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New Negro Poets: U.S.A. is officially divided into five parts—"lyrical,

protest, personal, and general descriptions, and personal reflective statements."

The interests overlap, of course, at many points.





Books by Langston Hughes

Weary Blues (1926) / The Collected Poems of Langston Hughes  /  The Ways of White Folks (Stories) / The Big Sea: An Autobiography

Best of Simple    /  I Wonder as I Wander: An Autobiographical Journey  / New Negro Poets U.S.A.

Not Without Laughter  /Five Plays by Langston Hughes / Selected Poems of Langston Hughes

Ask Your Mama: Twelve Moods for Jazz / Fine Clothes to the Jew / The Collected Works of Langston Hughes (Poems 1921-1940)

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New Negro Poets U.S.A.

Edited by Langston Hughes

Foreword by Gwendolyn Brooks

Indiana University Press, Bloomington & London Eighth Printing 1970, Copyright 1964, 127 pages

*   *   *   *   *

Love Withheld

"Every Negro poet has 'something to say'," wrote Gwendolyn Brooks in 1950, hanging out a precarious shingle for all her Negro colleagues. "Simply because he is a Negro, he cannot escape having some important things to say." This same claim is invoked in the foreword to this collection of 37 new Negro poets, but what the book proves is happily quite the opposite: it is because they are poets, not Negroes, that they have something to say.

The poets are all young, but none of them seems to feel obliged to say something Negro, and their apparent lack of concern for the social revolution that will certainly be their generation's accomplishment may seem puzzling. But with the racial struggle now moved into the open, the poets are free to turn their thoughts to other matters, and they write with an invigorating rustle.

Some of the poems, of course, are protest pieces, and a few even come in the tired, familiar voice of the hipster:

It is time for everybody to swing

(Life don't mean a thing if it don't swing)

But the most striking qualities of the poems that address the racial crisis are their personal depth and indirection: the pain their words imply could be anyone's. Some have the ring of ghetto humor:

I stand in my low east window looking down.

Am I in the wrong slum?

But by looking out another window, a poet such as LeRoi Jones perceives a malaise beyond sociology:

What I know of the mind

seems to end here;

Just outside my face.

I wish some weird looking animal

would come along.

Expectedly, 37 new poets turn out to be about 30 too many, but among the best are some whose work deserves a longer hearing than the book provides—David Henderson, Audre Lorde, Conrad Kent Rivers, and the late Ray Durem. Jones, in particular, has a wit-and bitter whimsy that raises the simplest words to the level of poetry:

Each morning

I go down

to Gansevoort St.

and stand on the docks.

I stare out

at the horizon

until it gets up

and comes to embrace

me. I

make believe

it is my father.

This is known

as genealogy.

Source: TIME magazine (Jun. 5, 1964)

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NEW NEGRO POETS: U.S.A., edited by Langston Hughes. These 37 young Negro poets seem to have read their Wallace Stevens and Robert Lowell, along with everyone else. The result is highly personal verse, much of it good, more of it promising.

Source: TIme

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At the present time, poets who happen also to be negroes are twice-tried. They have to write poetry, and they have to remember that they are negroes. Often they wish that they could solve the negro question once and for all, and go on from such success to the composition of textured sonnets or buoyant villanelles about the transience of a raindrop, or the gold-stuff of the sun. They are likely to find significances in those subjects not instantly obvious to their fairer fellows. The raindrop may seem to them to represent racial tears—and those might seem, indeed, other than transient. the golden sun might remind them that they are burning.

In the work of most of today's Negro poets the reader will discover evidences of double dedication, hints that the artists have accepted a two-headed responsibility. Few have favored a trek without flags or emblems of any racial kind; and even those few, in their deliberate "renunciation," have in effect spoken racially, have offered race-fed testimony of several sorts.

In 1950 I remarked in Phylon, "Every Negro poet has 'something to say'. Simply because he is a Negro, he cannot escape having important things to say. His mere body, for that matter, is an eloquence. His quiet walk down the street is a speech to the people. Is a rebuke, is a plea, is a school. But no real artist is going to be content with offering raw materials." This is as true today—when we, white and black, are a collective pregnancy that is going to proceed to its inevitability, getting worse before it gets better—as it was before the major flower of the volcano.

