Negro Caravan: Writings by American Negroes



Negro Caravan: Writings by American Negroes

This edition

"The Negro Caravan: Writings by American Negroes" . Ed. Sterling A. Brown, Arthur P. Davis, and Ulysses Lee. New York: Dryden Press, 1941. xviii+1,082 pp.

Other editions, reprints, and translations

• Repr. New York: Citadel Press (by arrangement with The Citadel Press), 1941.
• 2nd printing: New York: Dryden Press, 1943 (May).
• Repr. with new intro. by Julius Lester. New York: Arno/New York Times, 1969. xviii+1,082 pp.
• Repr. with new intro. by Julius Lester. Salem, NH: Ayer, 1987. xviii+1,082 pp.

Online access

• Internet Archive (Citadel Press 1941 edition)
• Internet Archive (Arno Press/New York Times 1969 edition)
• Internet Archive (Ayer Press 1987 edition)

Table of contents

• Preface
• Introduction

I. Short Stories
• Introduction: The Short Story
• Frederick Douglass / The Heroic Slave [excerpt]
• Charles W. Chesnutt / The Sheriff's Children
• Jean Toomer / Blood-burning Moon
• Jean Toomer / Avey
• Rudolph Fisher / Miss Cynthie
• John F. Matheus / Fog
• Cecil Blue / The Flyer
• George Schuyler / Black Warriors [excerpt]
• Langston Hughes / Slave on the Block
• Ted Poston / The Making of Mamma Harris
• Chester Himes / "The Night's for Cryin'"
• Richard Wright / Bright and Morning Star

II. Novels (Selections)
• Introduction: The Novel
• William Wells Brown / [Speculating in Slaves] [from "Clotelle" (1867)]
• William Wells Brown / [Quadroon; Octoroon]
• Martin R. Delany / [Conspiracy]
• Charles W. Chesnutt / [The Storm Breaks]
• James Weldon Johnson / [Camp Meeting]
• J. A. Rogers / [The Porter Debates the Senator]
• Walter White / [A Negro Doctor in the South]
• Jessie Fauset / [Color-Struck]
• Claude McKay / The Treeing of the Chef
• Rudolph Fisher / [Shine and the Sheba]
• Rudolph Fisher / [Miss Cramp and the Function] • George Schuyler / [A World-Shaking Discovery]
• Wallace Thurman / [Niggeratti Manor]
• Langston Hughes / Guitar
• George W. Henderson / [Dance]
• George E. Lee / [Sharecropping]
• Zora Neale Hurston / [Hurricane]
• Arna Bontemps / [Conspirators]
• Arna Bontemps / [The Trial]
• Waters E. Turpin / [Oystering]
• William Attaway / [Steel Mill Rhythm] [from "Blood on the Forge" (1941)]

III. Poetry
• Introduction: Poetry
• Phillis Wheatley / To the . . . Earl of Dartmouth
• Phillis Wheatley / His Excellency General Washington
• Phillis Wheatley / Liberty and Peace
• George Moses Horton / To George Moses Horton, Myself
• George Moses Horton / On Liberty and Slavery
• George Moses Horton / To Eliza
• James M. Whitfield / America
• Frances E. W. Harper / Eliza Harris
• Frances E. W. Harper / The Slave Auction
• Frances E. W. Harper / Bury Me in a Free Land
• Frances E. W. Harper / Let the Light Enter
• Alvery A. Whitman / Twasinta's Seminoles; or Rape of Florida [excerpt]
• Paul Laurence Dunbar / Ere Sleep Comes Down
• Paul Laurence Dunbar / The Party
• Paul Laurence Dunbar / At Candle-Lighting Time
• Paul Laurence Dunbar / Sympathy
• Paul Laurence Dunbar / We Wear the Mask
• Paul Laurence Dunbar / Forever
• Paul Laurence Dunbar / Robert Gould Shaw
• Paul Laurence Dunbar / Harriet Beecher Stowe
• Paul Laurence Dunbar / A Song
• Paul Laurence Dunbar / The Debt
• Paul Laurence Dunbar / Signs of the Times
• Paul Laurence Dunbar / A Christmas Folk Song
• Paul Laurence Dunbar / Itching Heels
• Paul Laurence Dunbar / A Death Song
• James Edwin Campbell / Ol' Doc' Hyar
• James Edwin Campbell / When Ol' Sis Judy Pray
• W. S. Braithwaite / The Watchers
• W. S. Braithwaite / Sandy Star
• W. E. B. DuBois / A Litany at Atlanta
• James Weldon Johnson / O Black and Unknown Bards
• James Weldon Johnson / Brothers
• James Weldon Johnson / Sence You Went Away
• James Weldon Johnson / The Prodigal Son
• James Weldon Johnson / Go Down Death
• James Weldon Johnson / St. Peter Relates an Incident
• Leslie Pinckney Hill / So Quietly
• Leslie Pinckney Hill / Tuskegee
• Georgia Douglass Johnson / The Heart of a Woman
• Georgia Douglass Johnson / The Suppliant
• Georgia Douglass Johnson / I Closed My Shutters Fast Last Night
• Georgia Douglass Johnson / I Want to Die While You Love Me
• Angelina W. Grimké / Hushed by the Hands of Sleep
• Angelina W. Grimké / Surrender
• Angelina W. Grimké / When the Green Lies over the Earth
• Angelina W. Grimké / A Winter Twilight
• Joseph Seamon Cotter, Sr / The Tragedy of Pete
• Joseph Seamon Cotter, Jr / And What Shall You Say?
• Joseph Seamon Cotter, Jr / Rain Music
• Fenton Johnson / Tired
• Fenton Johnson / The Scarlet Woman
• Claude McKay / Baptism
• Claude McKay / America
• Claude McKay / White Houses
• Claude McKay /If We Must Die
• Claude McKay / The Lynching
• Claude McKay / Flame-Heart
• Anne Spencer / Life-long, Poor Browning
• Anne Spencer / At the Carnival
• Anne Spencer / Before the Feast of Shushan
• Anne Spencer / Lines to a Nasturtium
• Jean Toomer / Song of the Son
• Jean Toomer / Georgia Dusk
• Countee Cullen / Heritage
• Countee Cullen / To John Keats, Poet at Springtime
• Countee Cullen / Incident
• Countee Cullen / A Brown Girl Dead
• Countee Cullen / From the Dark Tower
• Countee Cullen / Youth Sings a Song of Rosebuds
• George Leonard Allen / Pilate in Modern America
• George Leonard Allen / To Melody
• Jonathan Brooks / The Resurrection
• Jonathan Brooks / The Last Quarter Moon of the Dying Year
• Langston Hughes / The Negro Speaks of Rivers
• Langston Hughes / The Weary Blues
• Langston Hughes / To Midnight Nan at Leroy's
• Langston Hughes / Young Gal's Blues
• Langston Hughes / Song for a Dark Girl
• Langston Hughes / Let America Be America Again
• Langston Hughes / Song to a Negro Washwoman
• Waring Cuney / The Death Bed
• Waring Cuney / No Images
• Waring Cuney / Hard Time Blues
• Lucy Ariel Williams / Northboun'
• Frank Horne / Nigger
• Arna Bontemps / Nocturne at Bethesda
• Arna Bontemps / A Black Man Talks of Reaping
• Sterling A. Brown / Long Gone
• Sterling A. Brown / Slim in Hell
• Sterling A. Brown / Southern Road
• Sterling A. Brown / Old Lem
• Sterling A. Brown / Break of Day
• Sterling A. Brown / Strong Men
• Frank Marshall Davis / Snapshots of the Cotton South
• Frank Marshall Davis / Robert Whitmore
• Frank Marshall Davis / Arthur Ridgewood, M.D.
• Frank Marshall Davis / Giles Johnson, Ph. D.
• Melvin B. Tolson / Dark Symphony
• Richard Wright / I Have Seen Black Hand
• Owen Dodson / Cradle Song
• Owen Dodson / Miss Packard and Miss Giles
• Robert E. Hayden / Prophesy
• Robert E. Hayden / Gabriel
• Robert E. Hayden / Speech
• Robert E. Hayden / Obituary
• Robert E. Hayden / Bacchanal
• Margaret Walker / For My People

