Tag Archives: Melvin B. Tolson

“If I am going to be a poet at all, I am going to be POET and not NEGRO POET.” — poet Countee Cullen

Yet do I marvel at this curious thing: To make a poet black, and bid him sing! — Countee Cullen It’s his birthday today. Cullen is often compared to Langston Hughes (my post on Hughes here), seems a little unfair, … Continue reading

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“and I / spoke with tongues that sent their devotees / out of this world!” — poet Melvin B. Tolson

“I, as a black poet, have absorbed the Great Ideas of the Great White World, and interpreted them in the melting-pot idiom of my people. My roots are in Africa, Europe, and America.” – Melvin B. Tolson, 1965 interview It’s … Continue reading

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“The mood of the Blues is almost always despondency, but when they are sung people laugh.” — Langston Hughes

The Blues always impressed me as being very sad, sadder even than the Spirituals, because their sadness is not softened with tears, but hardened with laughter … of a sadness where there is no god to appeal to. — Langston … Continue reading

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Year in Review: Shooting My Mouth Off in 2020, Part 2

Here’s part 1, a list of things I’ve written for other outlets. This list, then, is a hodge-podge of the things I’ve written here this year. Anyone familiar with this joint knows that I do tribute posts for people’s birthdays. … Continue reading

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