New Negro Poets: U.S.A. is officially divided into five parts—"lyrical, protest, personal, and general descriptions, and personal reflective statements." The interests overlap, of course, at many points. But on any page the reader is apt to notice passion, or a desperate comedy, or an adult anger which may be intellectual or intestinal, or a wishful joy. he may sight lightning, working through the mesh of a seemingly becalmed body of meditation.

The large triumph here is the realization on the part of the majority of these poets that no matter how important are their informing truths, poetry is to be the result of their involvement with emotion and idea and pen and paper. Success is not the reward of every effort. But there is enough magic, enough sure flight, enough meaningful strength to inspire a happy surmise that here are some of the prevailing stars of an early tomorrow. —Gwendolyn Brooks

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This Morning

Jay Wright


Love Song

Samuel Allen


Point of No Return

Mari Evans


And Fall Shall Sit in Judgment

Audre Lorde


The Treehouse

James A. Emanuel


If There Be Sorrow

Mari Evans



Naomi Long Madgett


Three Kings

James P. Vaughn




Far from Africa

Margaret Danner



Ray Durem


It Is Time

Ted Joans


My America

Oliver La Grone


This Hour

Oliver La Grone


Bathed Is My Blood

Oliver La Grone



Naomi Long Madgett


O White Mistress

Don Johnson


The Southern Road

Dudley Randall


On Passing Two Negroes

Conrad Kent Rivers


Legacy: My South

Dudley Randall


The Still Voice of Harlem

Conrad Kent Rivers


Face of Poverty

Lucy Smith


The Map

G.C. Oden




Blues and Bitterness

Lerone Bennett


Beale Street, Memphis

Thurmond Snyder


Lines to Garcia Lorca

LeRoi Jones


For Lover Man, and All the    Other Young Men Who Failed to Return from World War II

Mance Williams



John Coltrane—An Impartial Review

Alfred B. Spellman


The Citizen

Vilma Howard


Memorial Wreath

Dudley Randall


Zapata & The Landlord

Alfred B. Spellman



Isabella M. Brown


Movie Queen

James P. Vaughn


Two Ladies Bidding Us "Good Morning"

James P. Vaughn





Julian Bond


A Year Without Seasons

Mance Williams


The Noonday April Sun

George Love



Solomon Edwards



Tom Dent



Allen Polite



LeRoi Jones


Each Morning

LeRoi Jones



Solomon Edwards


Sketches of Harlem

David Henderson


Shrine to What Should Be

Mari Evans


Madness One Monday Evening

Julia Fields


. . . and the old women gathered

Mari Evans


Come Visit My Garden

Tom Dent


Wedding Procession

James A. Emanuel



Solomon Edwards


The .38

Ted Joans



Vivian Ayers



Julian Bond


The Beast With Chrome Teeth

Thurmond Snyder



Thurmond Snyder


Review from Staten Island

G.C. Oden


A Private Letter to Brazil

G.C. Oden




If the Stars Should Fall

Samuel Allen


Preface to a Twenty Volume Suicide Note

LeRoi Jones


The Voyage of Jimmy Poo

James A. Emanuel



Carl Gardener


Downtown-Boy Uptown

David Henderson


The Distant Drum

Calvin C. Hernton



Calvin C. Hernton


Am Driven Mad

Allen Polite



Helen Morgan Brooks


Where Have You Gone . . . ?

