The Book of American Negro Poetry: Chosen and Edited, with an Essay on the Negro's Creative Genius

The Book of American Negro Poetry: Chosen and Edited, with an Essay on the Negro's Creative Genius

Read FREE!

The Book of American Negro Poetry: Chosen and Edited, with an Essay on the Negro's Creative Genius

The Book of American Negro Poetry: Chosen and Edited, with an Essay on the Negro's Creative Genius

Read FREE!

Excerpt

There is, perhaps, a better excuse for giving an Anthology of American Negro Poetry to the public than can be offered for many of the anthologies that have recently been issued. the public, generally speaking, does not know that there are American Negro poets—to supply this lack of information is, alone, a work worthy of somebody’s effort.

Moreover, the matter of Negro poets and the production of literature by the colored people in this country involves more than supplying information that is lacking. It is a matter which has a direct bearing on the most vital of American problems.

A people may become great through many means, but there is only one measure by which its greatness is recognized and acknowledged. the final measure of the greatness of all peoples is the amount and standard of the literature and art they have produced. the world does not know that a people is great until that people produces great literature and art. No people that has produced great literature and art has ever been looked upon by the world as distinctly inferior.

The status of the Negro in the United States is more a question of national mental attitude toward the race than of actual conditions. and nothing will do more to change that mental attitude and raise his status than a demonstration of intellectual parity by the Negro through the production of literature and art.

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