By Sterling Professor of the Humanities Harold Bloom
Makes a speciality of the central African-American poets from colonial occasions to the Harlem Renaissance and the realm conflict II period. This name covers poets that come with Phillis Wheatley, writer of the 1st quantity of verse released through an African American, and the seminal figures Gwendolyn Brooks, Countee Cullen, Paul Lawrence Dunbar, and Langston Hughes.
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Extra info for African-American Poets: 1700s-1940s (Bloom's Modern Critical Views)
In his essay, “Race and the Negro Writer,” Gloster affirms his position as a staunch idealist for integration by outlining the ways in which an effusive use of “racial subject matter has handicapped the Negro writer” (369). He sees the Black writer as falling literary prey to the menace of “certain critics and publishers” who would “lure him into the deadly trap of cultural segregation by advising him that the Black ghetto is his proper milieu and that he will write best when he is most Negroid” (369).
In Melvin B. Tolson, Joy Flasch discusses the complexity of Tolson’s work and the minuscule critical attention he received, like Hayden and Brooks, for poetry that defies easy explications (Flasch ii). J. Bolden until 1953 (74). The work for which he is best known, Harlem Gallery: Book I, The Curator, was originally written in 1932, but was also rejected by publishers until its 1965 publication (ii). As testimony to the acknowledged stature of Tolson’s work, he was able to engage eminent critics to write the introductions, but ultimately, it was that same influential status of the critics writing the introductions, not Tolson’s poetry, that became his early calling card of literary acceptability (74, 134).
Finally, the sarcastic contrast of little peoples with great men points at numbers: the Paris conference decides the fate of millions of people. And that undercuts the seeming resignation in the second-to-last line. International solidarity and daring—implied by the Georgia parallel—would be able to throw off the white world’s burden. Echoes of the October Revolution? The “we” in the poem clearly sides with the so-called little peoples, probably another allusion to a contemporary phrase. ) McKay here parodies conventional form and diction to achieve a double vision: we are invited to read “weak and white” as “strong and black” to see the Paris conference as a primitive ritual of human sacrifice.
African-American Poets: 1700s-1940s (Bloom's Modern Critical Views) by Sterling Professor of the Humanities Harold Bloom