Tuesday, May 15, 2012

10 Moments of Importance in African American Poetry, 1854-1919

1854 - Frances Ellen Watkins Harper's volume of poetry Poems on Miscellaneous Subjects is published.  The volume contains Harper's well-known poems "The Slave Mother" and "The Slave Auction."

1859  - Frances E. W. Harper has letter smuggled to soon-to-be-executed John Brown, which reads in part, "I thank you that you have been brave enough to reach out your hands to the crushed and blighted of my race."  

1864 - Frances E. W. Harper's poem "Bury Me in a Free Land" is published in Liberator, January 14.

1893 - Paul Laurence Dunbar's first collection of poems Oak and Ivy is published.

1895 - Alice Moore's Violets and other tales is published. Moore later became Alice Moore Dunbar after marrying poet Paul Laurence Dunbar in 1898; they separated in 1902. And later, in 1916, when she married Robert J. Nelson, she became Alice Moore Dunbar-Nelson. 

1896 - Dunbar's Majors and Minors and then his Lyrics of Lowly Life are published.

1900 -  "Lift Every Voice and Sing," written by James Weldon Johnson, is performed by 500 students at Stanton School in Florida, on February 12, as part of a ceremony honoring guest Booker T. Washington and the birthday of Abraham Lincoln.

1905 - John Johnson, brother of James Weldon Johnson, sets "Lift Every Voice and Sing" to music.

1913 - Fenton Johnson's first volume A Little Dreaming is published.

1919 - The NAACP adopts "Lift Every Voice and Sing" as "The Negro National Anthem."

Related: Notes on Blogging a Chronology of African American Poetry 

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