The Poetry of the Negro, 1746-1949

edited by Langston Hughes and Arna Bontemps
Copyright 1949
Checked out 3 times in 42 years
Last checked out 5 years ago

The circulation on this is abysmal but I’m going to recommend keeping it. It’s a wonderful collection covering the period in the title. It includes not only poets of the U.S. but also has sections on several Caribbean countries and a representative of Africa. It also has a curious section titled, “Tributary Poems by Non-Negroes.” Langston Hughes, one of the editors, is arguably the most well known African American poet of the early 20th Century. This book was eventually updated to cover 1746-1970 with the same editors. This initial volume is now considered collectible by some. I suspect the word “Negro,” now out of favor, puts people off and hurts circulation. It’s a shame. Keep this historically important work on the shelf as long as it holds up. Count it as one of the treasures of your poetry collection.

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About jppoetryreader

Poetry reviewer and poetry consultant for libraries
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