass statistical haiku (or, how do they discount us? let me count the ways) ode to my blackness / Evie Shockley -- Don't You Wonder, Sometimes? The Universe Is a House Party Declaration / Tracy K. Smith -- Offering Snow / Sharan Strange -- Ode to Gentrification / Samantha Thornhill -- Flounder Drapery Factory, Gulfport, Mississippi, 1956 Graveyard Blues Pilgrimage Miscegenation Incident / Natasha Trethewey -- Strip RR Lyrae: Matter / Lyrae Van Clief-Stefanon -- Wind Talker Work Ethic / Frank X. Walker -- Dissidence Gwendolyn Brooks / Anthony Walton -- "The reeds shook. A wide flat ass cradled in leather pants. This" / Simone White -- Amethyst Rocks / Saul Williams -- Money Road / Kevin Young
EIGHT: AFTER THE HURRICANE 2009-2020. How Can Black People Write about Flowers at a Time Like This / Hanif Abdurraqib -- La Negra Takes Medusa to the Hair Salon / Elizabeth Acevedo -- Cento Between the Ending and the End / Cameron Awkward-Rich -- America Will Be / Joshua Bennett -- A Postmodern Two-Step / Reginald Dwayne Betts -- upon viewing the death of basquiat / Mahogany L. Browne -- Massa's House / Dominique Christina -- Nashville / Tiana Clark -- Dear _____ / DeLana R. A. Dameron -- My First Black Nature Poem(TM) / LaTasha N. Nevada Diggs -- I saw Emmett Till this week at the grocery store / Eve L. Ewing -- Aunt Flo and Uncle Phineas / Sean Hill -- (Afterward) One Corner More / Notes on a Letter to the Singer Abbey Lincoln from Her Lover, Abraham Lincoln / Harmony Holiday -- After the Hurricane / Ishion Hutchinson -- Kansas / Gary Jackson -- Kudzu / Saeed Jones -- The moon rose over the bay. I had a lot of feelings / Donika Kelly -- One Country / Rickey Laurentiis -- Still When I Picture It the Face of God Is a White Man's Face / Shane McCrae -- Closer / Anis Mojgani -- #sayhername / Aja Monet -- The President's Wife / Morgan Parker -- Violins / Rowan Ricardo Phillips -- History / Camille Rankine -- Black Can Sleep / Justin Phillip Reed -- Children Listen / Roger Reeves -- Why Is We Americans / Alison C. Rollins -- Object Permanence / Nicole Sealey -- Gnawa Boy, Marrakesh, 1968 / Charif Shanahan -- Fisherman's Daughter / Safiya Sinclair -- dinosaurs in the hood / Danez Smith -- Your National Anthem / Clint Smith -- Prayer / Phillip B. Williams -- Ode to Herb Kent / Jamila Woods
Summary Across a turbulent history, Black poets created a rich and multifaceted tradition that has been both a reckoning with American realities and an imaginative response to them. One of the great American art forms, African American poetry encompasses many kinds of verse: formal, experimental, vernacular, lyric, and protest. The anthology opens with moving testaments to the power of poetry as a means of self-assertion, as enslaved people voice their passionate resistance to slavery. This volume captures the power and beauty of this diverse tradition and its challenge to American poetry and culture. Here are all the significant movements and currents: the nineteenth-century Francophone poets known as Les Cenelles, the Chicago Renaissance that flourished around Gwendolyn Brooks, the early 1960s Umbra group, and the more recent work of writers affiliated with Cave Canem and the Dark Noise Collective. Here too are poems of singular, hard-to-classify figures: the enslaved potter David Drake, the allusive modernist Melvin B. Tolson, the Cleveland-based experimentalist Russell Atkins. The volume also features biographies of each poet and notes that illuminate cultural references and allusions to historical events. -- adapted from jacket
Bibliography Includes bibliographical references and index
Subject American poetry -- African American authors
American poetry -- African American authors -- History and criticism
African Americans -- Intellectual life
African Americans in literature
African Americans -- Poetry
Social problems -- Poetry
Passive resistance -- United States -- Poetry
Genre/Form Poetry.
Author Young, Kevin, 1970-, editor
LC no. 2019954344
ISBN 9781598536669