Tuneful Tales (Double Mountain Books Series)

Overview

As enigmatic and contradictory as far West Texas has always been, it is nevertheless surprising to learn that in 1925 its desert germinated a slender but vibrant shoot of the Harlem Renaissance. Isolated on the U.S.?Mexico border, far from any metropolitan African-American community or literary influences, Bernice Love Wiggins, a perceptive young poet, self-published her first, apparently only, book of poetry. One of only a handful of black writers in Texas in the 1920s and 1930s, Wiggins was contemporary with ...

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Overview

As enigmatic and contradictory as far West Texas has always been, it is nevertheless surprising to learn that in 1925 its desert germinated a slender but vibrant shoot of the Harlem Renaissance. Isolated on the U.S.–Mexico border, far from any metropolitan African-American community or literary influences, Bernice Love Wiggins, a perceptive young poet, self-published her first, apparently only, book of poetry. One of only a handful of black writers in Texas in the 1920s and 1930s, Wiggins was contemporary with Langston Hughes, Countee Cullen, and Zora Neale Hurston and was among the first female African-American poets published in the United States. Just as the Harlem movement focused on experiences of black Americans who sought relief from racism and endeavored to build communities, Tuneful Tales gives voice to the many-sided black experience in remote El Paso. Whatever Wiggins may have known of her contemporaries more than half a continent away or of the movement itself may never be clear. Disappointingly, after her move to California in the early 1930s , the trail grows cold. Yet the composed young woman who gazes so wisely, if dreamily, from her high school photographs evoked her personae so compellingly in both timbre and substance that great folklorist and critic J. Mason Brewer proclaimed her the female Paul Laurence Dunbar. Ethiopia Speaks Lynched! Somewhere in the South, the "Land of the Free,” To a very strong branch of a dogwood tree. Lynched! One of my sons,— When the flag was in danger they answered the call I gave them black sons, ah! yes, gave them all When you came to me. And Now Goodnight I have told you tuneful tales, Gathered from the hills and vales, Wheresoever mine own people chanced to dwell. If the tales have brought you mirth, Brought more laughter to the earth, It is well. Maceo Dailey is the director of the African American Studies Program of the University of Texas El Paso and a governor’s appointee to the Texas Council For The Humanities and Juneteenth Commission.

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Product Details

Meet the Author

Maceo Dailey is the director of the African American Studies Program of the University of Texas El Paso and a governor’s appointee to the Texas Council For The Humanities and Juneteenth Commission.

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Table of Contents

Introduction 5
Let Us Smile 11
A Race with a Corpse 12
Home 17
Miss Annie's Playing 18
Kin Folks 22
Defending Joshua 24
Grandmother Speaks 28
The Deacon's Prayer 29
A Letter to Santa Claus 32
Neither 35
The Cripple 36
Commencement 37
Ethiopia Speaks 38
I Must Share that Rung with You 40
The Man They Couldn't Kill 42
A Home for Mother 45
The Last Lesson 48
The Preacher and the Bear 51
From Kentucky 54
The Poetical Farmwife 55
Women's Rights 56
Worried 58
Religion or Comfort 59
Has Yo' Seed Him? 62
Church Folks 67
The Missus Glimm and Me 71
The Scolding 74
Mammy's Pride 77
What Is Love? 79
Friends and Flowers 80
To Tarry Here 81
Conscience 82
Why Not? 83
The Tailor's Song 84
Hallowe'en 85
Snow 86
Pecans 87
Dandy Jim 88
Sammy Joe 89
Market Meat 91
Hard Times 93
Sighs of a Soldier 94
Some One's Son 96
Lines 97
Somewhere 98
Buster 99
Dunbar 100
Longing for Mother 101
Mother's Day 102
Madre Mia 104
Loved and Lost 105
Farewell 106
The Call of Love 107
We Love You Just the Same 108
Remorse 109
To the Lake 110
Twilight Dreams 111
The Legend of the Tulips 113
The Canna Lilly 115
We Thank Thee 117
The Lone Tree of the Plain 118
Dreaming 119
Who's to Blame? 120
Lincoln and the Southland 122
Old Flag for My People and You 125
The Vampire 128
Encouragement 132
A Prayer 133
Where Is the Land? 134
Weary 135
Society 136
A Friend Was Needed 137
Tears and Carresses 138
Grieve not the Spirit 139
Who Am I? 140
I Am Naught 141
They Know Not 142
Which? 143
To the Graduate 144
Old Year You're Dying Confess 145
To Ruth Ray 146
A Church Conference 147
After While 152
Thus 153
Creeds 154
A Prayer 155
Lines 156
A Child's Musing 157
Lines 158
Lines 159
You Too? 160
Just Dreams 161
Suffering Love 162
Waiting 163
What Do We Want? 164
Still There Is Love 165
In My Evening After While 166
Lines 167
The Chosen One 168
I Wonder 169
Jasper Ray 170
And Now Goodnight 174
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