Mari Evans



Audre Lorde


Four sheets to the wind and a one-way ticket to France

Conrad Kent Rivers



Helen Morgan Brooks


I Heard a Young Man Saying

Julia Fields


Two Poems

Robert J. Abrams


When I Awoke

Raymond Patterson


The Pale Blue Casket

Oliver Pitcher


Raison d'Etre

Oliver Pitcher


Biographical Notes  


Index of Names  


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Biographical Notes

Robert J. Abrams, born in Philadelphia, March 1924, now lives in Brooklyn. He has a deep interest in the folk arts of the Negro people and has formed a company called Benin, Inc., to bring those arts to the American theatre and concert hall. A graphic artist holding a M.F.A. degree from catholic University, Washington, his varied career has ranged from sales manager of a wall Street brokerage firm to program director of a community settlement house. A very sensitive observer of life with a deep interest in metaphysics, Robert Abrams has kept an account of personal impressions and experiences since early childhood which he sometime plans to weave into a book.

Samuel Allen was born in Columbus, Ohio. Following his college years as a student of creative writing under James Weldon Johnson at Fisk University, he enrolled at the Harvard Law School, and later studied at the Sorbonne in Paris. There the late Richard Wright was instrumental in having Allen's poems published in Presence Africaine and for the same magazine, Allen translated into English Sartre's Black Orpheus. While doing his army service in Europe, he published his first book of poems Effenbeinzaehne (Ivory Tusks), in a bilingual version in Heidelberg, Germany, under the pseudonym of Paul Vesey. He has travelled widely in Africa and Latin America, and is currently Assistant General Counsel in the Legal Department of the United States Information Agency in Washington.

Vivian Ayers was born in Chester South Carolina, the daughter of a blacksmith. She attended Barber-Scotia College in Concord and was graduated from Bennett College in Greensboro where her major interests were drama, music, and the dance. She ahs taught English at the University of Houston. Her published work includes a volume of poems, Spice of Dawns, and an allegorical drama of freedom and the space age, Hawk, which was performed on the University of Houston Educational Television Station, as well as on stage there. She spent a year in Mexico and members of the Ballet Nacional of Mexico appeared in her musical tragi-comedy, Bow Boly. Mrs. Ayers, with her three children, resides in Houston where she edits a quarterly publication, Adept, described on the masthead as being "devoted to subjects of universal human interest."

Julian Bond (Horace Julian Bond) was born in Nashville, Tennessee, in 1940) His father, Horace Mann Bond, former president of Lincoln University (Pennsylvania), is a distinguished educational authority now on the staff of Atlanta University. Julian attended Morehouse College in Atlanta, worked on the Atlanta Enquirer, and is now an executive of the Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee active in working for integration throughout the South.

Helen Morgan Brooks was born in Redding, Pennsylvania, of a Quaker family. She is a graduate of St. Augustine's College in Raleigh, North Carolina, and has spent some time in study at Pendle Hill, a Quaker center in Wallingford, Pennsylvania. She is a teacher in the public schools of Philadelphia. Poetry, she says, was her first love and she began composing verses as a small child. She has contributed to various anthologies of the Delaware Poetry Society of which she is a member, has published two volumes of poems, From These My Years and Against Whatever Sky, and is editor of the poetry magazine, Approach.

Isabella Maria Brown of Natchez, Mississippi, is a former teacher who lived for a time in Chicago, but has returned to Natchez where she is now a beautician, a housewife, and mother of two sons, one of whom is in the Navy. as a girl she saw the famous Rhythm Club fire in Natchez and has never forgotten the horror of it. She came from a large family of nine brothers and sisters, was tutored at home as a child, and began studying piano at the age of six. She composes the words and music of songs as well as writing poetry and fascinating letters to fiends all over the country.

Margaret Danner was born in Kentucky but spent most of her married life in Chicago where she was an assistant editor of Poetry. Her poems have brought her numerous awards and a John hay Whitney Fellowship. She has been Poet-in-Residence at Wayne State in Detroit and now lives in that city where her home, Boone House, is a center for artists and writers. In 1963 a book of her poems, To Flower, appeared and a recording of her poems has recently been issued by Motown Records.

