Black Poetry: A Supplement to Anthologies Which Exclude Black Poets



Black Poetry: A Supplement to Anthologies Which Exclude Black Poets

This edition

"Black Poetry: A Supplement to Anthologies Which Exclude Black Poets" . Ed. Dudley Randall. Detroit: Broadside, 1969. 48 pp.

Table of contents

Claude McKay – Outcast; If We Must Die.  Jean Toomer – Song of the Son; Georgia Dusk.  Melvin B. Tolson – The Sea-Turtle and the Shark.   Langston Hughes – Life Is Fine; I Dream a World.  Arna Bontemps – The Day-Breakers.  Countee Cullen – Yet Do I Marvel; A Brown Girl Dead.  Robert Hayden – Runagate Runagate; The Whipping; Those Winter Sundays.  Dudley Randall – Booker T. and W. E. B.; George; The Profile on the Pillow.  Ray Durem – Award.  Margaret Walker – For Malcolm X.  Margaret Danner – Garnishing the Aviary; I'll Walk the Tightrope.  Gwendolyn Brooks – First Fight, Then Fiddle; Loam Norton; Way-Out Morgan; Malcolm X; The Wall; Riot.  Samuel Allen – View from the Corner.  James A. Emanuel – Fishermen.  Naomi Long Madgett – Woman with Flower.  Etheridge Knight – Hard Rock Returns to Prison; As You Leave Me; For Black Poets Who Think of Suicide.  LeRoi Jones – A Poem for Black Hearts; Black Art; The World Is Full of Remarkable Things.  Edward S. Spriggs – For the Truth.  Sonia Sanchez – Malcolm.  Clarence Major – Brother Malcolm.  Ahmed Alhamisi – The Black Narrator.  Don L. Lee – But He Was Cool; In the Interst of Black Salvation; Assassination; A Poem Looking for a Reader.  Ebon – To Our First Born.  Doughtry Long – One Time Henry Dreamed the Number.  Nikki Giovanni – Nikki-Rose.

Reviews and notices of anthology

• n/a

Commentary on anthology

• "On occasion, Randall taught courses in Afro-American literature as an adjunct professor at the University of Michigan. Russell Fraser, who was then the chair of the Department of English at the University of Michigan, recognized the need for a revision in the presentation of American literature. He suggested an editorial collaboration between Randall and Hayden that would produce an anthology specifically for classroom use. Randall thought it was a great opportunity for Broadview. . . . // The book, which Randall edited alone, was entitled "Black Poetry: A Supplement to Anthologies which Exclude Black Poets", but after reviewing the manuscript, Hayden was unable to reconcile his steadfast position on some of the new poetry:
I think you have done a good job with the little anthology. I am enclosing some notes on the selections, but feel free as you like with the booklet.
I think we can be completely candid with each other about most things. And I feel constrained to say that, although I recognize the necessity for separate anthologies, having brought out one myself [i.e., "Kaleidoscope: Poems by American Negro Poets" (1967)], I am nevertheless more than a little repelled by the concept of 'black poetry.' And by the abusive chauvinism—this more than anything else—displayed in the work of most of the newer poets you are including.
For this reason, I wish to withdraw from the project. I haven't had time to do much with it anyway, as you know. But so much of the work included is blatantly separatist, blatantly "non-poetry", that I'm out of sympathy with it and would therefore be hypocritical of me to let my name be used as one of the editors.
You may use the poems of mine you've chosen—but again, not 'Gabriel'—and I'll do what I can to get October House to reduce the permissions fee." (Melba Joyce Boyd. "Wrestling with the Muse: Dudley Randall and the Broadside Press". New York: Columbia UP, 2003. 156-57)
• On 29 June 1969, Randall had written to Hayden—before Hayden's withdrawal from the project a few weeks later (in the letter quoted above)—indicating the vogue for "Black" art among their potential audience: "I suggest BLACK POETRY for the title. It's clear and unequivocal, and the word BLACK sells books. I've received orders for BLACK MAN LISTEN and BLACK ARTS ANTHOLOGY even though the books are not out yet and they don't even know whether they're good" (Hayden Archive, Box 3 Folder 40; quoted in Derik Jalal Smith. "Love's Lonely Offices: Robert Hayden and the African-American Literary Tradition." Diss. Northwestern University, 2004. 229n.24).

See also

• "For Malcolm" (1967): several poems from this earlier Broadside anthology are also included in "Black Poetry".

Cited in

• Kinnamon 1997: 470.

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For Malcolm: Poems on the Life and Death of Malcolm X See also Bibliographic Resource