Heralding Dawn: An Anthology of Verse



Heralding Dawn: An Anthology of Verse

This edition

"Heralding Dawn: An Anthology of Verse" . Ed. John Mason Brewer. Preface Henry Smith. Dallas: June Thomason, Printing, 1936. 45 pp.

Table of contents

Includes biographical sketches of the authors. "Selected and edited with a historical summary on the Texas Negroes' verse-making by J. Mason Brewer."

Commentary on anthology

Sapper, Neil. "Black Culture in Urban Texas: A Lone Star Renaissance." The African American Experience in Texas: An Anthology. Ed. Bruce A. Glasrud and James M. Smallwood. Lubbock: Texas Tech UP, 2007. 231-57. (Sapper's essay appears also in "Red River Valley Historical Review" 6.2 [Spring 1981].)
"J. Mason Brewer, a poet and folklorist . . . wrote with a dual purpose: he believed that black life in Texas deserved representation in literature, and he also hoped to arouse an interest among black people in their own artistic capacities. In keeping with his first artistic purpose, Brewer published 'Negrito,' a volume of dialect poetry, in which he attempted to include illustrations of the 'embodiment of the Negro Soul . . . in the uneducated Negro's own speech.' In a series of epigrammatic poems, Brewer managed to frame some incisive portraits of black politicians and clergymen. . . . Brewer attempted to fulfill his second artistic purpose in arousing 'Texas Negroes . . . to accomplish greater things . . . in poetry' with the publication of an anthology of verse written by black Texans. Brewer's anthology, 'Heralding Dawn,' contained a poem by Malcolm C. Conley that Brewer claimed was the earliest work by a black Texan to be published in a national publication. Conley's poem, 'American Ideals,' . . . was previously published in the journal of the NAACP, 'The Crisis'" (244).
"In 1936, at the time of the Texas Centennial Exposition, Brewer encouraged the members of the Bellerophon Quill Club of Booker T. Washington High School of Dallas to publish an anthology of poems that were dedicated to the Centennial Exposition. Although the verse written by the thirteen contributors was somewhat immature in expression, nevertheless it was thoughtful and vibrant in tone. Thus, in the midst of the decade of the Great Depression, J. Mason Brewer edited two anthologies of verse written by black Texans, both young and old, which were dedicated to the arousal of poetic expression among black Texans" (245). [Note: this second 1936 anthology edited by Brewer would appear to be the volume titled "Patriotic Moments, A Second Book of Verse by the Bellerophon Quill Club of the Booker T. Washington High School, Dallas, Texas," edited by J. Mason Brewer, Booker T. Washington High School (Dallas, Tex.). Bellerophon Quill Club. 1936. (24 pp.) There was also an earlier anthology of student verse edited by Brewer, in 1934, titled "Senior Sentiments and Junior Jottings." See, also, Bellerophon Quill Club, "A History of the Dallas High School for Negroes," ed. J. Mason Brewer, 1938 (Repr. Friends of the Dallas Public Library, 1991) (44 pp.). (High school anthologies are not included in the Anthologies of African American Writing project.)]
See also another anthology edited by Brewer, in the postwar period, "Silhouettes of Life" (see link below).

Cited in

• Kallenbach 1979 (gives publisher as "Superior Typesetting")
• [not in Kinnamon 1997]

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Silhouettes of Life See also Bibliographic Resource