Additional information on Margaret Danner from Arna Bontemps' American Negro Poetry (1974): Margaret Danner (1915-) who now lives in Detroit was born in Pryorsburg, Kentucky, but has spent the greater part of her life in Chicago, where she was at one time associated with Poetry: The Magazine of Verse. A selection of her poems appearing in that magazine prompted the John Hay Whitney Opportunity Fellowships Committee to offer her a trip to Africa. In 1962 the literary group with which she is associated in detroit was featured in a special issue of the Bulletin of negro history. She is interested in French and African art, and published a collection of verse in 1968 entitled Iron Lace. In that same issue she received an award from Poets in Concert, and in 1970 she was poet poet-in-residence at Virginia Union University in Richmond (217-218).

Ray Durem was born in Seattle, Washington. At the age of 14 he ran away from home to join the Navy and later became a member of the International Brigades during the Civil War in Spain. In recent years he lived with his wife and daughters in Guadalajuara, Mexico, where he operated a guest house. Taken with a lingering illness, he came to California for treatment and died in Los Angeles in December, 1963. His poems have been translated and anthologized in Europe as well as appearing in various collections in the United States.

Solomon Edwards was born 1932 in Indianapolis and is a graduate of Indiana University where in 1953 he received the Indiana University Writers Conference Poetry Award. He has taken courses at Marian College and New York University, and has studied under Louise Bogan, John Malcolm Brinnin, Richard Wilbur, and Samuel Yellen. His poems have appeared in Voices and Cornucopia, and he has recited poetry to jazz with the Dave Baker Quartet.

James A. Emanuel, born in Nebraska, was in his youth a cowboy. After serving in the armed forces in the Philippines, he studied at Howard and Northwestern Universities and is now an instructor in the Department of English at the City College of New York. he lives with his wife and son in the suburb of Mount Vernon, New York. In 1962 Emanuel received the Ph.D. degree from Columbia University for his dissertation on the short stories of Langston Hughes, and is currently working on a biography of Hughes for teenagers.

Mari Evans, born in Toledo, Ohio, studied fashion design. Now associate editor of an industrial magazine in Indianapolis, she composes songs as well as poems, plays both piano and organ, and is a choir director. She has two sons. Her favorite sport is tennis.

Julia Fields was born in Bessamer, Alabama. A graduate of Knoxville College in Tennessee, she has lived in New York, been in residence at the Bread Loaf Writers Conference in new England, and studied for a summer in Scotland. She now teaches English in a Birmingham high school and gives occasional readings of her poetry.

Carl Gardner was born  in 1931 in wshington, D.C., where he still lives. After his military services in the Air Force, he received a Bachelor of Arts degree from howard University and is now in the Graduate School there. He writes poetry, short stories, and plays while at the same time working toward the completion of a novel.

David Henderson, who has just turned twenty-one, was born in New York city and studied writing at the New School for Social Research there/ His poems have been published in Umbra, the Seventh Street Quarterly, and The Black American. He is currently at work on his first novel and sometimes appears as an actor in little theatre groups.

Calvin C. Hernton comes from Chattanooga, Tennessee. he studied at Talladega College and Fisk University in Nashville. He has taught English at various Southern colleges, including Edward waters College in Jacksonville where two of his plays were produced on campus. he is now living and writing in new York while seeking publication of a first novel, and acting as one the editors of the poetry magazine Umbra.

Vilma Howard, whose poetry has appeared in Phylon and the Paris Review, is a born New Yorker, who, after her marriage to a young Englishman, now lives in Lesham gardens, London, but frequently travels on the continent. She is a graduate of Fisk University, has one child, and sometimes works as a free lance journalist.

Ted Joans, whose father was an entertainer on Mississippi riverboats, was born on such a boat at Cairo, Illinois, on the fourth of July, 1928. early in life he played a trumpet and has had a long-time interest in jazz, which helped to form the style of his poetry. From New York's Greenwich Village, where he was hailed both as a talented painter and a "beatnik" poet, Joans moved to Tangiers and married a Norwegian girl in Morocco where he continues to write and paint. He often travels to such romantic places as Timbuctoo for inspiration. His baby son is named Patrice Lumumba Joans. Ted has published two books of poems, Beat and All of Ted Joans, as well as a humorous pictorial, The Hipsters, satirizing the Beat Generation.

