The Vintage Book of African American Poetry
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The Vintage Book of African American Poetry

4.07 of 5 stars 4.07  ·  rating details  ·  44 ratings  ·  4 reviews
In The Vintage Book of African American Poetry, editors Michael S. Harper and Anthony Walton present the definitive collection of black verse in the United States--200 years of vision, struggle, power, beauty, and triumph from 52 outstanding poets.

From the neoclassical stylings of slave-born Phillis Wheatley to the wistful lyricism of Paul Lawrence Dunbar . . . the rigorou...more
ebook, 448 pages
Published February 1st 2012 by Vintage (first published February 1st 2000)
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Tai Harris
I enjoyed reading this beautiful collection of 50 accomplished African- American poets whose writing has played a major part in shaping my own poetry. Comprised in this book are writing styles of beat poetry, haikus, lyrical and other English inspired forms. This collection is a diverse compilation of works that speak of struggle, beauty, hope and ambition from writers dating back to as early as the 1920’s. Before each set of poems, there is a biographical introduction of each poet which aids in...more
Michael Blackmore
Pretty good anthology, but like with all anthologies (especially those cover periods of time) it can be hit or miss.

The earliest poetry in the collection was a bit difficult to read since it was by actual slaves and often expressing "gratitude" for being taken from Africa, which I imagine was the only way their owners would let them publish it. But as the times advanced you had more free African Americans and post slavery ones sharing their views and the poetry becomes powerful. I have to admit...more
This is an anthology of black talent through the years and across the country. I found it interesting when certain parallels surface such as attending a certain school, sharing common influences, or even certain images repeating in the work. I also admire the different writing styles, from how words are arranged on a page, to how a poem is used...whether its to describe a moment in time, celebrate a person who has passed, or just reflect on the current state of society.
This book has a wide range of poems from former slaves and is very interesting to read. It shows how much passion these men and women had for poetry by learning things behind their masters backs.
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