New Black Poetry



New Black Poetry

This edition

"The New Black Poetry" . Ed. and intro. Clarence Major. New York: International Publishers, 1969. 156 pp.

Table of contents

Introduction / Clarence Major -- A new dance / S.E. Anderson -- Editorial poem on an incident of effects far-reaching / Russell Atkins -- The beginning of a long poem on why I burned the city / Lawrence Benford -- To strike for night / Lebert Bethune -- Six Sunday / Hart LeRoi Bibbs -- Soul / Austin Black -- Tulips from their blood / Edwin Brooks -- The languages we are / F.J. Bryant -- When slavery seems sweet / Ed Bullins -- I would be a painter most of all / Len Chandler -- To a single shadow without pity / Sam Cornish -- Chops are flying / Stanley Crouch -- Urban dream / Victor Hernandez Cruz -- To Egypt / Gloria Davis -- Problem in social geometry: the inverted square / Ray Durem -- How to change the U.S.A. / Harry Edwards -- Black students / Julia Fields -- A love dirge to the whitehouse (or it soots you right) / Bob Fletcher -- Nikki-Roasa / Nikki Giovanni -- The long night home / Charles F. Gordon -- Recollection / Donald D. Govan -- Ghetto lovesong: migration / Carole Gregory -- Dark shadows / John Hall. -- The law / Albert Haynes -- Psychedelic fireman / David Henderson -- Elements of grammar / Calvin C. Hernton -- Time poem / Quentin Hill -- Night interpreted / Everett Hoagland -- Theme brown girl / Elton Hill-Abu Ishak -- My blackness is the beauty of this land / Jance Jeffers -- Black lotus: a prayer / Alicia L. Johnson -- Fall To / Howard Jones -- W.W. / LeRoi Jones -- Feeding the lions / Norman Jordan -- I, too, know what I am not / Bob Kaufman -- He sees through stone / Ethridge Knight -- Re-act for action / Don L. Lee -- On riots / Cy Leslie -- Arson and cold lace / Worth Long -- What my child learns of the sea / Audre Lorde -- Down wind, against the highest peaks / Clarence Major -- Poems for Thel: The very tops of trees / John Major -- All the world moved / June Meyer -- Energy for a new thang / Ernie Mkalimoto -- Black church on Sunday / Joseph M. Mosley, Jr. -- Percy: 68 / Glenn Myles -- Orishas / Larry Neal -- Today : the idea market / Michael Nicholas -- Last letter to the Western civilization / Dt Ogilvie -- Listen. -- / Charles Patterson -- You are the brave / Ray Patterson -- "I: wonder" / Tom Poole -- Metagnomy / N.H. Pritchard -- Concert / Helen Quigless -- Blackberry sweet / Dudley Randall -- Infants of Summer / Lennox Raphael -- Eclipse / Amir Rashidd -- Warriors prancing / Niema Rashidd -- Gods in Vietnam / Eugene Redmond -- I am a cowboy in the boat of ra / Ishmael Reed -- Tricked again / Ridhiana -- On the death of William Edward Burghardt Du Bois by African moonlight and forgotten shores / Conrad Kent Rivers -- Small Comment / Sonia Sanchez -- The American dream / Johnie Scott -- Take tools our strength / Gerald L. Simmons, Jr. -- Ascendancy / Herbert A. Simmons -- Breakthrough / John Sinclair -- Strategies / Welton Smith -- I looked & saw history caught / A.B. Spellman -- Al Fitnah Muhajir / Nazzam Al Sudan -- White weekend / Quincy Troupe -- Night slivers / Darwin T. Turner -- From a bus / Malaika Ayo Wangara -- Regenesis / Ron Welburn -- Safari West / John A. Williams -- A dance for Ma Rainey / Al Young.

About the anthology

• "On pages 145-156, there are bio-bibliographical sketches of the seventy-six young poets (most of whom were born during and after the Thirties) represented in this anthology" (Rowell 1972: 58).

Reviews and notices of anthology

• "Negro Digest" (June 1968): 49. [Google Books]
"Clarence Major in New York is editing an anthology of 'revolutionary black poetry' for International Publishers (381 Park Ave. S., New York, N.Y. 10016). Says Mr. Major: 'The emphasis of the book is on the current human crisis in the United States, and I am using established poets as well as gifted new ones.' Poems should be sent to Mr. Major in care of the publishers."

Commentary on anthology

• "Among the accomplished anthologies that feature black poetry, this is one of the most angry and militant. This is accomplished poetry by talented poets, but too often this slim collection sacrifices talent for 'social black consciousness.' Al Young, Ishmael Reed, Audre Lord ["sic"], and Etheridge Knight stand out among the poets, and there are dozens of others whose poetry is equally raw, rhythmic, and effective. Most of the poets were born just after the Second World War, and many of them express anger without any design or form to their work. Major, who includes his own verse here, offers brief biographical information on each writer, as well as a lengthy preface. The anthology records in strong terms the emotions and personal statements of its contributors. There // are more solid collections that present a broader range of contemporary black poets and of ideologies and skill" ("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. 10-11)
• Includes 76 poets, including many not previously anthologized: "Sam Cornish, Nikki Giovanni, Lance Jeffers, Etheridge Knight, Don L. Lee, Ishmael Reed, Sonia Sanchez, Quincy Troupe, and Al Young are only some of the poets anthologized by Major who were to achieve substantial reputations" (Kinnamon 1997: 470).
• "Some early East coast anthologies were also critical in promoting the idea of a new national African American arts movement. . . . Clarence Major's "The New Black Poetry" (1969), issued by the CPUSA's [Communist Party USA] International Publishers, was another key anthology conceived in a New York Black Arts-Communist Left matrix—key in terms of presenting both a wide range of black poetry and a rallying point for those, such as Edward Spriggs and Askia Touré, who called for black poets to publish with African American presses rather than white publishers" (James Smethurst and Howard Rambsy II. "Reform and Revolution, 1965-1976: The Black Aesthetic at Work." "The Cambridge History of African American Literature". Ed. Maryemma Graham and Jerry W. Ward, Jr. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 2011. 433).

Cited in

Kinnamon 1997: 470
• Indexed in "The Columbia Granger's Index to African-American Poetry" (1999)

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