A dynamic collection of poetry, including works from the first known African American poet, Lucy Terry, to recent poet laureate Rita Dove, I, Too, Sing America captures the enormous talent and passion of generations of black writers.
Powerful and diverse, this unique collection of African American poetry spans three centuries of writing in America. Poets bare their souls, speak their minds, trace their roots, and proclaim their dreams in the thirty-six poems compiled here. From lamentations to celebrations, the poems of Langston Hughes, Countee Cullen, W.E.B. Du Bois, and Gwendolyn Brooks, among others, reveal the ironies of black America, juxtaposing themes of resistance and reconciliation, hope and despair.
Eminent scholar Catherine Clinton further illuminates these poems through brief biographies of the poets and notes on the text. The result is an authoritative introduction to twenty-five of America's best poets. Prize-winning artist Stephen Alcorn lends his own artistic vision and passion to the collection, providing stunning visual interpretations of each poem. Together they create a stirring tribute to these great poets.
A splendid, rattling good collection of African-American poetry. Represented are 25 poets (and 35 poems), some of whom are household names W.E.B. Du Bois, Maya Angelou, Rita Dove, Gwendolyn Brooks, Amiri Baraka, and Langston Hughes. There are examples of the influential Harlem Renaissance poets -- Angelina Weld Grimk, Georgia Douglas Johnson, Jean Toomer, for example -- and the first known poem composed by an African-American, Lucy Terry's ``Bars Fight.'' The brimming anger of James M. Whitfield comes through, along with the injustice of lines that had to be transcribed by others because African-Americans were denied by law the right to put poetry to paper. Clinton includes short biographical sketches and critical snippets on every poet, and these only further the impact of the tragic, warm, sad, and ferocious voices of great presence that survived beyond all odds. Alcorn's elegant illustrations have an expressiveness that honors the words.
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