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

by Arnold Adoff and Benny Andrews

A welcome second edition of Adoff's invaluable anthology contains 85 poems largely... read more

A welcome second edition of Adoff's invaluable anthology contains 85 poems largely written for adults which he first compiled three decades ago. Rudine Sims Bishop's five-page introduction "Notes from a Darker Sister" increases the worth of this important groundbreaking book and deserves to become required reading in the young adult literature community. Bishop provides general and personal historical contexts. She points out that in 1968 Afew Black writers were being published, and virtually no comprehensive anthologies of Black poetry were available to young people." In a one-page foreword poet Nikki Giovanni writes, "Poems shouted the truth; mumbled the pain; threatened with anger; soothed with love...we turn to poems for affirmation of our spirits." The roster of poets represents a Awho's who" of literary figures whose brief biographies contribute essential information. Critical comments are provided for 21 poems not included in the first edition. Adoff's inspiring endnote suggests that Aall of us, from all the colors of the race...can share these visions, and join with these African- American voices, to share the equality of strength that must be common language for all of our American lives. Together." (Age 11-adult)

© Cooperative Children's Book Center, Univ. of Wisconsin - Madison, 1997

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