Words of Protest, Words of Freedom: Poetry of the American Civil Rights Movement and Era

Words of Protest, Words of Freedom: Poetry of the American Civil Rights Movement and Era

By: Jeffrey Lamar Coleman (editor)Paperback

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Poetry is an ideal artistic medium for expressing the fear, sorrow, and triumph of revolutionary times. Words of Protest, Words of Freedom is the first comprehensive collection of poems written during and in response to the American civil rights struggle of 1955-75. Featuring some of the most celebrated writers of the twentieth century-including Maya Angelou, Amiri Baraka, Gwendolyn Brooks, Allen Ginsberg, Robert Lowell, and Derek Walcott-alongside lesser-known poets, activists, and ordinary citizens, this anthology presents a varied and vibrant set of voices, highlighting the tremendous symbolic reach of the civil rights movement within and beyond the United States.Some of the poems address crucial movement-related events-such as the integration of the Little Rock schools, the murders of Emmett Till and Medgar Evers, the emergence of the Black Panther party, and the race riots of the late 1960s-and key figures, including Martin Luther King Jr., Malcolm X, and John and Robert Kennedy. Other poems speak more broadly to the social and political climate of the times. Along with Jeffrey Lamar Coleman's headnotes, the poems recall the heartbreaking and jubilant moments of a tumultuous era. Altogether, more than 150 poems by approximately 100 poets showcase the breadth of the genre of civil rights poetry. Selected contributors. Maya Angelou, W. H. Auden, Amiri Baraka, Gwendolyn Brooks, Lucille Clifton Lawrence Ferlinghetti, Allen Ginsberg, Langston Hughes, June Jordan, Philip Levine, Audre Lorde, Robert Lowell, Pauli Murray, Huey P. Newton, Adrienne Rich, Sonia Sanchez, Leopold Sedar Senghor, Derek Walcott, Alice Walker, Yevgeny Yevtushenko

About Author

Jeffrey Lamar Coleman is Associate Professor of English at St. Mary's College of Maryland. He is the author of Spirits Distilled: Poems.


