Black History| Paul L. Dunbar


Paul Laurence Dunbar

African American Poet, Novelist, Playwrite

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As a poet and writer I felt it was fitting that I dedicate my Black History Month posts to my favorite African American writers, poets, and authors.

The son of former slaves Paul Laurence Dunbar was born June 27, 1872 in Dayton, Ohio.  His own father had escaped from slavery in Kentucky and served in the Massachusetts 55th Regiment during the Civil War.
What I love most about much of Dunbar’s work is the use of the dialect associated with the southern states of his time.  Paul Laurence Dunbar wrote his first poem at the age of 6 and by the time he was 16 some of his poems were being published in local newspapers.  His literary style is described as linguistically colorful with a brilliant rhetorical structure. Dunbar was prolific writer during his relatively short career he wrote a dozen books of poetry, four books of short stories, four novels, lyrics for a musical, and a play.  His first collection of short stories Folks From Dixie (1898), my personal favorite, it is  sometimes described as a “harsh examination of racial prejudice.”

Paul Laurence Dunbar died from tuberculosis on February 6, 1906 at the age of 33.  Here is one of my favorite Dunbar poems of course it’s about love!

Invitation To LovePaul Laurence Dunbar

COME when the nights are bright with stars
or when the moon is mellow;

Come when the sun his golden bars
Drops on the hay-field yellow.
Come in the twilight soft and gray,
Come in the night or come in the day,
Come, O love, whene’er you may,

You are sweet, O Love, dear Love,
You are soft as the nesting dove.
Come to my heart and bring it rest
As the bird flies home to its welcome nest.

Come when my heart is full of grief
Or when my heart is merry;
Come with the falling of the leaf
Or with the redd’ning cherry.
Come when the year’s first blossom blows,
Come when the summer gleams and glows,
Come with the winter’s drifting snows,
And you are welcome, welcome.

Takei Inspirations

Takei Inspirations

A poet, a writer, a teacher, an entrepreneur, and an amateur photographer

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4 thoughts on “Black History| Paul L. Dunbar

  1. The Lovely Photog says:

    Beautiful poetry! He is such an inspiration! There’s a school named after him in my home state. I love poetry and he is definitely a great example to showcase that during Black History month! Thank you for this wonderful post!

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