Wednesday, May 16, 2012

10 Moments of Importance in African American Poetry, 1945-1966

1945 – A version of Robert Hayden’s “Middle Passage” is published in the journal Phylon (Vol. 6, No. 3 3rd Qtr., 1945).

1945 – Another version of Hayden’s “Middle Passage” is published in Cross Section 1945: A collection of New American Writing.

1947 - Melvin B. Tolson named poet laureate of Liberia.

1947Présence Africaine is founded by Alioune Diop, along with various writers, including Aimé Césaire, Léopold Sédar Senghor, Richard Wright, and Albert Camus.

1953 – Langston Hughes renounces his Communist sympathies in a testimony before the U.S. Senate’s Committee on Government Operations and the Subcommittee on Investigations chaired by Joseph McCarthy.

1956 – The “1st International Congress of Black Writers and Artists,” organized by the journal Présence Africaine, convenes in Paris on September 19.

1961The Wretched of the Earth by Franz Fanon is published. The book becomes an influential work among black poets and various other artists and intellectuals.

1962 – Third published version of Hayden’s “Middle Passage” is published in his volume A Ballad of Remembrance.

1963Blues People: Negro Music in White America by Amiri Baraka (then LeRoi Jones) is published.

1965 – Broadside Press, an African American publisher dedicated to primarily publishing poetry by black poets, is founded by Dudley Randall.

1966 – A fourth published version of Hayden’s “Middle Passage” appears in his Selected Poems.

 Related: Notes on Blogging a Chronology of African American Poetry  

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