Paul Laurence Dunbar

1872 - 1906

Paul Laurence Dunbar was an American poet, novelist and playwright whose reputation was based on his verses and short stories written in black dialect. He is known as the first African American writer who tried to live off of his writings. Dunbar was also one of the first black authors to gain national fame and international reputation in the United States.

Phillis Wheatley

1753 - 1784

First ever African-American female poet published, Phillis Wheatley was kidnapped in West Africa when she was 8 years old and brought to Boston on a slave ship. There, she was purchased by a tailor called John Wheatley to be his wife’s servant. The Wheatleys acknowledged Phillis' talents and allowed her to learn to read and write. Her first book was published in London in 1773.

Raymond G. Dandridge

1883 - 1930

Raymond G. Dandridge was nicknamed “The Paul Laurence Dunbar of Cincinnati” because his use of dialect and his subject matter closely matched that of 1900s poet Paul Laurence Dunbar. Dandridge emulated Dunbar’s works, but he also took part in the 1920s Harlem Renaissance, using his art as a means for the social advancement of blacks. Despite his relative seclusion from Harlem, New York, and ... [+]

W.E.B Du Bois


American scholar, civil rights activist, Pan-Africanist, pacifist and writer, he published many articles, poems, novels and speeches which awarded him large recognition after his death. After the US failed to renew his passport, he became a citizen of Ghana in 1963, where he died of old age while working on an encyclopedia of the African diaspora.

William Stanley Braithwaite

1878 - 1962

An editor, anthologist, critic, and published poet himself, Braithwaite was a key figure in the revival of American poetry in the early decades of the twentieth century. From 1913 to 1929 he published the Anthology of Magazine Verse, an important annual collection that showcased the work of emerging poets on the American scene. "At a critical moment in our nation's literature, it was his voice ... [+]