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Throughout American history, Black people have written poetry reflecting on their lives, their struggles and their aspirations. But many of these works had been lost to time, or never widely read. Over six years of research, Kevin Young uncovered the writing of many lesser-known poets deserving of a place in the canon, alongside more famous figures. In his thousand-plus-page anthology of poems by Black writers from colonialism on, Young profiles and features the words of an enslaved potter, of Langston Hughes and fellow artists of the Harlem Renaissance, of activists and experimentalists. Young, himself an acclaimed author of poetry and prose, has created a document both breathtaking and inspiring, historical and personal.

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