Golden Slippers: An Anthology of Negro Poetry for Young Readers



Golden Slippers: An Anthology of Negro Poetry for Young Readers

This edition

"Golden Slippers: An Anthology of Negro Poetry for Young Readers" . Ed. Arna Bontemps. With drawings by Henrietta Bruce Sharon. New York: Harper & Row, 1941. vii+220 pp. $2.50

Other editions, reprints, and translations

• Repr. 1946. xii+220 pp. ("Fifth edition")

Table of contents

I. Waking Up
• Paul Laurence Dunbar / Dawn
• William Stanley Braithwaite / "I Am Glad Daylong"
• Paul Laurence Dunbar / In the Morning
• Frank Marshall Davis / Midsummer Morn
• Mary Effie Lee Newsome / Sassafras Tea
• Langston Hughes / Youth

II. Playtime
• Traditional / Did You Feed My Cow?
• Traditional / Bedbug
• Traditional / Precious Things
• Traditional / I'm a Round-Town Gent
• Traditional / Take Yo' Time, Miss Lucy
• Mary Effie Lee Newsome / Quoits

III. Clothes Lines and Water Pails
• Beatrice M. Murphy / Signs
• Mary Effie Lee Newsome / The Baker's Boy
• Gladys May Casely Hayford / The Serving Girl
• Waring Cuney / No Images
• Georgia Douglas Johnson / I've Learned to Sing

IV. Hard Work
• Langston Hughes / Florida Road Workers
• Traditional / John Henry
• M. B. Toleson [sic] / John Henry in Harlem
• Claude McKay / Two-an'-six
• Georgia Douglas Johnson / Tomorrow's Men
• Langston Hughes / The Negro Speaks of Rivers

V. Chariot Wheels
• James Weldon Johnson / The Creation
• Waring Cuney / Troubled Jesus
• Waring Cuney / Crucifixion
• Traditional / Swing Low, Sweet Chariot
• Traditional / The Gospel Train
• Traditional / Little David, Play on Yo' Harp
• Langston Hughes / Ma Lord
• Fenton Johnson / Who Is That A-Walking in the Corn?
• Fenton Johnson / The Lonely Mother
• Countee Cullen / For My Grandmother
• Arna Bontemps / Miracles
• James Weldon Johnson / Life Every Voice and Sing

VI. Feeling Blue
• James A. Bland / Carry Me Back to Old Virginny
• Claude McKay / Spring in New Hampshire
• Mary Effie Lee Newsome / The Cricket and the Star
• Claude McKay / Home Thoughts
• Georgia Douglas Johnson / Youth
• Wesley Curtright / Four-Leaf Clover

VII. Brown Boy and Girl
• Countee Cullen / Under the Mistletoe
• Wesley Curtright / Heart of the Woods
• Paul Laurence Dunbar / Li'l' Gal
• W. C. Handy / The Hesitating Blues
• Fenton Johnson / Puck Goes to Court
• William Stanley Braithwaite / Sea Lyric
• Claude McKay / After the Winter
• Georgia Douglas Johnson / Guardianship
• Frank Horne / To James

VIII. Rain, Flood and Big Water
• Mary Effie Lee Newsome / The Cotton Cat
• Frank Marshall Davis / Rain
• Arna Bontemps / Dark Girl
• Langston Hughes / Sailor
• Countee Cullen / The Wakeupworld
• Langston Hughes / In Time of Silver Rain

IX. Dressed Up
• Langston Hughes / When Sue Wears Red
• Helene Johnson / "Little Brown Boy"
• Countee Cullen / Red
• Langston Hughes / Dressed Up
• James A. Bland / Oh, Dem Golden Slippers

