This course will be a swift examination of the progress of African American poetry, the spirituals as the first formal literature, Harlem Renaissance, protest poetry of the 60’s and contemporary verse forms. Are spirituals, the oral tradition of slave songs, considered poetry? How did poets first write and publish poetry? In dialect or formal language? When did protest poems first arise? What and how are poets writing now?
Eugene McCarthy taught literature at Holy Cross for thirty-five years with emphasis on Eighteenth-century English literature and African American literature.
Required Book: The Black Poets, Dudley Randall, ed. Bantam Paperback. ISBN: 978-0553275636
For the first class: Read the spirituals.
Worcester Institute for Senior Education (WISE)Assumption University, 500 Salisbury Street, Worcester MA 01609