Black Voices Matter - Poets From The 18th Century To The Harlem Renaissance (Audiobook)
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Read by Darrell Joe, Laurel Lefkow & Trei House (Unabridged: 3hrs 54mins)

Featuring poems by Paul Laurence Dunbar, Claude Mckay, Georges Moses Horton, Angelina Weld Grimke, Georgia Douglas Johnson & others. 

This anthology focuses on African-American poets.  We start in the 18th century and end with the Harlem Renaissance.  Many poets featured are, and were, rarely heard and have been painfully neglected.  To be of colour was deemed at best to be second class so few of our poets had the privileges most of us take for granted or a means to market. Down the ages they illuminate the stain on our humanity and its ever-repeating cycle.

Over ages, eons and countless generations humanity has sought to better itself.  Ideas and cultures have sprung forth creating fertile conditions for change and advancement.  We have gathered together as families, clans, tribes and nations in the clear knowledge that together more can be achieved for the individual.  New systems have evolved, waxed and waned, been replaced or discarded by bright shiny new ones. 

From afar the chances of humanity bettering itself must seem promising.  But today's generations find themselves searching not only for answers from others but also from themselves, for solutions to turn a world where privilege, wealth and power reside with the few to be the right of the many.  These unequal times will not give way easily. Entrenched interests will promise change and deliver little.  This is the real history of the human race.  We will claim that education, health care and jobs are for everyone and yet continue to mis-educate, to ignore primary care and offer jobs that even a robot would think twice about.

Those oppressed by race, creed, gender or colour will find the invisible walls of the status quo difficult to overcome. But there is hope - if we collectively want action.  When we don’t merely call for that change but when we demand that change from ourselves, and from society.  When we charge our political leaders to serve our interests rather than their own.

We may be created equal but society, and ourselves, sort, layer and assemble us all into groups, those it can keep underfoot and those who will have an unequal share. Real change requires all of us to change, to recognise that equal opportunity starts from equal access to resources. We need to praise ourselves less and provoke ourselves to do more, together.  If the pain is shared the rewards can be shared.

This volume does not dwell only on equality but covers a very wide range of subjects from recognised masters of the craft such as Paul Laurence Dunbar and Phyllis Wheatley to lesser known poets like Mary E Tucker and Charles Lewis Reason.

The reality is that we are more interested in changing our phones than changing our attitudes and the real changes that will bring.  Both can be done in an instant. In an era of disposable everything we stick rigidly to keeping what we have and yet, bleat that oppression is wrong.  Fair-weather activists. The news cycle will pass.  So does the moment…..until the next time.

In this collection of poems poets down the ages illuminate the stain on our humanity and its ever-repeating cycle. They call and illustrate the need for change. 

It's an enduring problem that seeks sensible and enduring solutions. 

If it be our will both we and society can change.

They call and illustrate the need for change. 

