Top 10 Most Famous Afro-American Poets

The history is full of colonialism examples. Many countries were subject for this awful experience. The African continent was the most suffering one, it produces peoples who felt inferior by the White man. The African literature embraces many authors who managed to deliver their message through words. Some of them have lived in America, they were struggling for their own identity, refused to be stereotyped as slaves because of their black skin. They called for equality, human rights and freedom. If you want to get acquainted with the best Afro-American authors, here is a list of the top 10.

10 Lucille Clifton:

Lucille was an American poet and writer, she belonged to the West African Kingdom of Dahomey, known now as the Republic of Benin. Her mother told her, to be proud, as she is a Dahomey woman. She said as one of her ancestors was the first black woman to be “with authorization hanged” for homicide in Kentucky during the Slavery that took place in the United States.

9 Rita Dove:

Rita is an American poet and writer, she served as Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry to the Library of Congress, to be first Afro-American to be appointed since creation of the position by an act of Congress issued in 1986. She has many excellent works, such as the “Dark face of Earth”. It is a masterpiece.

8 Paul Laurence Dunbar:

Paul Laurence Dunbar was an African-American poet, one of the first to gain national credit. His parents were slaves from Kentucky. In 1892, a teacher encouraged him to read his poems at a conference of the Western Association of Writers; the poems get his audience surprised so, poet James Whitcomb Riley offered him a letter of encouragement.

7 Robert Hayden:

Robert Hayden was raised by foster parents. Because of intense nearsightedness, he preferred books rather than sports when he was child. The historical side for much of Hayden’s works excerpted from his wide-ranging study of American and black history.

6 Yusef Komunyakaa:

Yusef Komunyakaa is a poet who was born in Louisiana, in which he was raised during the commencement of the Civil Rights movement. His poetry began in 1973. He was said that he deals with the most multifaceted moral issues, the most upsetting ugly subjects of the American life. His voice represents the exact suffering of a black man.

5 Claude McKay:

Claude was a leading figure in the Harlem Renaissance, a well-known literary movement rose in the 1920s. His work revolves around the language celebrating peasant life in Jamaica and confrontational challenging against white influence in America.

4 James Weldon Johnson:

He was a brilliant poet who is famous of bringing a new standard of creativity and realism to black literature. His well-known works are “The Autobiography of an Ex-Coloured Man” and God’s Trombones“.

3 Etheridge Knight:

Etheridge Knight was jailed in the Indiana State Prison, where he started writing poetry. He published his first collection in 1978, entitled Poems from Prison. His work was called by writers and critics a first-rate example of the influential realism of blackness in art. Knight’s poetry became imperative in Afro-American literature.

2 James A. Emanuel:

He wrote above dozens of poems, who grew in Nebraska, he is said to be frustrated by the racism so he moved to France, passing away at the age of 92. He has a great anthology of the Afro-American literature that contributed a lot to the Black literature.

1 Langston Hughes:

He is a prominent figure in the international literature. He was a very famous symbol in Harlem Renaissance. Most of his poems focus on the suffering of the Black, refusing to be underestimated. Actually, Hughes’ poems seem as if a machine of resistance will jump out the lines citing rage.

These professional poets create a glorified heritage of Afro-American literature.


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