Paul Lawrence Dunbar
Poems, including “Sympathy” – A-A poet who wrote in dialect as well as in standard English; found the dialect poems easy to publish in segregated late 19th century society; the others difficult; “Sympathy” portrays his frustration
Booker T. Washington
Up From Slavery – autobiography by educator who urged freed slaves to concentrate on getting schooling in trades and agriculture, not by rocking the boat politically.
W. E. B. Du Bois
The Souls of Black Folk – Founder of the NAACP; urged AA to aspire to full university educations, full voting rights, and professional careers.
Poem, including sonnet “If We Must Die” – Leading poet of the Harlem Renaissance who flirted with communism but rejected it. “If We Must Die” urges resistance to white assaults during the 1919 race riots.
Poems, including “Incident” – “Incident” is a deceptively simple poem about the impact of white racism on a black child in Baltimore; Cullen was Harvard-educated and highly popular.
poems, including “I, Too, Sing America” – Poet/novelist/playwright who emphasized beauty, hope, nobility of ordinary AA; in the face of segregation and discrimination.
Zora Neale Hurston
Their Eyes Were Watching God – Novel written in dialect and without political stance by a folklorist trained in anthropology; criticized by more politically active black writers