IV. Folk Literature
• Introduction: Folk Literature
• Spiritual / Sometimes I Feel Like a Motherless Child
• Spiritual / Swing Low, Swing Chariot
• Spiritual / Steal Away
• Spiritual / Deep River
• Spiritual / I Got Home in Dat Rock
• Spiritual / I Been Rebuked and I Been Scorned
• Spiritual / De Hammer Keeps Ringing
• Spiritual / De Ole Sheep Dey Know de Road
• Spiritual / De Blind Man Stood on de Road
• Spiritual / He Never Said a Mumbaling Word
• Spiritual / Joshua Fit de Battle of Jericho
• Spiritual / O Mary, Don't You Weep
• Spiritual / Go Down, Moses
• Spiritual / Slavery Chain
• Spiritual / No More Auction Block
• Spiritual / Noah
• Spiritual / If I Had My Way
• Spiritual / Job
• Spiritual / My God Is a Rock
• Slave Seculars / Song (from Frederick Douglass)
• Slave Seculars / Song (from Martin R. Delany)
• Slave Seculars / Promises of Freedom
• Slave Seculars / He Is My Horse
• Slave Seculars / Did You Feed My Cow?
• Slave Seculars / Folk Song
• Slave Seculars / Run, Nigger, Run
• Slave Seculars / Raise a Rukus Tonight
• Aphorisms
• Ballad / John Henry
• Ballad / Bad Man Ballad
• Ballad / Poor Lazarus
• Ballad / De Ballit of de Boll Weevil
• Ballad / Old Dog Blue
• Ballad / Frankie and Johnny
• Ballad / Stackalee
• Work Songs and Social Songs / John Henry Hammer Song
• Work Songs and Social Songs / Hammer Song
• Work Songs and Social Songs / Death Letter
• Work Songs and Social Songs / Roberta Lee
• Work Songs and Social Songs / It Sound Like Thunder
• Work Songs and Social Songs / Hyah Come de Cap'm
• Social Protest Songs / Standin' on de Corner
• Social Protest Songs / Lay Down Late
• Social Protest Songs / Me and My Captain
• Social Protest Songs / Told My Cap'n
• Social Protest Songs / Silicosis Blues
• Blues / St. Louis Blues
• Blues / Dink's Blues
• Blues / Mamie's Blues
• Blues / Grievin'-Hearted Blues
• Blues / Dirty No-Gooder's Blues
• Blues / The Southern Blues
• Blues / She's My Mary
• Blues / Backwater Blues
• Blues / When the Levee Breaks
• Blues / St. Louis Cyclone Blues
• Blues / Hard Times Blues
• Folk Tales / Mules and Men [by Zora Neale Hurston] [excerpt]
• Folk Sermon / Jonah's Gourd Vine [excerpt]

V. Drama
• Introduction: Drama
• Randolph Edmonds / Bad Man
• James W. Butcher, Jr. / The Seer
• Thomas D. Pawley, Jr. / Jedgement Day
• Owen Dodson / Divine Comedy [excerpt]
• Theodore Ward / Big White Fog [excerpt]

VI. Speeches, Pamphlets, and Letters
• Introduction: Speeches, Pamphlets, and Letters
• David Walker / [Attack upon Abjectness and Ignorance]
• David Ruggles / [Extinguishing an Extinguisher]
• Henry Highland Garnet / An Address to the Slaves of America
• Frederick Douglass / Letter to His Master
• Frederick Douglass / Speech in Fanueil Hall
• Samuel Ringgold Ward / Speech on the Fugitive Slave Bill
• William Wells Brown / Letters
• Martin R. Delany / [Condition of Free Negroes]
• Martin R. Delany / [Practical Efforts]
• William C. Nell / Letter to Garrison
• Charles Langston / Speech before Sentence
• Jermain W. Loguen / Reply to His Old Mistress
• Charlotte Forten / Life on the Sea Islands
• George H. White / Defense of the Negro Race
• John Mercer Langston / The Exodus [excerpt]
• Booker T. Washington / Speech at the Atlanta Exposition
• Marcus Garvey / The Negro's Place in World Reorganization
• Mordecai W. Johnson / The Faith of the American Negro
• Howard Thurman / Good News for the Underprivileged

VII. Biography
• Introduction: Biography
• Milton Clarke / [Abolitionist Rescue]
• Josiah Henson / [Home at Dawn]
• Solomon Northup / [Christmas on Bayou Boeuf] • Frederick Douglass / Treatment of Slaves on Lloyd's Plantation
• Elizabeth Keckley / [The Death of Lincoln]
• Daniel A. Payne / [Young Schoolmaster]
• Daniel A. Payne / [Called to Preach]
• Booker T. Washington / Birth and Early Childhood
• Robert Russa Moton / War Activities
• William Pickens / A Christian Missionary College
• Benjamin G. Brawley / The Lower Rungs of the Ladder [excerpt]
• W. E. B. DuBois / [The DuBois-Washington Controversy]
• W. S. Braithwaite / [Search for Employment]
• Angelo Herndon / [Georgia Trail]
• William Still / Captain F. and the Mayor of Norfolk
• William Still / Samuel Green
• Benjamin G. Brawley / John Jasper: "The Sun Do Move"
• Arthur Huff Fauset / Sojourner Truth
• Angelina W. Grimké / A Biographical Sketch of Archibald H. Grimké
• Edward Arnold / Some Personal Reminiscences of Paul Laurence Dunbar
• Eslanda Goode Robeson / [Paul Robeson and the Provincetowners]

