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By Jay Parini (Editor), Brett C. Miller (Associate Editor)

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His popularity was so great that it is difficult to number the reprints of his many collections, the first of which was "Lyrics of Lowly Life" (1895), and often his praise has been considered excessive by those who feel that other African American poets deserve comparable attention. Dunbar's facility with all major forms of Anglo-American poetry, his gift in adapting African American dialect to these various forms, and his undeniable lyric virtuosity combine to give full justification to his high status.

Taylor's "Huswifery" is the most < previous page page_11 If you like this book, buy it! next page > < previous page page_12 next page > Page 12 famous of these lyrics, Taylor is thinking about the process of making cloth, and, in particular, the garment that will be a mark of salvation for the wearer. We know from his collection of sermons on the Lord's Supper that he has a passage from Matthew (22:12) in mind. " For Taylor, the proper garment reflects the condition of the soul: Then cloath therewith mine Understanding, Will, Affections, Judgment, Conscience, Memory, My words and actions, that their shine may fill My wayes with glory and thee glorify.

The Revolutionary War took its toll on slave and slaveowner alike. ) sought, begged, and wrote for his freedom from the North Carolinian Horton family for most of his < previous page page_21 If you like this book, buy it! next page > < previous page page_22 next page > Page 22 life, but did not gain his freedom until 1865, when he followed Union troops to Philadelphia. Horton was outspoken on the wrongs of slavery, and several collections of his works were published during his lifetime. He spent his most creative period while attached to the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill as a janitor.

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