Don Allen Johnson, who has recently decided to use the pen name Mustafa, for his poetry, was born in Chattanooga, Tennessee, in 1942. During his childhood his parents moved to Cleveland, Ohio, where he now lives after briefly attending Central State college in Wilberforce. There several of his poems were published in the campus newspaper. Without completing college, Johnson quit the campus for what he terms "a philosophical quest for certainty"  which ahs lately taken him travelling throughout the United States.

LeRoi Jones was born in Newark, new jersey, in 1934. he studied at Howard University., Columbia University, and the New school for social research in New York. His service in the Air Force carried him to Puerto Rico, Europe, Africa, and the Middle East. He is editor of the avant-garde magazine, Yungen, and former co-editor of the mimeographed publication, The Floating Bear, in Greenwich Village, and a writer on jazz for Downbeat, Metronome, Jazz and the Jazz Review. His work has also appeared in poetry, The Saturday Review, The Nation, and The Evergreen Review. He has published a book of poems, Preface to a Twenty Volume Suicide Note, and a study of Negro music in America, Blues People, and is the author of several plays. he teaches creative writing at the New school while completing a study of the contemporary Negro intellectual in America.

Oliver La Grone, as well as being a poet, is a distinguished sculptor. he was born in McAlester, Oklahoma, attended Howard University, the University of New Mexico, and the Detroit public schools where his first book of poems, Footfalls, was published. His latest publication is They Speak of Dawns, a Duo-Poem Written for the Centennial Year of the Emancipation Proclamation.

Audre Lorde attended Hunter college in new York city where she was born in 1934. She studied for a time at the University of Mexico, and received a degree in library science from columbia University. To pay for her education she did ghost writing, worked as a medical clerk, an arts and crafts supervisor, and an X-ray technician. She now works as Young Adult Librarian in the Public Library at Mount Vernon, New York.

George Love was born in Charlotte, North Carolina, of a family of teachers. his father was on the staff at Tuskegee. His mother still teaches grammar school in Charlotte. George graduated from Morehouse College in Atlanta, then worked for the United States government recently in Indonesia, as did his parents. He has travelled widely in Europe and South America, and is now an art photographer in New York City and a part of a cooperative photo gallery where young photographers may exhibit.

Naomi Long Madgett, born in Norfolk, is a graduate of Virginia State college and holds a Master of Arts degree from Wayne University. She now teaches English at Northwestern High School in Detroit. She is the mother of three children. Her books of poems are called Songs to a Phantom Nightingale and One And the Many.

G. C. Oden (Gloria Catherine Oden) is a graduate of Howard University and its Law School. She ahs held a John Jay Whitney Fellowship for Creative Writing and been a staff member of the magazine, Urbanite. She signs her poems with her initials, she says, as "a way of being anonymous." Miss Oden lives  in New York's Greenwich Village where she reviews books, writes poetry, occasionally reads aloud in coffee houses, and has been working on a novel. she does editorial work for the American Institute of Physics. her poems have been published in The Saturday Review, The Poetry Digest, and The Half Moon.

Raymond Richard Patterson, a native New Yorker, received his degrees from Lincoln university (Pennsylvania) and New York University. During his undergraduate days, he received a first prize for poetry in an American College and University competition sponsored by the University of Pennsylvania Press. His poems have appeared in the English anthologies, Sixes and Sevens and Beyond the Blues, as well as in the bilingual anthology, Zag Hoe Swart ik Was, published in Holland. before becoming a teacher of English in the New York public schools, he worked as a counselor of delinquent youngsters at the Youth House for Boys. In Harlem he recently organized a series of readings for young Negro poets at the Market Place Gallery. He is married, lives on Long Island, writes short stories, and is now working on his first novel.

Oliver Pitcher was born in Massachusetts and has studied at Bard College and the Dramatic Workshops of the New School in New York City where he formerly  resided. His primary interest is in playwriting but he has published one book of poems, Dust of Silence, and his poems have been included in American, English, and German anthologies. He now lives in Poughkeepsie, New York.