VIII. Essays
• Introduction: Essays
Historical Essays
• Carter G. Woodson / History Made to Order
• The Federal Writers' Project / The Narrators
• The Federal Writers' Project / Slave Row [excerpt]
• George Washington Williams / [Negro Troops in the Civil War]
• Charles H. Wesley / The Collapse of the Confederacy [excerpt]
Social Essays
• T. Thomas Fortune / Land and Labor in the South
• Kelly Miller / An Open Letter to Thomas Dixon, Jr.
• Charles S. Johnson / The Shadow of the Plantation [excerpt]
• E. Franklin Frazier / The Pathology of Race Prejudice
• Abram L. Harris / The Economics of the Founding Fathers
• Ralph J. Bunche / [Disfranchisement of the Negro]
• Charles H. Thompson / The Education of the Negro in the United States
Cultural Essays
• Alain Locke / The New Negro
• James A. Porter / Henry Ossawa Tanner
• James Weldon Johnson / [Early Negro Shows]
• W. E. B. DuBois / Of the Sorrow Songs
• E. Simms Campbell / [Early Jam]
• Katherine Dunham / The Negro Dance
Personal Essays
• Wendell Phillips Dabney / A Visit to Dunbar's Tomb
• Walter White / I Investigate Lynchings
• Ira deA. Reid / Mrs. Bailey Pays the Rent
• Allison Davis / A Glorious Company
• Horace Mann Bond / A Negro Looks at His South
• Rayford W. Logan / Confessions of an Unwilling Nordic
• Richard Wright / The Ethics of Living Jim Crow

• Chronology: Some Historical and Literary Events in America together with Important Events in the History and Literature of the American Negro
• Index: Titles of Works and Authors

About the anthology

• The editors (Sterling A. Brown, Arthur P. Davis, and Ulysses Lee) are "all teachers of Negro literature" (Tillman 1942: 224).
• Threefold aim of anthology: "(1) to present a body of artistically valid writings by American Negro authors, (2) to present a truthful mosaic of Negro character and experience in America, and (3) to collect in one volume certain key literary works that have greatly influenced the thinking of American Negroes, and to a lesser degree, that of Americans as a whole" (quoted in Tillman 1942: 224).
• The arrangement of materials is by genre (short stories; novels [excerpts]; poetry; folk literature; drama; speeches, pamphlets, letters; biography; essays, historical and cultural) and then roughly chronologically within each genre.
• "This book has an excellent interpretative general introduction and brief comprehensive introductions to each [generic] section that help to orientate the reader by giving a historical survey of the Negro's use of the form. These essays and the short biographical sketches of each author used serve well as a preliminary bibliography" (Tillman 1942: 225).
• "The chronology (pp. 1062-1077) of this invaluable anthology consists of two lists: 1) 'Some Historical and Literary Events in America,' from 1607 to 1940; and 2) 'Important Events in the History and Literature of the Negro,' beginning with 1720. The latter chronology ends with 1941" (Rowell 1972: 32)
• Also includes bio-bibliographical sketches of the writers represented in the anthology (Rowell 1972: 32).