Preface xiii Acknowledgments xvii Introduction. Journey toward Freedom 1 "Had she been worth the blood?" The Lynching of Emmett Till, 1955 15 Remembrance / Rhoda Gaye Ascher 17 The Better Sort of People / John Beecher 17 A Bronzeville Mother Loiters in Mississippi. Meanwhile, a Mississippi Mother Burns Bacon / Gwendolyn Brooks 19 The Last Quatrain on the Ballad of Emmett Till / Gwendolyn Brooks 23 On the State of the Union / Aime Cesaire 24 Temperate Belt: Reflections on the Mother of Emmett Till / Durwood Collins Jr. 26 Emmett Till / James A. Emanuel 27 Elegy for Emmett Till / Nicolas Guillen 28 Mississippi-1955 (To the Memory of Emmett Till) / Langston Hughes 31 Money, Mississippi / Eve Merriam 32 Salute / Oliver Pitcher 33 "Godfearing citizens / with Bibles, taunts, and stones" The Little Rock Crisis, 1957-1958 35 The Chicago Defender Sends a Man to Little Rock / Gwendolyn Brooks 37 Little Rock / Nicolas Guillen 39 School Integration Riot / Robert Hayden 40 My Blackness Is the Beauty of This Land / Lance Jeffers 41 "The FBI knows who lynched you" The Murder of Mack Charles Parker, 1959 43 Poplarville II / Keith E. Baird 45 Mack C. Parker / Phillip Abbott Luce 45 For Mack C. Parker / Pauli Murray 48 Collect for Poplarville / Pauli Murray 49 "Fearless before the waiting throng" The Life and Death of Medgar Evers 51 Medgar Evers (for Charles Evers) / Gwendolyn Brooks 53 American (In Memory of Medgar Evers) / R. D. Coleman 53 For Medgar Evers / David Ignatow 54 Blues for Medgar Evers / Aaron Kramer 55 Micah (In Memory of Medgar Evers of Mississippi) / Margaret Walker 56 "Under the leaves of hymnals, the plaster and stone" The Sixteenth Street Baptist Church Bombing, 15 September 1963 57 Escort for a President / John Beecher 60 American History / Michael S. Harper 61 Here Where Coltrane Is / Michael S. Harper 62 Birmingham Sunday / Langston Hughes 63 Suffer the Children / Audre Lorde 64 Birmingham 1963 / Raymond Patterson 64 Ballad of Birmingham / Dudley Randall 65 Ballad for Four Children and a President / Edith Segal 67 September 1963 / Jean Valentine 68 "What we have seen / Has become history, tragedy" The Assassination of President John F. Kennedy, 22 November 1963 71 Belief / A. R. Ammons 75 Elegy for J. F. K. / W. H. Auden 76 The Assassination of John F. Kennedy / Gwendolyn Brooks 80 On Not Writing an Elegy / Robert Frost 81 At the Brooklyn Docks, November 23, 1963 / Dorothy Gilbert 81 Verba in Memoriam / Barbara Guest 82 Until Death Do Us Part / Anselm Hollo 85 A Night Picture of Pownal, for J. F. K. / Barbara Howes 86 Before the Sabbath / David Ignatow 88 Jacqueline / Will Inman 89 Down in Dallas / X. J. Kennedy 89 In Arlington Cemetery / Stanley Koehler 90 Four Days in November / Marjorie Mir 92 Sonnet for John-John / Marvin Solomon 92 Not That Hurried for Grief, for John F. Kennedy / Lorenzo Thomas 93 November 22, 1963 / Lewis Turco 94 The Gulf / Derek Walcott 95 "Deep in the Mississippi thicket / I hear the mourning dove" The Search for James Chaney, Andrew Goodman, and Michael Schwerner, 1964 99 A Commemorative Ode / John Beecher 102 Mississippi, 1964 / Marjorie Mir 105 The Book of Job and a Draft of a Poem to Praise the Paths of the Living / George Oppen 106 The Demonstration / Gregory Orr 112 Schwerner, Chaney, Goodman / Raymond Patterson 113 Speech for LeRoi / Armand Schwerner 113 When Black People Are / A. B. Spellman 115 For Andy Goodman, Michael Schwerner, and James Chaney / Margaret Walker 117 "We are not beasts and do not / intend to be beaten" Riots, Rebellions, and Uprisings 121 Riot: 60's / Maya Angelou 125 Attica-U.S.A. / Keith E. Baird 126 finish / Charles Bukowski 127 Heroes / Karl Carter 129 Revolutionary Letter #3 / Daine de Prima 130 A Mother Speaks: The Algiers Motel Incident, Detroit / Michael S. Harper 132 Keep on Pushing / David Henderson 132 Poem against the State (of Things): 1975 / June Jordan 138 On the Birth of My Son, Malcolm Coltrane / Julius Lester 145 The Gulf / Denise Levertov 146 Coming Home, Detroit, 1968 / Philip Levine 148 If We Cannot Live as People / Charles Lynch 149 Kuntu / Larry Neal 150 Watts / Ojenke (Alvin Saxon) 152 In Orangeburg My Brothers Did / A. B. Spellman 153 "Prophets were ambushed as they spoke" The Assassination of Malcolm X, 21 February 1965 155 A Poem for Black Hearts / Amiri Baraka 158 For Malcolm: After Mecca / Gerald W. Barrax 159 Malcolm X (for Dudley Randall) / Gwendolyn Brooks 159 Judas / Karl Carter 160 malcolm / Lucille Clifton 161 El-Hajj Malik El-Shabazz / Robert Hayden 161 Portrait of Malcolm X (for Charles Baxter), Etheridge Knight 163 Malcolm X-An Autobiography / Larry Neal 164 At That Moment / Raymond Patterson 166 If Blood Is Black Then Spirit Neglects My Unborn Son / Conrad Kent Rivers 167 malcolm / Sonia Sanchez 168 For Malcolm Who Walks in the Eyes of Our Children / Quincy Troupe 169 For Malcolm X / Margaret Walker 171 That Old Time Religion / Marvin X 171 "In the panic of hooves, bull whips, and gas" Selma-to-Montgomery Voting Rights March, 1965 173 Ode to Jimmy Lee / Jim "Arkansas" Benston 176 The Road to Selma / June Brindel 178 Selma, Alabama, 3/6/65 / Louis Daniel Brodsky 180 The Sun of the Future / Thich Nhat Hanh 181 Race Relations / Carolyn Kizer 183 Alabama Centennial / Naomi Long Madgett 185 On a Highway East of Selma, Alabama / Gregory Orr 186 Crumpled Notes (found in a raincoat) on Selma / Maria Varela 188 "Set afire by the cry of / BLACK POWER" The Birth and Legacy of the Black Panther Party 193 The Black Mass Needs but One Crucifixion / Kathleen Cleaver 197 apology (to the panthers) / Lucille Clifton 199 Revolutionary Letter #20 / Diane di Prima 200 For Angela / Zack Gilbert 201 May King's Prophecy / Allen Ginsberg 202 Black Power (For all the Beautiful Black Panthers East) / Nikki Giovanni 204 Newsletter from My Mother: 8:30 a.m., December 8, 1969 / Michael S. Harper 205 [let the fault be with the man] / Ericka Huggins 206 The Day the Audience Walked Out on Me, and Why / Denise Levertov 207 One-Sided Shoot-out / Haki Madhubuti (Don L. Lee) 208 Revolution

Product Details

  • ISBN13: 9780822351030
  • Format: Paperback
  • Number Of Pages: 384
  • ID: 9780822351030
  • ISBN10: 082235103X

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