Anne Spencer’s “Dunbar” for National Poetry Month

In 1922, amazing Afro-American polymath James Weldon Johnson* published an audacious anthology titled The Book of American Negro Poetry.   Not only did it claim that there was a tradition worth an anthology at that early date; in his preface Johnson made the observation that Afro-American music was disproportionately important in American musical culture, and furthermore … Continue reading Anne Spencer’s “Dunbar” for National Poetry Month

Zalka Peetruza (Who Was Christened Lucy Jane) for National Poetry Month

Here’s a sharp short poem about an alienated performer written by a little-known Afro-American poet who slots in between Paul Laurence Dunbar and Langston Hughes, Raymond G. Dandridge.*   Given that most 20th century Afro-American poets get placed in the “Harlem Renaissance” shelf-section, it’s notable that all three of these Black poets have connections with Ohio. … Continue reading Zalka Peetruza (Who Was Christened Lucy Jane) for National Poetry Month

Some past Parlando Project pieces relating to Black History Month

This project has gone on so long and produced so many pieces, so before February ends I thought I’d highlight five of the most popular pieces we’ve presented in past years that deal with Afro-American experience or history. The bold-faced start of each listing is a link to take you to the original Parlando Project … Continue reading Some past Parlando Project pieces relating to Black History Month

I’m not a scholar, but I play one on the Internet

Let me write a post about something that I experienced recently, just like a real blog would do. Early this month I attended a virtual symposium Sonnets from the American  organized by Dora Malech and Laura T. Smith.*  I’ve heard “Zoom Fatigue” is a thing now, but I found it energizing. I’m still integrating things … Continue reading I’m not a scholar, but I play one on the Internet