Reviews and notices of anthology

• Review of "The Negro Caravan." "The Negro History Bulletin" 5.8 (May 1942): 181. [Internet Archive]
"One of the valuable books to appear recently is the anthology of Negro writings, 'The Negro Caravan', selected and edited by Sterling Brown, of Howard University; Arthur P. Davis, of Virginia Union University; and Ulysses Lee, of Lincoln University. This is a volume of 1,082 pages, published by the Dryden Press in New York City. The volume is intended to meet the demand for a larger collection of works than those which have heretofore been compiled and at the same time to bring the anthology up to date. Works of authors who have developed great talent since the publication of the last production of this sort by Cromwell, Turner, and Dykes are included. 'The Negro Caravan', however, differs from other such collections in covering so much more ground and in making use of materials which most writers would not select as appropriate for general reference and use in the schools. While the volume collected by Cromwell, Turner, and Dykes undertook to present to the public only those writings which conform to the highest literary standards, the selections in 'The Negro Caravan' include not only extracts of this type but those of social, economic, and political import which give the thought of the radical Negro thinkers while passing through the present universal revolution. The authors of 'The Negro Caravan' show themselves as strictly liberal and modernistic.
"For the reasons thus stated, 'The Negro Caravan' will make a wide appeal and will doubtless be extensively used in the study of the Negro from various points of view. Certainly this work comes nearer than any other to giving a cross section of the Negro's thinking during this world crisis and will therefore be valuable historically. The historian may raise questions as to some of the selections included. His knowledge of the background of the race and of the past in general might suggest the rejection of some of these writings and the inclusion of others. These authors, however, have shown that they are not narrow with respect to their special field, the English language and its literature.
"The broad-mindedness shown in making these selections, however, renders this book less valuable for children than for the general reader and advanced students in college. While the former may be misinformed and mis-directed by the study of some of these productions, students more advanced are in a position to fathom the depths of these thoughts and to profit by the lesson which these writers desire to convey. Only in the hands of wise teachers in the public schools should this volume be used. It will not help children very much to be exposed to principles and doctrines they are not sufficiently developed to understand. Later in life, however, these new points of view and their modernistic presentation must find a place in the liberal education of the youth" (118).
• Daiches, David. "American Journal of Sociology" 48 (1942): 435-36.
"This representative and well-edited collection of American Negro literature is equally important to students of literatue, sociology, and politics. To the student of literature it gives examples not only of the folk song and the local color sketch but of an impressive variety of rhetorical works, both in prose and in poetry—a 'literature of protest' which is, on the whole, both dignified and passionate; for the student of sociology it both provides a record of the literary expression of an underprivileged minority and indicates that minority's view of its own problems; for the student of politics there are political implications in almost every page—illustrations, warnings, enlightenments.
"It is perhaps natural that the majority of the pieces should be by twentieth-century authors, for, though the literary expression of the Negro is not solely a twentieth-century phenomenon, publication of that expression, except as an occasional curiosity, has only recently become practicable. Even now few if any publishers are willing to have more than one 'Negro novel' on their list for any one season. It is natural, too, that as Negro literature has developed, it should more and more have taken on the form of a literature of protest, for self-consciousness about the forces which move in a civilization and the will to know and control those forces have been growing continually in modern times and have reached the Negro as well as others. There was plenty of theorizing about the place of the Negro in earlier periods; the eighteenth-century political philosophers both conservative and revolutionary did not ignore the problems of colored folk in a white community; but these discussions were confined to the whites, and those who were most concerned had no share in them. The emancipation of the Negro was discussed but not achieved in 1776: the American Revolution, unlike the French, was a genteel revolution, and the mild egalitarianism of the Constitution was a doctrine conceived defensively and used opportunistically. It was certainly not meant to be taken literally. No better illustration of this can be found than in the poems of Phillis Wheatley, who was kidnaped in her native Senegal when she was about seven years old and brought to Boston and sold as a slave in 1761. She produced some very respectable couplets, including, before the Revolution, a poem addressed to the Earl of Dartmouth, secretary of state for North America, in which she attributed her love of freedom to her good luck in having been rescued in infancy from 'Afric's fancy'd happy seat' and congratulated the Earl on "his" love of freedom; and a poem in 1784 called 'Liberty and Peace' in which the young Republic was celebrated and the tyranny of 'Albion' execrated. Phillis Wheatley was a curiosity, and curiosities cannot afford to have independent views. Her case, indeed, raises the important and recurring issue: Is it better to have the problem of comfort in complete servitude, or the probability of discomfort in freedom? The children of Israel found this question less easy than it sounds when on their way through the wilderness from the slavery (and the fleshpots) of Egypt. The American Negro has been delivered out of the land of Egypt, but he has had neither a Moses to speak with God on his behalf nor a Joshua to take him into the promised land. Both Moses and Joshua, it will be remembered, were of the same race and color as those they led.
"This analogy perhaps helps to explain the apparent paradox that the lot of the American Negro has in some respects grown steadily // worse since the end of the Civil War. This fact is clearly seen in the pages of this anthology: the lynchings, the torturings, the police brutality, the petty and not so petty persecutions, are much more horrible than the slaver's lash which they have replaced. The autobiographical records of contemporary Negroes contained in some of the essays that comprise the final section of this book contain things much worse than any of the horror stories told by the abolitionists, and "Native Son" is a much more terrible book than "Uncle Tom's Cabin".
"Under slavery the Negroes had a status, and if they produced literature they had a status as curiosities. That it was a bad status, indefensible on ethical and other grounds, few today will deny. But what status did the Negro gain after his emancipation? He ought to have gained simply the status of an American. The tragedy is that he has not gained that status. He is regarded not as an American but as a Negro, at best as an American Negro, and the term 'Negro' is regarded not as a category of the larger American group but as in effect a differentiation from that group. The expression of the ante bellum Negro is the expression of a group with a bad status; that of the modern Negro is that of a group with no status. To be without status is often more miserable, but in the long run more hopeful, because then you do not have both a negative and a positive task ahead of you—only a positive one. That is why most modern American Negro literature is rhetorical, explanatory, purposive. That explains the behaviorism of "Native Son", where the hero cuts off a girl's head and stuffs the body in the furnace because he is scared, and he is scared because he is a Negro in a white world. The moral is not that if you are scared anything you do is justifiable, but if a man with no status is scared he fears (and with reason) infinite and nameless horrors. For a slave there is law, though a bad law. For a man without status there is no law (though there may be in theory). Where the law gives no assurance people tend to become cunning and sycophantic (sycophancy being part of the cunning). This is not an argument for slavery but an argument for the completion of the movement that the legal emancipation of the Negroes began. From bad status to no status does not complete the movement. The third stage should be—to good status.
"The expression of an underprivileged minority group nearly always falls into three phases. There is the escapist, the plangent, and the militant. The last is the slowest to develop. The traditional 'happy' Negro and his repertoire is, of course, a part of the first phase. It is the phase likely to be most popular with the dominant majority and—curious psychological fact—it is also for the most part the phase most popular with the oppressed minority. The Jewish comedian is more popular among Jews than the singer of sad Yiddish folk songs. This second or plangent phase is not so near the surface. It goes deeper and stays deeper; but it is an important part of Negro as of Jewish folk literature. The militant tradition is the one most fully represented in this collection, and it is one that ought to be studied by white Americans. For this is not the Negro as we like to see him (tap-dancing or singing the blues) but at his most intelligent and in real earnest. Richard Wright's essay on 'The Ethics of Living Jim Crow,' Walter White's on lynching, Rayford Logan's extraordinary and instructive account of his experiences as a Nordic-looking Negro serving as an officer in the last war, and Horace Mann Bond's 'A Negro Looks at His South' ought to be required reading for all Americans. It is in these essays that the modern Negro formulates most clearly his view of the situation in which he finds himself. But the reader who wants to go further into the problem should read even more carefully the sections devoted to folk literature and the short story." (435-36) [full text of review]
