The Life and contributions of Paul Lawrence Dunbar
Paul Lawrence Dunbar was born and raised in Dayton, Ohio, where hisparents divorced at a young age. Living with his mother, he wastaught to read and write. She also would read him the bible every day.Unfortunately, in his school life, Dunbar was the only African-American in his high school, but it did not stop him to stay active.
During high school, Paul Lawrence Dunbar was the editor of the school newspaperas well as the class president. He was also president of the school literary society.Based on his activities, Dunbar was a very talented writer. He wrote his first poemat age six, later becoming one of the best African-American writers in history.
Paul Laurence Dunbar later became known for his work. His firstprofessionally published poems, “On the River” and “Our MartyredSoldiers” was published on the newspaper in 1888. He later writesmore popular poems and becomes the first African American to getaccepted nationally in poetry.
What made Dunbar’s poems so popular was his style ofwriting. His style consists of standard English of a classicalpoet and the dialect an African American in the South. Oneexample of his style is Dunbar’s poem “A Border Ballad.”
Unfortunately, Paul Laurence Dunbar died at the age of33 in 1906. Despite his young age, Paul LaurenceDunbar was known for being the first African Americanto be nationally accepted as a famous poet. His workalso influenced the Harlem Renaissance, which is whenAfrican Culture advanced in music, dance, and art.
A choice by Paul Laurence Dunbar They please me not-these solemn songs That hint of sermons covered up T’is true the world should heed its wrongs But in a poem let me sup Not simples brewed to cure or ease Humanity’s confessed disease But the spirit-wine of a singing line, Or a dew drop in a honey cup!