Paul Laurence Dunbar Research Paper

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Paul Laurence Dunbar was one of the first African-Americans in history to cross the bridge of racial discrimination and publish numerous books and poems. He became nationally renowned and is still respected today. “He [has written] a dozen books of poetry, four books or short stories, five novels, and a play” (Poem Hunter). One aspect of Paul Laurence Dunbar’s work he is recognized for is the language and dialect he uses when writing. He would write in a black dialect as well as traditional English. In his work, he wrote about black life and the struggles they encountered. He did this in a way that was not outright calling for black power. For this reason his books and poems spread internationally and even white people wanted to read them.…show more content…
He wrote his first poem at the age of six. After that, his passion for poetry grew and he never stopped writing. Paul’s first poem was published at the age of 14 in the school newspaper. This was the first step towards publishing numerous books and poems to come. In 1893 Paul Laurence Dunbar published his first book of poems, Oak and Ivy. It was published by a small Dayton firm, United Brethren Publishing House. In the Oak part of the book Paul included poems written in traditional English. On the other hand, the Ivy part of the book contained poems written in a black dialect. These poems talked about what it was like to be an African American living in America. Three years later in 1896 he published his second book of poems with the help of attorney Charles A. Thatcher. This book was called Majors and Minors. Just like his first book, the Major component of the book was written in traditional English while the Minors section was written in a black dialect. Upon publication of this book, Paul Laurence Dunbar became very well known for his dialect. Even white readers favored the dialect he used when writing. The next book Paul published was a combination of his first two books called, Lyrics of Lowly Life. This was his first book to get him national recognition. The book was a smashing success all around the world. After this, Paul went on a book tour in England for six months. Once he returned to the United…show more content…
During this period, black people started to freely express their talent in many fields. Paul Laurence Dunbar had a significant impact in furthering this movement. One reason he helped this movement was due to the fact that he was one of the first African Americans to break the racial barrier and become a recognized writer. This helped inspire many other African Americans who were aspiring to become writers as well. Paul Laurence Dunbar proved to them that their dream was possible. His work contributed to the Harlem Renaissance as it encouraged blacks to embrace their race and be themselves despite racial discrimination. What he wrote about in his poems and books was everything the Harlem Renaissance stood for. He showed the life of African Americans and the discrimination they had to deal with. His work helped solve racial views and was the first step towards white and black people to becoming

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