The Book of American Negro Poetry

James Weldon Johnson, Editor

Contents of 1922 & 1931 Editions *

Preface to Revised Edition 
Preface to Original Edition  
Paul Laurence DunbarA Negro Love Song
 Little Brown Baby
 Ere Sleep Comes Down
 Ships That Pass in the Night
 Lover’s Lane
 The Debt
 The Haunted Oak
 When de Co’n Pon’s Hot
 A Death Song
James Edwin CampbellNegro Serenade
 De Cunjah Man
 Uncle Eph’s Banjo Song
 Ol’ Doc’ Hyar
 When Ol’ Sis’ Judy Pray
James D. CorrothersAt the Closed Gate of Justice
 Paul Laurence Dunbar
 The Negro Singer
 The Road to the Bow
 In the Matter of Two Men
 An Indignation Dinner
 Dream and the Song
Daniel Webster Davis’Weh Down Souf’
 Hog Meat
William H. A. MooreDusk Song
 It Was Not Fate
W. E. Burghardt Du BoisA Litany of Atlanta
George Marion McClellanThe Hills of Sewanee
 Dogwood Blossoms
 A Butterfly in Church
 The Feet of Judas
William Stanley BraithwaiteSandy Star and Willie Gee
 Del Cascar
 Turn Me to My Yellow Leaves
 Ironic: LL.D.
 Sic Vita
George Reginald MargetsonStanzas from The Fledgling Bard and the Poetry Society
James Weldon JohnsonThe Creation
 The White Witch
 Sence You Went Away
 O Black and Unknown Bards
 My City
 Listen, Lord
 The Glory of the Day Was in Her Face
 Stanzas from Fifty Years
[1922: Fifty Years]
 [1922:  Mother Night]
 [1922:  O Southland!]
John Wesley HollowayMiss Melerlee
 Calling the Doctor
 The Corn Song
 Black Mammies
Fenton JohnsonChildren of the Sun
 The New Day
 The Banjo Player
 The Scarlet Woman
 Lines from The Vision of Lazarus
Edward Smyth Jones 
A Song of Thanks
Benjamin BrawleyMy Hero
Leslie Pinckney HillTuskegee
 Christmas at Melrose
 Summer Magic
 The Teacher
 “So Quietly”
Alex RogersWhy Adam Sinned
 The Rain Song
Waverley Turner CarmichaelKeep Me, Jesus, Keep Me
 Winter Is Coming
Alice Dunbar-NelsonSonnet
Claude McKayThe Lynching
 If We Must Die
 To the White Fiends
 The Harlem Dancer
 Harlem Shadows
 After the Winter
 Spring in New Hampshire
 The Tired Worker
 The Barrier
 To O. E. A.
Georgia Douglas JohnsonThe Heart of a Woman
 Lost Illusions
 I Want to Die While You Love Me
 My Little Dreams
Joseph Seamon Cotter, Jr.A Prayer
 And What Shall You Say?
 Is It Because I Am Black?
 The Band of Gideon
 Rain Music
Ray Garfield DandridgeTime to Die
 Ittle Touzle Head
 Zalka Peetruza
 Sprin’ Fevah
 De Drum Majah
Roscoe C. JamisonThe Negro Soldiers
R. Nathaniel DettThe Rubinstein Staccato Etude
Charles Bertram JohnsonA Little Cabin
 Negro Poets
Joshua Henry Jones, Jr.To a Skull
Otto Leland BohananThe Dawn’s Awake!
 The Washer-Woman
Jessie Redmond FausetLa Vie C’est la Vie
 Christmas Eve in France
 Dead Fires
Theodore Henry ShackelfordThe Big Bell in Zion
Lucian B. WatkinsStar of Ethiopia
 Two Points of View
 To Our Friends
Anne SpencerBefore the Feast of Shushan
 At the Carnival
 The Wife-Woman
Countee Cullen Heritage
Youth Sings a Song of Rosebuds
To John Keats, Poet, at Springtime
From the Dark Tower
Timid Lover
Uncle Jim
Black Magdalens
Yet Do I Marvel
Langston Hughes Brass Spitoons
Po’ Boy Blues
Hard Daddy
Esthete in Harlem
Jazz Band in a Parisian Cabaret
As I Grew Older
The Negro Speaks of Rivers
Fantasy in Purple
Gwendolyn Bennett To a Dark Girl
Sterling A. Brown Odyssey of Big Boy
Southern Road
Memphis Blues
Long Gone
Slim Greer
Strong Men
Arna Bontemps A Black Man Talks of Reaping
Southern Mansion
Nocturne of the Wharves
Nocturne at Bethesda
God Give to Men
Frank Horne Nigger—A Chant for Children
More Letters Found Near a Suicide
On Seeing Two Brown Boys in a Catholic Church
To a Persistent Phantom
Helene Johnson Poem
The Road
Sonnet to a Negro in Harlem
Remember Not
Waring Cuney No Images
Troubled Jesus
Wake Cry
Burial of the Young Love
Lucy Ariel WilliamsNorthboun
Suggestions for Collateral Reading 
Index of Authors 
Index of Titles 

* The contents are presented in the order of the 1931 revised edition, with additional poems from the 1922 edition [in brackets]. See explanation below.


The Book of American Negro Poetry, chosen and edited, with an essay on the Negro's creative genius, by James Weldon Johnson. New York: Harcourt, Brace, and Company, 1922. xlviii, 217 pp.

The entire contents of this edition with various indexes are available online from Note Johnson’s Preface.

Individual poems of the 1922 edition are all linked in the contents above. The default target site is the site. Poems appearing in the 1922 edition but not in the 1931 edition are indicated in brackets. Johnson altered the selection of his own poems for the 1931 edition.

The 1922 edition as a whole book can be found online in several places, at, Google books, Project Gutenberg. Here is one place to obtain the text in several formats at

The Book of American Negro Poetry, chosen and edited, with an essay on the Negro's creative genius, by James Weldon Johnson. Revised edition. New York: Harcourt, Brace, and Company, 1931. xii, 300 pp.

Poems added in the 1931 edition are boldfaced. Poems are linked to pages on different web sites, either as individual poems or within collections or books.

Johnson added one poem apiece by Paul Laurence Dunbar, Fenton Johnson, Leslie Pinckney Hill, and Claude McKay. New poets appearing are Countee Cullen, Langston Hughes, Gwendolyn Bennett, Sterling A. Brown, Arna Bontemps, Frank Horne, Helene Johnson, Waring Cuney, and Lucy Ariel Williams.

I Want to Die While You Love Me
by Georgia Douglas Johnson

"Strong Men"
by Sterling A. Brown

Negro Poetry in America
by Lena Beatrice Morton
[Excerpts & Summary]

Anthology of American Negro Literature
ed. by V. F. Calverton
[Preface & Contents]

Black Studies, Music, America vs Europe

See also section on Black literature in Esperanto


The Black Poet as Canon-Maker
by Elizabeth Alexander

The Poetry Of The Negro 1746-1949
edited by Langston Hughes & Arna Bontemps

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