Paul Laurence Dunbar
Born June 27, 1872, In Dayton, Ohio, This Son Of Former Slaves Became A Prolific And Popular Turn-Of The-Century Writer. Dunbar Was The First Black American Poet To Gain National Eminence. Booker T. Washington Dubbed Him "Poet Laureate Of The Negro Race." Dunbar Was Most Widely Known For ("Negro") Dialect Poetry, Although He Favored His Standard English Writings.
His First Volume Of Poetry, "Oak And Ivory," Was Published In 1892, With The Help Of His Friends Orville And Wilbur Wright, The Acknowledged Inventors Of America's First Airplane.
His 1896 Collection, "Majors And Minors," Won Critical Acclaim, And In 1901 His Novel, "Sport Of The Gods," Was Published. "Sport Of The Gods" Represents Dunbar's Transition Into Naturalist Tradition Embraced By Writers In The Early 1900's. Naturalist Novels Presented A More "Scientific" View Of Life.
The Following Is An Excerpt From "The Sport Of The Gods" -- (Chapter 7):
The subtle, insidious wine of New York will begin to intoxicate him. Then, if he be wise, he will go away, anyplace--yes he will even go over to Jersey. But if he be a fool, he will stay and stay until the town becomes all in all to him; until the very streets are his chums and certain buildings and corners his best friends. Then he is hopeless, and to live elsewhere would be his death.
His Home, Located At 219 Summit Street In Dayton, Ohio, Remains Very Much The Same As It Was At The Time Of His Death.
"In Order For Black History To Live, We Must Continue To Breathe Life Into It." -- Hubert Gaddy, Jr.
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