Friday, February 11, 2005

Politics - Black History Month

I've never liked Black History Month--it's always seemed a patronising pat on the head to a minority culture that for the rest of the year is ignored unless it riots.

I don't really care all that much about black history or culture, either. I'm white, I've got my own culture, and my own sub-cultures within that culture (guns, heterosexuality, conservative politics).

That said, Saturday's poetry is by Paul Laurence Dunbar, a Negro poet of the 19th century.

From The Paul Laurence Dunbar Homepage:

Paul Laurence Dunbar was the first African-American to gain national eminence as a poet. Born in 1872 in Dayton, Ohio, he was the son of ex-slaves and classmate to Orville Wright of aviation fame.

Although he lived to be only 33 years old, Dunbar was prolific, writing short stories, novels, librettos, plays, songs and essays as well as the poetry for which he became well known. He was popular with black and white readers of his day, and his works are celebrated today by scholars and school children alike.

An interesting biographical page is here.

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