I Am the Darker Brother: An Anthology of Modern Poems by African Americans

Overview

'I Am the Darker Brother' exposes the quintessential African American, a proud, lonely, vulnerable yet independent human being who has forged out of hardship that combination of endurance, understanding, and spirit called soul.

Arnold Adoff updates the classic collection I Am the Darker Brother: An Anthology of Modern Poems by African Americans, first published in 1968, with 23 new poems by Nikki Giovanni (who also contributes a foreword), Ishmael Reed, Maya Angelou and others. This anthology covers ...

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Overview

'I Am the Darker Brother' exposes the quintessential African American, a proud, lonely, vulnerable yet independent human being who has forged out of hardship that combination of endurance, understanding, and spirit called soul.

Arnold Adoff updates the classic collection I Am the Darker Brother: An Anthology of Modern Poems by African Americans, first published in 1968, with 23 new poems by Nikki Giovanni (who also contributes a foreword), Ishmael Reed, Maya Angelou and others. This anthology covers not only well-known poems by Langston Hughes, Gwendolyn Brooks, Claude McKay and Paul Laurence Dunbar, but fills in other bright spots in a strong and often neglected tradition. Illustrations, by Benny Andrews, not seen by PW.

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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Sheree Van Vreede
You couldn't have a richer collection of the most prominent contemporary African-American poets. Names like Langston Hughes, Maya Angelou, Gwendolyn Brooks, Amiri Baraka, and Rita Dove fill its pages. Through the lyrical medium of poetry, this anthology strives to illuminate the soul of the quintessential African-American. The hardship of history and the hope for the future resound from section to section. Readers follow the poets on a journey of a collective heritage that will forever affect future generations.
School Library Journal
Gr 5 UpCountless anthologies of African-American poetry, many with elaborate illustrations, have appeared since Adoff's I Am the Darker Brother (Macmillan, 1968) was published. It remains remarkable in its ability to present the African-American experience through poetry that speaks for itself without the distraction of artwork or the need to trumpet itself as being multicultural. This revised and updated edition has 21 new selections, representing 19 poets (9 of them women), added to the thematic sections of the original title. Now, readers can meet more contemporary writers such as Rita Dove, Maya Angelou, and Ishmael Reed as well as classic black poets like Countee Cullen, Paul Laurence Dunbar, and Langston Hughes. An introduction puts the book in historical context and a foreword offers encouragement to a new generation of readers. Notes and biographies have been updated and added where appropriate and Andrews's spare but evocative line drawings still open each section. Because of the historical context of many of the poems, the book will be much in demand during Black History Month, but it should be used and treasured as part of the larger canon of literature to be enjoyed by all Americans at all times of the year. An indispensable addition to library collections.Carrie Schadle, New York Public Library
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780689808692
  • Publisher: Simon Pulse
  • Publication date: 1/1/1997
  • Format: Mass Market Paperback
  • Edition description: Revised
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 192
  • Sales rank: 299,020
  • Age range: 14 - 17 Years
  • Product dimensions: 4.10 (w) x 6.80 (h) x 0.60 (d)

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Sort by: Showing all of 4 Customer Reviews
  • Posted July 3, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    One of the most amazing anthologies in all of American literature.

    Not only is this collection poignant and educational for younger readers, but I believe that it is an absolutely essential read for the youth of America. Too quickly people forget about the past, and these poems are necessary in order that history doesn't continue to repeat itself. There are so many phenomenal gems by well-known authors and poets throughout the 20th century, and every single one of them is still relevant to our culture today. The list of poets in this anthology is amazing, and it's an important read for anyone in order to show us a mirror, reflecting the current state of ourselves in hopes that we will grow and expand our understanding of life and humanity.

    -Lindsey Miller, www.lindseyslibrary.com

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  • Posted November 30, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    just say educational poem book

    Poems on aspects of race or racial problems by well-known Negro poets, including Countee Cullen,Richard Wright, Leroi Jones, Langston Hughes, and James Weldon Johnson<BR/><BR/><BR/>passages form poem book<BR/><BR/>We wear the mask that grins and lies, It hides our cheeks and shades our eyes This debt we pay to human guile; With torn and bleeding hearts we smile, And mouth with myriad subtleties. Why should the world be overwise, In counting all our tears and sighs? Nay, let them only see us, while We wear the mask. page 134

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 5, 2008

    A reviewer

    I Am The Darker Brother is a compilation of modern poems by African Americans, many of whom rose to the height of their careers during the Harlem Renaissance in the 1930s. Works by renowned African American writers such as Langston Hughes, Claude McKay, Robert Hayden, and Zora Neale Hurston are placed in the book as a collective of the poems on Black oppression, struggle, identity, and ultimate Triumph. The book is split into six parts with distinct poems relating to them. Like I Am is a section that alludes to the Blackness of African Americans. In one poem, Me and the Mule by Langston Hughes, Hughes refers himself to a mule, not ¿giving a damn¿, asking people ¿to take me Like I am,¿ revealing the pride that African Americans possess. Genealogy is a section that talks about the Black migration throughout the centuries, including the Columbian Slave Trade, Dust Bowl Fiasco, North Migration, etc. Shall Be Remembered honors great abolitionists and African Americans such as Frederick Douglass and Martin Luther King Jr. If We Must Die has poems regarding the ancient oppression that the writers¿ ancestors had, including the lynching and slaughtering that fell upon them. Author AT goes as far to call his people ¿an Endangered Species¿ at one time. I Am The Darker Brother honors African Americans everywhere, epitomizing them as being true Americans. Finally, The Hope Of Your Unborn has poems on the future of American, the unborn African American children and youth that will change the country, and be able to succeed in places in which they were once unable to enter (such as running for President). The book overall builds a connection with the readers on the plight of African Americans. The book¿s purpose is to not make people guilty or sympathetic, but to know all aspects of African Americans and their history in a way to reassure the fact that they too are human and Americans despite the color of their skin. The book also helps reaffirm the dignity of the African American people, that they are all part of the American story. I would highly recommend this book to my friends. Though it may be an easy read, the poems are heart touching and moving, and connect to people across all racial lines. I¿d give the book a 4 out of 5 because it was truly moving and put me into the shoes of the writers, allowing me to feel their struggles and pain from which their wholesome words originated from.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 4, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

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