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Creative Quotations from . . .
Paul Laurence Dunbar
(1872-1906) born on
Jun 27
US poet, novelist, short-story writer. He was the first African American poet to gain a national audience; wrote four volumes of poetry including "Oak and Ivy."
People are taking it for granted that [the Negro] ought not to work with his head. And it is so easy for these people among whom we are living to believe this; it flatters and satisfies their self-complacency.

I know why the caged bird sings, ah me,
When his wing is bruised and his bosom sore,
When he beats his bars and he would be free;
It is not a carol of joy or glee,
But a prayer that he sends from his heart's deep core.
There is a heaven, for ever, day by day,
The upward longing of my soul doth tell me so.
There is a hell, I'm quite as sure; for pray,
If there were not, where would my neighbors go?
It's 'nough to titter w'en de/stew is smokin' hot,
But it's mighty he'd to giggle we'n/dey's nuffin' in de pot.
With it all, I cannot help being overwhelmed by self-doubts. I hope there is something worthy in my writings and not merely the novelty of a black face associated with the power to rhyme that has attracted attention.
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Published Sources for the above Quotations:
F: c. Aug 1898.
R: "Star."
A: "Theology."
N: "Philosophy."
K: In "African-American Writers," by Valeried Smith, 1991.

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