Allen Polite was born shortly before Christmas, 1932, in Newark. he came to New York to study philosophy at Columbia University and remained there as a bookseller specializing in Oriental literature. Recently he has become a code expert at the United Nations. His poetry has appeared in Yungen and in the London anthology, Sixes and Sevens.

Dudley Randall was born in Washington, D.C., graduate from Wayne University in Detroit, and received a masters degree from the University of Michigan in library science. During World War II he served in the South pacific. he has been librarian at Lincoln university, Missouri, and Morgan College in Baltimore. He now lives in Detroit and is employed by the Wayne County public Library there.

Conrad Kent Rivers, born in 1933 In Atlantic City, was graduated from Wilberforce University. he later continued his studies at Indiana University and the Chicago Teachers College. After a term in the Armed Forces, he settled down in Chicago where he now teaches and writes. His poems have appeared in the Kenyon Review, Antioch Review, Free Lance, Signet, and The Ohio Poetry Review. His booklets of poems include Perchance to Dream, Othello, and These Black Bodies and This Sunburnt Face. He acknowledges the influences of Carl Sandburg and Langston Hughes on his work.

Alfred B. Spellman, whose father and mother were both school teachers, was born in 1935 near Elizabeth City, North Carolina. In Washington he studied at Howard University and the Howard Law School but, preferring writing to law, he now works as manager of the paperback division of Greenwich Village bookstore and supplements his income by writing record reviews for various jazz publications. For the Pacifica Foundation's FM radio stations, Spellman moderates taped programs, does book reviews, and reads occasional papers. he also produces a series of verse plays for radio, and is one of the music editors of Kulchur. His first book of poems, The Beautiful Day and Others, appeared in 1964.

Lucy Smith comes from Wilmington, North Carolina, but attended Penn High School in Philadelphia where she became poetry editor of her school paper and where she still lives, working as a furrier. Her first booklet of poems is called No Middle Ground, and she is now compiling a second with illustrations by herself.

Thurmond L. Snyder studied at LeMoyne College in Memphis, Tennessee, his hometown. He published his first poems in campus publications and in the Anthology of College Poetry. In 1961 he received first prize for poetry in the Reader's Digest-United Negro College Fund Creative Writing Contest, and a year later was a special awards winner in the same contest.

James Vaughn was born in Xenia, Ohio. He did his military service in the South pacific, and received degrees in journalism and in English Literature from Ohio State University. He taught at Southern University in Louisiana and at West Virginia State College. Currently he works as an editor in a New York publishing house while writing plays and poetry.

Mance Williams of Gary, Indiana, was Literary Editor of The Blue and Gold, the campus magazine at Southern University, in Louisiana, where he recently completed his studies. His main interests are philosophy, jazz, and civil rights.

Jay Wright was born in Albuquerque, New Mexico in 1935, but lived most of his youth in San Pedro, California, where his father was a shipyard worker. At the age of 17 as a catcher he played baseball with the Mexicali Eagles of the Arizona-Texas league, later graduating to a Fresno team in the California League. before being called to the Army, he majored in chemistry at the University of Mexico. After three years of military service in Germany, he began the study of comparative literature at the University of California at Berkeley where he graduated. thinking he might enter religious work, for a time he attended Union theological Seminary in new York, but changed to the Graduate school of Rutgers University for more studies in literature. There he is doing a thesis on Calderon while acting as a graduate assistant. Short plays by Wright have been produced by the Dramatic department of the University of California at Berkeley.

Note: The above "Biographical Notes" are not current. They were published in 1970. We welcome updated bios of the above poets. . . . Posting of this material was inspired by  and a response to a reading of Aldon Lynn Nielson's Black Chant: Languages of African-American Postmodernism (1997) and his emphasis on the scholarly neglect of many of these proto-Black Arts poets in present-day anthologies and academic classrooms.

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Scholarly Books on Langston Hughes

Martha Cobb. Harlem,  Haiti, and Havana: A comparative critical study of Langston Hughes, Jacques Roumain, Nicolás Guillén. 1979.