• Ivy, James W. "The Negro Literati." "The Crisis" (May 1942): 171.
"The panoramic proportions of this book make it the most comprehensive anthology of American Negro literature in print. Our editors have divided their material into eight sections and they have prefaced each section with an introductory and critical essay discussing the Negro's contribution to that branch of letters. . . . All the well known Negro writers are here . . . There are also selections from writers who have never been anthologized: Cecil Blue, Ted Poston, Chester Himes, George W. Lee, Waters E. Turpin, Robert E. Hayden, Melvin B. Tolson, Owen Dodson, and others" (171).
"This is the first anthology to include a representative selection of Negro folk literature" (171).
"As in any anthology the literary quality of the selections is very uneven, but our editors recognize this. They include many selections not as examples of pure literature, but merely for their historical and sociological interest: since i[t] is their aim 'to present a truthful mosaic of Negro character and experience in America.' Our editors rightly reject the term 'Negro literature' as ambiguous and meaningless, since literature is a social and not a racial product. 'Writings by Negroes do not,' as our editors remark, 'fall into a unique cultural pattern'; yet 'nossa psychē collectiva,' the result of a common tradition of slavery and prejudice and oppression, does give a special tone, if I might use the word, to Negro creative expression. There's nothing racial in it so far as I can see, since this 'tone' can be discerned in the writings of those white writers who know something of Negro life from the inside.
"A mere review cannot give the reader an appreciation of the wealth of material to be found in this book. It's a volume of the highest value and contains some of the best and the most objective criticism of Negro letters that this reviewer has seen in print. The whole gamut of Negro experience in America is in this book" (171).
• Kreymborg, Alfred. "The March of a Noble Race." "Saturday Review" 21 Feb. 1942: 13.
• Lazarus, H. P. "American Writing by Negroes." "The Nation" 9 May 1942: 548.
• Locke, Alain. "Who and What Is 'Negro'?" "Opportunity: Journal of Negro Life" 20.2 (Feb. 1942): 36-40.
"[W]e may ask ourselves what makes a work of art Negro, if indeed any such nomenclature is proper,--its authorship, its theme or its idiom? Different schools of criticism are obviously divided on these criteria. Each has had its inning, and probably no one regrets the comparative obsolescence of the artificial separatist criterion of Negro authorship. Only in the hectic early striving for credit and recognition could it be forgotten that the logical goal of such a viewpoint is an artistic Ghetto of 'Negro art' and 'Negro literature,' isolated from the common cultural heritage and the vital and necessary fraternalisms of school and generation tendencies. The editors of the brilliantly panoramic anthology, 'The Negro Caravan,' pose the issue this way: 'In spite of such unifying bonds as a common rejection of the popular stereotypes and a common racial cause, writings by Negroes do not seem to the editors to fall into a unique cultural pattern. Negro writers have adopted the literary traditions that seemed useful for their purposes. They have therefore been influenced by Puritan didacticism, sentimental humanitarianism, local color, regionalism, realism, naturalism, and experi//mentalism. . . . The editors do not believe that the expression "Negro literature" has no application if it means structural peculiarity, or a Negro school of writing. The Negro writes in the forms evolved in English and American literature. A "Negro novel," "a Negro play" are ambiguous terms. If they mean a novel or play by Negroes, then such works as 'Porgy' and 'The Green Pastures' are left out. If they mean works about Negro life, they include more works by white authors than by Negro, and those works have been most influential upon the American mind. The editors consider Negro writers to be American writers, and literature by American Negroes to be a segment of American literature.' . . . 'The chief cause for objection to the term is that Negro literature is too easily placed by certain critics, white and Negro, in an alcove apart. The next step is a double standard of judgment, which is dangerous for the future of Negro writers.'
"Again, these are brave and necessary words. But there is a trace in them of corrective counter-emphasis, and the objective truth lies probably somewhere between, as indeed the dual significance of the anthology itself evidences. Simultaneously, a segment of American literature and a special chapter of racial expression and reaction, most of the materials in this same anthology have a double character as well as a double significance. The logical predicament is in not seeing the complete compatibility between nationally and racially distinctive elements arising from our over-simplified and chauvinistic conception of culture. Neither national nor racial cultural elements are so distinctive as to be mutually exclusive. It is the general composite character of culture which is disregarded by such over-simplifications. By that logic, a typical American character could never have been expected as a modification of English artistic and institutional culture, but there it is after some generations of divergence, characteristically Anglo-Saxon and American at the same time. Strictly speaking, we should consistently cite this composite character in our culture with hyphenate descriptions, but more practically, we stress the dominant flavor of the bend. It is only in this same limited sense that anything is legitimately styled 'Negro'; actually it is Afro- or Negro-American, a hybrid product of Negro reaction to American cultural forms and patterns. And when, as with many of our Negro cultural products, it is shared in the common cultural life,--our jazz music, as a conspicuous example,--it becomes progressively even more composite and hybridized, sometimes for the better, sometimes not. For we must abandon the idea of cultural purism as a criterion under the circumstances just as we have abandoned the idea of a pure race under the more scientific and objective scrutiny of the facts of history.
"Thus the interpenetration of national and racial characteristics, once properly understood, resolves the traditional dilemma of the racialists and on the cultural level puts an essential parity on racial, national and regional idioms. As the point of view matures, perhaps we shall regard all three as different dimensions of cultural variation, interchangeably blended in specific art // forms and combinations. Such reciprocity actually exists, and would have been recognized but for our politically minded notions of culture, which flatter majority strains in our culture and minimize minority culture elements. As a matter of fact, the racial evolves by special emphasis from the general cultural heritage and in turn flows back into the common culture. . . . The position leads, if soundly developed, not to cultural separatism but to cultural pluralism. To be 'Negro' in the cultural sense, then, is not to be radically different, but only to be distinctively composite and idiomatic, though basically American, as is to be expected in the first instance. . . . Theme and idiom would bulk more significantly than source of authorship, and important expressions of Negro material and idiom by white authors would belong as legitimately in a Negro as in a general anthology" (37-39).
"One of the major contributions of the year [is] the very comprehensive and much needed anthology of Negro authors in all the literary forms which Sterling Brown, Arthur Davis and Ulysses Lee have collated in 'The Negro Caravan.' Here is definitive editing of the highest order, combined with authoritative historical and critical annotation. For years to come it will be the indispensable handbook for the study of the Negro's contribution to the literature of the Negro. In the critical introductions to the various literary types, brief mention is wisely added to give some notion of the important correlation of Negro creative effort with that of white authors treating Negro themes: which somewhat offsets the inconsistency of the anthology's non-racialist critical platform and its actual restriction to Negro authorship" (40).
• McGlon, Charles A. Review of "The Negro Caravan." "Review & Expositor" [quarterly Baptist theological journal] 45.4 (1948): 483.
• Sillen, Samuel. Review of "The Negro Caravan." "New Masses" 14 July 1942: 23-24.
"'The Negro Caravan' covers the whole range of Negro expression in America from Phyllis Wheatley and Jupiter Hammon to Langston Hughes and Richard Wright. Every literary form is represented in this comprehensive and scholarly anthology. . . . A work of this richness and scope heightens one's awareness that the average anthology of American literature is at once the victim and, however unconsciously, the agent of Jim Crowism in critical judgment" (23).
"More than 200 selections in this volume confirm the editors' thesis that 'When the Negro artist has expressed his own people, he has almost always refuted, or differed from, or at least complicated the simpler patterns of white interpretation'" (23). These writings explode the "myth of the 'contended slave,'" the complacent image of the "self-effacing 'mammy,'" the assumption of a "naive" folk, and the depiction of an "exotic" colorfulness (23). "The best white writers have of course avoided the grooves and stereotypes of convention; yet even the most clear-sighted, whether Melville or Mark Twain, Erskine Caldwell or Paul Green, do not support the view of publishers' blurbs that 'white authors know the Negro best.' The editors of this collection emphasize, and the evidence is overwhelming, that the 'inside view' of a people is more likely to get at the essential truth than the 'outside view' . . . It is to be hoped that more and more white writers will study and deal with Negro characters, as Albert Maltz has so brilliantly done in 'The Underground Stream.' But Negro experience needs, in the first instance, the voice of Negro artists for its richest and most intimate expression" (23).