X. Big Cities
• Josephine Copeland / The Zulu King: New Orleans
• Helene Johnson / Bottled: New York
• Claude McKay / When Dawn Comes to the City: New York
• Claude McKay / The Tropics in New York: New York
• Langston Hughes / Trip: San Francisco
• Langston Hughes / City: San Francisco
• Richard V. Durham / Dawn Patrol: Chicago
• Langston Hughes / Havana Dreams: Havana
• Frank Marshall Davis / Tenement Room: Chicago
• Countee Cullen / Incident: Baltimore
• Fenton Johnson / Rulers: Philadelphia
• Marcus B. Christian / Song of Hannibal: Rome
• Langston Hughes / Heaven: The City Called Heaven

XI. North and South
• Claude McKay / The Spanish Needle
• Langston Hughes / The Snail
• Countee Cullen / The Unknown Color
• Robert A. Davis / Dust Bowl
• Ariel William Holloway / Northboun'
• Claude McKay / North and South
• Marcus B. Christian / Drums of Haiti

XII. Folks
• Sterling A. Brown / Sister Lou
• Fenton Johnson / Aunt Jane Allen
• Fenton Johnson / The Banjo Player
• Langston Hughes / Alabama Earth
• Jessie Fauset / "I Think I See Her"
• Countee Cullen / For a Lady I Know
• Countee Cullen / For Paul Laurence Dunbar
• Langston Hughes / Mother to Son
• Sterling A. Brown / After Winter

XIII. Sky Pictures
• Langston Hughes / Garment
• Helene Johnson / The Road
• Mary Effie Lee Newsome / Sky Pictures
• Robert A. Davis / Pastorale
• Dorothy Vena Johnson / Palace
• Langston Hughes / Cycle
• Arna Bontemps / The Daybreakers
• Langston Hughes / Winter Sweetness
• Dorothy Vena Johnson / Twinkling Gown
• Cora Ball Moton / Sight
• Georgia Douglas Johnson / Benediction

XIV. Sleep and Dreams
• Paul Laurence Dunbar / Lullaby
• Mary Effie Lee Newsome / Bats
• Langston Hughes / Dreams
• William Stanley Braithwaite / It's a Long Way
• Georgia Douglas Johnson / My Little Dreams
• Countee Cullen / For a Poet

Index of Authors
Index of Titles
Index of First Lines

Reviews and notices of anthology

• Ivy, James W. "Anthology of Negro Poetry." "The Crisis" (Dec. 1941): 395. [Google Books]

Commentary on anthology

• "The Bontemps anthology is chiefly recommended by its appeal to younger readers. The compilation is not the first intended primarily for youngsters, though the appeal of the latter work is wider than is that of the compilation by M. T. Pritchard and Mary Ovington, "Upward Path" (1920). Bontemps makes use of all of the advances in children’s books over the twenty-four year period. The illustrations are colorful and attractive and the selections are those charming bits of literary creation which may in many ways be representative of one of the purer streams in the literature of the Negro. One could wish, of course, that Bontemps or some other anthologist of equal ability compile a work which could replace "Little Black Sambo" and his animal friends in // that body of juvenile classics which forms the literary nourishment for America’s tots" (John S. Lash. "The Anthologist and the Negro Author." "Phylon" 8.1 [1947]: 68-76, at 75-76).

• "The poems in this pocket-sized volume may seem cute and complacent compared to the hard-edged verse by black authors in some contemporary children's anthologies. Published more than fifty years ago, the rhymes and short poems here have timeless charm. There is great diversity in the voices represented, from the urban themes of Langston Hughes and Countee Cullen to the Southern blues lyrics of William Christopher Handy. The verse is simple, evocative, and lyrical. Some of the poems are lullabies, some are spirituals like 'Swing Low, Sweet Chariot' that children will know—all grouped in such categories as 'Waking Up' and 'Big Cities,' with biographical information, illustrations, and a first-line index. Here is high-quality verse, but today's children and their parents may find some of it anachronistic" ("The Columbia Granger's Guide to Poetry Anthologies". Ed. William Katz, Linda Sternberg Katz, and Esther Crain. 2nd enlarged ed. New York: Columbia UP, 1994. 9)

Cited in

• Lash 1946: 723.
• Kinnamon 1997: 470.

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