Faith Berry. Before & Beyond Harlem: Biography of Langston Hughes. 1995.


Onwuchekwa Jemie Langston Hughes: An Introduction to the Poetry (1985)


Edward J. Mullen. Langston Hughes in the Hispanic World and Haiti (1971)


Arnold Rampersad. The Life of Langston Hughes: Volume I: 1902-1941, I, Too, Sing America (Life of Langston Hughes, 1902-1941). 2002


Arnold Rampersad. The Life of Langston Hughes: Volume II: 1914-1967, I Dream a World (Life of Langston Hughes, 1941-1967). 2002


Steven C. Tracy. Langston Hughes and the Blues. 2001


R. Baxter Miller. The Art And Imagination of Langston Hughes. 2006.


Jonathan Scott Socialist Joy in the Writing of Langston Hughes. 2006

*   *   *   *   *'s 25 Best Selling Books



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*   *   *   *   *

1493: Uncovering the New World Columbus Created

By Charles C. Mann

I’m a big fan of Charles Mann’s previous book 1491: New Revelations of the Americas Before Columbus, in which he provides a sweeping and provocative examination of North and South America prior to the arrival of Christopher Columbus. It’s exhaustively researched but so wonderfully written that it’s anything but exhausting to read. With his follow-up, 1493, Mann has taken it to a new, truly global level. Building on the groundbreaking work of Alfred Crosby (author of The Columbian Exchange and, I’m proud to say, a fellow Nantucketer), Mann has written nothing less than the story of our world: how a planet of what were once several autonomous continents is quickly becoming a single, “globalized” entity.

Mann not only talked to countless scientists and researchers; he visited the places he writes about, and as a consequence, the book has a marvelously wide-ranging yet personal feel as we follow Mann from one far-flung corner of the world to the next. And always, the prose is masterful. In telling the improbable story of how Spanish and Chinese cultures collided in the Philippines in the sixteenth century, he takes us to the island of Mindoro whose “southern coast consists of a number of small bays, one next to another like tooth marks in an apple.” We learn how the spread of malaria, the potato, tobacco, guano, rubber plants, and sugar cane have disrupted and convulsed the planet and will continue to do so until we are finally living on one integrated or at least close-to-integrated Earth. Whether or not the human instigators of all this remarkable change will survive the process they helped to initiate more than five hundred years ago remains, Mann suggests in this monumental and revelatory book, an open question.

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The People Debate the Constitution, 1787-1788

By Pauline Maier

A notable historian of the early republic, Maier devoted a decade to studying the immense documentation of the ratification of the Constitution. Scholars might approach her book’s footnotes first, but history fans who delve into her narrative will meet delegates to the state conventions whom most history books, absorbed with the Founders, have relegated to obscurity. Yet, prominent in their local counties and towns, they influenced a convention’s decision to accept or reject the Constitution. Their biographies and democratic credentials emerge in Maier’s accounts of their elections to a convention, the political attitudes they carried to the conclave, and their declamations from the floor. The latter expressed opponents’ objections to provisions of the Constitution, some of which seem anachronistic (election regulation raised hackles) and some of which are thoroughly contemporary (the power to tax individuals directly). Ripostes from proponents, the Federalists, animate the great detail Maier provides, as does her recounting how one state convention’s verdict affected another’s. Displaying the grudging grassroots blessing the Constitution originally received, Maier eruditely yet accessibly revives a neglected but critical passage in American history.—Booklist

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The White Masters of the World

From The World and Africa, 1965

By W. E. B. Du Bois

W. E. B. Du Bois’ Arraignment and Indictment of White Civilization (Fletcher)

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Ancient African Nations

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Negro Digest / Black World

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The Death of Emmett Till by Bob Dylan  The Lonesome Death of Hattie Carroll  Only a Pawn in Their Game

Rev. Jesse Lee Peterson Thanks America for Slavery

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The Journal of Negro History issues at Project Gutenberg

The Haitian Declaration of Independence 1804  / January 1, 1804 -- The Founding of Haiti 

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