Sillen disagrees with the anthology's editors, however, on the question whether Negro culture and Negro literature constitute a distinctive entity within American culture and American literature: the editors deny "that there is a recognizable structure of experience and expression that is specifically Negro. They believe that to speak of 'Native Son,' for example, as Negro literature would be 'just as misleading' as 'to classify Clifford Odets' plays about Jewish life as "Jewish literature" or James T. Farrell's novels of the Chicago Irish as "Irish literature" or some of William Saroyan's tales as "Armenian" literature.' They state that 'In spite of such unifying bonds as a common rejection of the popular stereotypes and a common "racial" cause, writings by Negroes do not seem to the editors to fall into a unique cultural pattern.' And they add that 'The bonds of literary tradition seem to be stronger than race.'
"I believe these statements are based either on a misconception of what a national culture is or on a denial that one may speak of a national culture at all. . . . For the fact is that there is in this country a Negro people in a concrete historical sense that cannot realistically be applied to Armenians, Jews, and Irish. Indeed, the selections of 'The Negro Caravan' almost uniformly reflect the existence in America, over a long period, of a substantial part of our population bound together by a basically common social and cultural experience. The economic, political, cultural development of the Negro people cannot for a moment be considered apart from that of the American people as a whole; but neither can it be considered identical to that of the rest of the population. Negroes are not merely a 'minority' among [i.e., alongside] other minorities, as the editors suggest. They are a minority with the specific attributes of a nation, in the same sense (the status is, of course, different) as the Ukraine or Georgia is a nation forming a part of the multi-national Soviet Union.
"To say this is not to invite, as the editors fear, a 'double standard of judgment.' It is not to encourage discrimination. On the contrary, a recognition of the national basis of Negro life, is a key to fulfillment and liberation. For our history since Reconstruction days testifies that Bourbon oppression rejects the concept of a Negro nation or a Negro people, while the most insurgent and democratic forces in Negro life have been nourished by a sense of identity // and common aspiration. This is not a matter of 'racial' cause. The cause espoused by a Frederick Douglass as well as by a Max Yergan or Paul Robeson is that of a people. To reject the concept of a 'Negro literature' is to relinquish the basis for that affirmation, pride, and consciousness which sustain the struggle for freedom" (23-24).
"The historical continuity of the writers represented in 'The Negro Caravan,' the basic homogeneity of experience they reflect , is not to be seen in stylistic peculiarities or 'racial traits' or anything very mysterious. As the introduction points out, Negro writers have been strongly influenced by 'Puritan didacticism, sentimental humanitarianism, local color, relgionalism, realism, naturalism, and experimentalism,' and all the other literary isms of various periods. But one sees a pattern despite differences of style, individual temperament, economic status, educational opportunity. What virtually all of these writers are saying in effect, though in quite different ways, is that being a Negro in American life has meant an attachment to a people whose total experience as a community has a historically evolved structure. The subject matter is invariably oppression and the struggle against oppression. And this oppression is not merely that of all other underprivileged in this country, although the two are inseparably linked. It has a specific character which pervades the sensibility of every representative spokesman of the group" (24).
"The division of the anthology according to literary forms tends to obscure historical relationships. Arrangement in terms of key social periods, regardless of formal distinctions, would perhaps give a clearer picture of that continuity which Richard Wright has so powerfully dramatized in 'Twelve Million Black Voices.' But the materials are abundantly present, and the editors' cross-references are very helpful" (24).
"Not to avoid the term Negro literature, but rather to define and implement it is the job of criticism, I believe. For this literature has a proud tradition, and its future growth will be the glory of American letters. Because of the people whose will to freedom it must reflect, it is bound to be bold, realistic, militantly democratic. We are greatly indebted to the editors of 'The Negro Caravan' for their diligent research, expert literary judgment, and supreme devotion to the task of making available the achievement of their people in the written word. Our universities no longer have a shred of excuse for omitting the study of Negro letters. Here are the materials which should stimulate discussion on the part of Negro writers and white as to the meaning of American tradition and the problems of its fulfillment. For it is utterly impossible to separate these problems from those of winning the war. Indeed, the appearance of this important and exciting volume in this period is a sharp rebuke to the Tories who fetter the war effort by continuing to fetter the Negro people. It is a valuable reminder that the stoutest fighters for American freedom were ever to be found among those who, despite every obstacle, enriched and invigorated our inheritance. To prolong the injustice against which these writers so eloquently speak is to imperil the existence of America" (24).
• "N. T." [Nathaniel Tillman] Rev. of "Negro Caravan", edited by Brown, Davis, and Lee. "Phylon" 3.2 (1942): 224-26. "JSTOR".
"Negro Caravan" is "the most comprehensive collection of the material [the writings of American Negroes] available" (224). "Particularly noteworthy is the group of essays; for here, in addition to material primarily of historical interest, the editors have collected the work of a number of the most articulate younger scholars whose theses are founded on the soundest principles of modern scholarship" (224). So, too, the drama selections, "the product of the Little Theatre Movement in colleges, brings forth all new names, and reveals the fact that the Negro is beginning to utilize the theatre as a medium through which to express the experiences and aspirations of his people. The freshness of [t]his material and approach may serve to stimulate the drama in this country" (224-25). "From the vast store of Negro folklore, the editors have gathered examples of spirituals, slave seculars, work songs, blues, and folk tales which belie the conventional picture of the contented slave and field hand and show in what ways the illiterate Negroes were voicing their real feelings against oppression" (225).
"As comprehensive as the collection is, though, I must admit my disappointment at not finding a Dunbar short story or novel selection. On the basis of Dunbar's importance in his time both in quality of work and popularity, the editors might have chosen one of his Negro problem stories to suit their main theme; for, as they state, along with Chesnutt, Dunbar 'published more stories in general magazines than did even the most prominent of the writers of the New Negro Movement.' I missed also Vassa's autobiography which the editors describe as 'of definite importance in American literature as the forerunner of a long line of ex-slave autobiographies.' And Eric Walrond seems to me to merit more than mention among the tellers of stories. It seems, too, that the index would have been more useful to students if it had included the most valuable items in the introductory essays" (225).
"In the first anthology of Negro writers of this magnitude, however, the problems of bulk and expense figured greatly. It was a brave venture for both editors and publishers. I recall the dilemma of one of the editors when he was asked by the publishers to cut the original fifteen hundred pages to seven hundred fifty" (225).
"The editors have included little that might be called 'art for art's sake.' They were primarily interested in those literary efforts that were 'more robustly rooted in the life of American Negroes.' Herein lies one of the greatest values of the book. "The Negro Caravan" is literally epoch-making in several respects; first, it sets a fine pace for much sounder research in the field than we have had from white and Negro students who have used it for theses; second, it will stimulate the study of the literature of the American Negro in the schools by making easily accessible a wide range of writings, authors, and forms; and third, it is an excellent record of Negro protest and a history of the rise // of the Negro to maturity in making his case articulate. At a time like this, when America is turning her eyes in on the state of her own democracy, it can rightfully be called one of the most significant books of the period. For men like Edison Marshall, who feel that 'Negroes have as yet written practically no good novel and perhaps never will,' [t]he "Caravan" serves notice that the Negro author has come of age" (225-26).
• Tracy, Henry C. "Multicultural America." "Common Ground" (Summer 1942): 118-19, at 118.
"'The Negro Caravan': Writings by American Negroes, selected and edited by Sterling A. Brown, Arthur P. Davis, and Ulysses Lee (The Dryden Press. $4.25) is an excellent collection of the work of Negro writers from the 18th century to the present, illuminating a section of America's literary history far too little known by the general reader. This is material written from the inside out, by Negro authors analyzing and interpreting Negro experience, valid and authentic, with a deep undertone of aspiration" (118). [full comment on this volume]

