Yesterday began Black History Month in the USA! The Harlem Renaissance-themed Classics Circuit began yesterday as well, and I hope you follow along as bloggers unite in reading classic works by African-Americans.
Although this post is not for the Circuit, in preparing for that Classics Circuit, I did a lot of preliminary reading about the era and I really wanted to dabble in the poetry. I meant to post this weeks ago, but it never happened and now it’s already February! It works well, though, because I’d like to write at least one post about African-American literature each week in February.
In my library shelf searches, I could not find a comprehensive collection of Countee Cullen and Claude McKay and any of the other, less well known African-American poets of the Renaissance. I still haven’t really found a comprehensive Harlem Renaissance poetry anthology at my library, but I did find an out-of-print 1941 anthology of poetry for children that met my needs. (Thank goodness for my library’s reciprocal borrowing program with 15 other libraries!). This allowed me to read a number of different poets who were writing during the Renaissance and before.
Although Golden Slippers was edited and prepared for a “young readers” audience, it’s applicable to all, and while the poetry in it is not my favorite, it seems to have an important overview of some of the poets of the near-contemporary age to the Renaissance. Researching online, I found more poems by each poet. I also focused on Langston Hughes a little bit in the past few weeks.Continue Reading