Category Archives: Blogs

Reflections on #SHEAR14

I just returned home from my most digitally enhanced annual meeting of the Society for Historians of the Early American Republic (SHEAR) yet, so it only makes sense that I capture my reflections on that experience in digital form. As always, I am impressed by what a generous group of scholars has been drawn to


Poetry written by acclaimed writers (such as Langston Hughes and Paul Laurence Dunbar) and by ordinary men and women filled the pages of African American newspapers from the 1890s to 1930.  Their topics ranged from first love to lynching, from spring to disfranchisement–i.e., from beauty to brutality.  They sought to follow the style of classical […]

The Past and Present Progress of the Negroes in America

Thomas Young, O.G.L., in the Richmond Planet, February 17, 1900: Eighteen Hundred and Sixty-Five, The blessed news was heard, Those that were bound, it gave new life, To hear those happy words. Three million of them were turned loose, Without a penny or friend, Like an infant in its youth, No power was given them. […]

Songs of the Oppressed

Wendell P. Gladden Jr. in the California Eagle, April 14, 1923: There’s a yearning in the breasts of all who have tasted grim oppression’s gall, Who have fought against the odds of wrong, For expression, both in word and song. Cheering kords [sic] and animating themes Soul songs filled with memories and dreams, Cheer the […]

To Charles Young

William Nauns Ricks (San Francisco) in the California Eagle, July 7, 1917: To Charles Young Leut. Colonel U.S. Army Read at public meeting of N.A.A.C.P. at which Co. Young spoke Could I portray in words of grace, The service you have done your race; Could I but half such service do; Then I might pen […]

To a Baby

Annette C. Brown in Half-Century Magazine, March 1920: Little soul so young and pure, Gazing through bright eyes at me; Little soul that must endure What the future holds for thee. Incarnate hope of Ethiope’s race, Little brown skinned baby boy; A trusting smile, a baby face, A father’s pride, a mother’s joy. Laugh and […]

Paul Lawrence Dunbar

Thomas Jefferson Flanagan in the Atlanta Independent, December 18, 1909: You sleep amid the hills; You[r] body is lying low; But your voice among the rills, Will be heard forever more. Your tongue sleeps; ’tis sleeping Here; is an idle quill. To your race, the day is peeping; They sing your praises still. You kept […]

Africa, Over the Sea

T. J. Flanagan in the Atlanta Independent, March 21, 1908 (Tune: America) My home, sweet Africa’s hills, My heart with rapture it fills To think of thee. Thy holy laws I sing, Wisdom and justice cling, Thy bells of welcome ring Over the sea. There prejudice is unknown, The good seed there is sown For […]

A Word to the Negroes. And All.

Landon West (Pleasant Hill, OH) in the Atlanta Independent, October 23, 1909: To show all our people their chances to live, And share in the blessings that Heaven may give, With aid to our nation, to honor each race, A word for the negroes is surely in place. Their day, though a sad one, is […]