Commentary on anthology

• Du Bois, W. E. B., letter to Dorothy L. Brown, 26 Nov. 1943: (W.E.B. Du Bois Papers [MS 312], Special Collections and University Archives, U of Massachusetts Amherst Libraries).
"The best anthology of Negro literature is the 'Negro Caravan', published by the Dryden Press, 103 Park Avenue, New York, N.Y. 1941."
• Roosevelt, Eleanor. "My Day." (19 July 1944). "The Eleanor Roosevelt Papers Digital Edition." 2017.
"HYDE PARK, Tuesday—Almost a year ago I visited the Schomburg Library in Harlem, New York City, and at that time I noticed a book which had recently come out. It was called "The Negro Caravan," edited by Sterling A. Brown, Arthur P. Davis and Ulysses Lee. I meant to speak of it at the time in my column, but it slipped my mind and now I have just received word that a new edition is being brought out and I have read a little item from the Louisville Courier- Journal which will show you that my own interest in this book is shared by others:
"The best of its kind, this collection should be an eye-opener. Both as sociology and as interesting reading 'The Negro Caravan' is richly worthwhile. No previous anthology of Negro literature, and not too many anthologies of American literature are as full of aesthetic satisfaction and human understanding. The pleasure of reading 'The Negro Caravan' is scarcely undermined by the fact that one emerges a more enlightened human being."
There are over a thousand pages here of short stories, blues, folk-songs, biographies, speeches, pamphlets, essays, letters, besides little bits taken out of novels and plays by some of the best Negro writers. William Rose Benet says that "It is a remarkable contribution to American literature," and I think for that reason it should be in everyone's library."
• Lash, John S. "The Anthologist and the Negro Author." "Phylon" 8.1 (1947): 68-76.
"Easily the most valuable of [recent anthologies of African American literature] from the standpoints of selections and comprehensiveness is "The Negro Caravan." Its editors have traversed the entire range of expression by Negroes in America and their inclusions are well chosen, with few exceptions. Moreover, the running editorial and historical commentary in the introductory sections to the various types of literature and to the works of individual authors are valuable background material for an understanding of the work of the Negro author. Sterling Brown, who must be conceded to be the ranking critic of the literature of the Negro (see Brown’s "Negro Poetry and Drama"), appears to have been the most influential of the three editors in the critical approach to the authors, and some of the critical ideas which he had expressed earlier form a prominent part of the anthology. As a critic Brown apparently stands at a point midway between the extreme views of James Weldon Johnson and Alain Locke. It is interesting to note in this connection that Brown had a part in Johnson’s revision of his "Book of American Negro Poetry" and, in a sense, must be ranked with Johnson and Langston Hughes as a contributor to what might easily be called a racial genre in literature. That is to say, in their employment of the sermon, the blues, and the folk-tale, Johnson, Hughes and Brown have come closer than any other authors to what may be the distinctive accomplishment of the Negro in what is widely called ‘American culture.’ His place as a poet aside, Brown has collaborated with Arthur Davis and Ulysses Lee in the most successful presentation of the Negro’s letters yet made” " (75).
• Clarke, John Henrik. "Transition in the American Negro Short Story." "Phylon" 21.4 (1960): 360-66.
"The Negro Caravan" is "the best anthology of Negro literature since Alain Locke edited "The New Negro" sixteen years before" (365).
• Clarke, John Henrik, ed. "American Negro Short Stories." New York: Hill and Wang, 1966.
"The Negro Caravan" is "the major anthology of American Negro literature" (350).
• Emanuel, James A., and Theodore L. Gross, ed. "Dark Symphony: Negro Literature in America." New York: Free Press, 1968.
"Negro Caravan" "is a classic of its kind—an impressive anthology, indeed almost a source book—of nineteenth- and twentieth-century American Negro literature" (138).
• Lester, Julius. "Introduction to This [1969] Edition." "The Negro Caravan." Ed. Brown, Davis, and Lee. [1969]. Repr. Salem, NH: Ayer Publishing, 1987. [unnumbered, 3 pp.]
"Few books acquire the status of legends, but this is one. It was first published in 1941, and the outbreak of the war caused it to be even more ignored than it would have been normally. However, it acquired a place in the lives of black intellectuals, and those able to acquire a copy congratulated themselves for being the recipient of one of the Lord's few modern miracles. At long last, it is once more available."
"Until the recent republication of long out-of-print works by blacks, 'The Negro Caravan' was the only place one could read a part of another legend, Jean Toomer's 'Cane' or Margaret Walker's great poem, 'For My People,' or anything by Zora Neale Hurston and Rudolph Fisher, to mention a few whose works are once again in print."
"Each section of the book is preceded by an essay of the editor, which presents a history of black writing in the specific genre. These essays are as valuable as anything else in the book. 'The Negro Caravan' is important not only for the works presented, but for the point of view it exemplifies. . . . They are committed to black literature, but their commitment is not to one particular kind. This attitude is invaluable, particularly now, because it recognizes that black writers are black 'and' American: each black writer decides for himself whenever he sits down to write which aspect of his inescapable duality he will emphasize. It is the tendency of too many black writers and critics to want to deny that the duality exists and to demand that all black writing fit one definition--black nationalism."
"The editors of 'The Negro Caravan' . . . eschew the term 'Negro literature' as having no meaning, because 'Negro writers [are] American writers.' They go so far as to claim that Countee Cullen, who did not want to be considered a 'Negro poet,' was correct, because he was 'an American poet who happen[ed] to // be a Negro.' While most black writers today quite rightly reject any such definition of themselves, it is of more than casual importance that Cullen's best poetry concerns itself with the condition of being a black American and not simply with being an American.
"The same can be said of this anthology. The desire of black writers of the past to be accepted as American writers and not as black writers was a reaction against seeing their work treated by white publishers as 'exotic,' as something never to be considered as worthy of the same consideration given to white writers, particularly when those white writers were writing about blacks.
"Because of the change in the social climate, the black writer today does not have this particular problem, but the present emphasis on blackness and the corresponding denial of Americanness is as false as Cullen's denial of blackness. The black American writer must realize that his blackness has been acted upon and has reacted to forces that are peculiarly American. Thus, his black experience is different from that of the Jamaican, Brazilian or Guinean. Indeed, there is something very American about the present romanticization of blackness. . . . 'The Negro Caravan' lives with and exemplifies the duality of being black and American. It shows the richness and variety in black writing and, by doing so, represents the totality of black writing. It comes as close today as it did in 1941 to being the most important single volume of black writing ever published."
• Clarke, John Henrik. "Twenty Most Important Books by Black Writers." "New York Amsterdam News" 18 Sept. 1971: D21. "ProQuest Historical Newspapers."
"In some ways this book [Negro Caravan] is an updating of "The New Negro" [ed. Alain Locke, 1925]. It is broader in scope and in its achievement, though it is mainly about Afro-American Literature. Though I hate to end this essay on a rash note, I do think that anyone who attempts to teach Black Literature without reading this book, seriously, should be driven from the classroom" (D21).
• Kinnamon, Keneth. "Anthologies of African-American Literature from 1845 to 1994." "Callaloo" 20.2 (1997): 461-81.
"The Negro Caravan" is "a true classic": "No single work has had greater influence in establishing the canon of African-American literature, uncensored by pedagogical prudery. The threefold purpose of The Negro Caravan is stated plainly in the preface: 'to present a body of artistically valid writings by American Negro authors, to present a truthful mosaic of Negro character and experience in America, and to collect in one volume certain key literary works that have greatly influenced the thinking of American Negroes'" (Kinnamon 1997: 462). "Although the editors find common denominators of rejection of white racist stereotypes and a 'theme of struggle' in African-American writing, they firmly reject the concept of 'Negro literature,' believing instead that 'Negro writers [are] American writers, and literature by American Negroes [is] a segment of American literature'" (462).
• Jackson, Lawrence P. "African American Literature: Foundational Scholarship, Criticism, and Theory." "The Cambridge History of African American Literature". Ed. Maryemma Graham and Jerry W. Ward, Jr. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 2011.
"Within a few months of [J. Saunders] Redding's testimony to a robust ethnic tradition and a sense of shared American structural realities [in "To Make a Poet Black" (1939)], Sterling Brown, Arthur P. Davis (a Virginia Union professor finishing a doctorate at Columbia), and Ulysses Lee (Brown's student working on a doctorate at University of Chicago) published "The Negro Caravan" (1941), a mammoth modern anthology of black writing. All of a sudden, academic teachers of black literature had two semesters worth of material at their fingertips to structure courses on African American literature. Despite the fact that they had codified a body of work that seemed a distinctive unit of study, the anthologists specifically contested the implication that they had created a separate field. The editors wrote,
'In spite of such unifying bonds as a common rejection of popular stereotypes and a common 'racial' cause, writing by Negroes does not seem to the editors to fall into a unique cultural pattern. Negro writers have adopted the literary traditions that seemed useful for their purposes . . . The bonds of literary tradition seem to be stronger than race.
The editors therefore do not believe that the expression 'Negro literature' is an accurate one, and in spite of its convenient brevity, they have avoided using it. 'Negro literature' has no application if it means structural peculiarity, or a Negro school of writing . . . The editors consider Negro writers to be American writers, and literature of American Negroes to be a segment of American literature.' //
"[Sterling] Brown and his academic colleagues, themselves vigorous opponents of racism, asked for a single standard of judgment, one that could be codified and met, and they demanded the recognition of black national citizenship—or fundamental belonging. This remained the academic view of the professional critic especially throughout the 1940s and 1950s as the NAACP legal strategy, more than partially created at Howard, wound through the American courts and destabilized the legal basis of American Jim Crow. What the Howard anthologists prescribed might be described as conjunctive with racial integration as a social philosophy" (710-11).
• Woodson, Jon. "Anthems, Sonnets, and Chants: Recovering the African American Poetry of the 1930s." Columbus: Ohio State UP, 2011.
"Perhaps the major component in the development of black literary discourse at the time was the magisterial 'The Negro Caravan' anthology of 1941" (3).

See also

• Lovell, John, Jr. Working correspondence re "The Negro Caravan," ca. 1941. In the John Lovell Papers, Moorland-Spingarn Research Center, Howard University.
• Adams, Agatha Boyd, comp. "Contemporary Negro Arts." U of North Carolina Library Extension Publication 8.5 (June 1948). [Internet Archive]
This work surveys black American contributions to the arts and includes various selections from "The Negro Caravan" for poetry, fiction (short stories and novels), dance, and plays.
• Joyce, Joyce Ann. "Arthur P. Davis: An African-American Anthologist in a Euro-American Colony." "Warriors, Conjurers and Priests: Defining African-Centered Literary Criticism." Chicago: Third World Press, 1994. 125-54. [Internet Archive]
• Jordan, Jennifer. "Arthur P. Davis: Forging the Way for the Formation of the Canon." "Callaloo" 20.2 (1997): 450-60.

• Barnes, Deborah. "'The Elephant and the Race Problem': Sterling A. Brown and Arthur P. Davis as Cultural Conservators." Callaloo 21.4 (1998): 985-97.

• Challenges and constraints faced by the anthologist: reviewing "Primer for White Folks", ed. Bucklin Moon (1945), Arthur P. Davis remarks: "It is fairly certain that many readers will question the editor's choice of material for this anthology. In fairness to the editor, however, the reader must always bear in mind that every anthologist has certain limitations imposed upon him. He is circumscribed by permission grants, costs of production, avoidance of selections in similar works, and several other considerations not generally known by the average reader" ("Men of Goodwill." "Journal of Negro Education" 15.2 [1946]: 201-04, at 203).
• Mitchell, Angelyn. "Arthur P. Davis: The Literary Anthologist as Cultural Conservator and Cultural Worker." "CLA Journal" 49.2 (2005): 127-43.

Cited in

• Lash 1946: 723.
• Kallenbach 1979. (gives publisher as "Citadel Press")
• Kinnamon 1997: 462 [cites original edition]

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