 In this compilation - 

1 - Black Words Matter - An Introduction
2 - A Poem for Children with Thoughts On Death by Jupiter Hammon
3 - An Evening Thought by Jupiter Hammon
4 - Bars Fight by Lucy Terry
5 - On Virtue by Phyllis Wheatley
6 - To a Lady and Her Children on the Death of Her Son and Their Brother by Phyllis Wheatley
7 - An Hymn to the Morning by Phyllis Wheatley
8 - An Hymn to the Evening by Phyllis Wheatley
9 - Praise of Creation by George Moses Horton
10 - On the Poetic Muse by George Moses Horton
11 - The Slave's Complaint by George Moses Horton
12 - Epigram by Arrmand Lanusse
13 - The Campaign of 1814-1815 by Hippolyte Castra
14 - The Slave Trade Girl's Address to Her Mother by Sarah Louisa Forten
15 - A Poem on the Fugitive Slave Law by Elymas Payson Rogers
16 - The Spirit Voice or Liberty Call to The Disfranchised by Charles Lewis Reason
17 - Silent Thoughts by Charles Lewis Reason
18 - Away to Canada by Joshua McCarter Simpson
19 - To the White People of America by Joshua McCarter Simpson
20 - To.... by James Monroe Whitfield
21 - Stanzas For the First of August by James Monroe Whitfield
22 - Bury Me in a Free Land by Frances E W Harper
23 - The Slave Mother by Frances E W Harper
24 - Burial of Sarah by Frances E W Harper
25 - My Mother's Kiss by Frances E W Harper
26 - Reflections, Written On Visiting the Grave of a Venerated Friend by Ann Plato
27 - The Natives of America by Ann Plato
28 - I Would Be Free by Alfred Gibbs Campbell
29 - July 4th 1857 by Alfred Gibbs Campbell
30 - Creation Light by James Madison Bell
31 - A Bridal Toast by James Madison Bell
32 - The Corn Song by John Wesley Holloway
33 - The Angel's Visit by Charlotte L Forten Grimke
34 - Light In Darkness by Mary E Tucker
35 - Disappointment by Mary E Tucker
36 - Hope by Mary E Tucker
37 - Good-bye. Off For Kansas by John Willis Menard
38 - Aspiration by Adah Isaacs Menken
39 - Infelix by Adah Isaacs Menken
40 - Drifts That Bar My Door by Adah Isaacs Menken
41 - In Memoriam. Alphonse Campbell Fordham by Mary Weston Fordham
42 - The Coming Woman by Mary Weston Fordham
43 - Wish for an Overcoat by Alfred Islay Walden
44 - A Dream of Glory by Albery Allson Whitman
45 - Aspiration by Henrietta Cordelia Ray
46 - Life by Henrietta Cordelia Ray
47 - The Mocking Bird by Timothy Thomas Fortune
48 - Brave Man and Brave Woman by Charlotte E Linden
49 - Scraps of Time by Charlotte E Linden
50 - The Feet of Judas by George Marion McClellan
51 - What Constitutes A Negro by Eva Carter Buckner
52 - Thine Own by Josephine Delphine Henderson Heard
53 - The Black Sampson by Josephine Delphine Henderson Heard
54 - De Linin' ub de Hymns by Daniel Webster Davis
55 - The Widening Light by Carrie Williams Clifford
56 - It Was Not Fate by William H Moore
57 - To a Skull by Joshua Henry Jones Jnr
58 - A Night In June by James Edwin Campbell
59 - Ol' Doc Hyar by James Edwin Campbell
60 - Credo by W E B Du Bois
61 - Through October Fields by James Edwin Campbell
62 - The Door of Hope by Lizelia Augusta Jenkins Moorer
63 - Negro Heroines by Lizelia Augusta Jenkins moorer
64 - The Voice of the Negro by Lizelia Augusta Jenkins Moorer
65 - The Angel's Message by Clara Ann Thompson
66 - At the Closed Gate of Justice by James D Corrothers
67 - Treasured Moments by Olivia Ward Bush-Banks
68 - When Mandy Combs Her Head by Katherine Chapman Tillman
69 - Lift Every Voice and Sing by James Weldon Johnson
70 - The Creation by James Weldon Johnson
71 - O Black and Unknown Bards by James Weldon Johnson
72 - To America by James Weldon Johnson
73 - To A Deceased Friend by Priscilla Jane Thompson
74 - Emancipation by Priscilla Jane Thompson
75 - For the Man Who Fails by Paul Laurence Dunbar
76 - Life's Tragedy by Paul Laurence Dunbar
77 - Sympathy by Paul Laurence Dunbar
78 - The Fount of Tears by Paul Laurence Dunbar
79 - We Wear the Mask by Paul Laurence Dunbar
80 - Ain't That Hard. Transcribed by Christine Rutledge of the Carolina Singers 1873
81 - The Prettiest Thing That I Ever Did. Transcribed by Christine Rutledge of the Carolina Singers 1873
82 - The Gospel Train. Transcribed by Christine Rutledge of the Carolina Singers 1873
83 - Impressions by Alice Moore Dunbar Nelson
84 - If I Had Known by Alice Moore Dunbar-Nelson
85 - Sonnet by Alice Dunbar-Nelson
86 - Turn Me to My Yellow Leaves by William Stanley Braithwaite
87 - Star of Ethiopia by Lucian B Watkins
88 - At the Grave of the Forgotten by Effie Waller Smith
89 - Preparation by Effie Waller Smith
90 - The Heart's Desire by Roberet W Justice
91 - Tenebris by Angelina Weld Grimké
92 - The Black Finger by Angelina Weld Grimke
93 - The Eyes Of My Regret by Angelina Weld Grimké
94 - Tuskegee by Leslie Pinckney Hill
95 - The Heart of A Woman by Georgia Douglas Johnson
96 - Transpositions by Georgia Douglas Johnson
97 - When I Rise Up by Georgia Douglas Johnson
98 - Negro Poets by Charles Bertram Johnson
99 - White Things by Anne Spencer
100 - Translation by Anne Spencer
101 - Dead Fires by Jessie Fauset
102 - La Vie C'est La Vie by Jessie Fauset
103 - The Rubinstein Staccato Etude by R Nathaniel Dett
104 - Time to Die by Ray G Dandridge
105 - The Negro Has A Chance by Maggie Pogue Johnson
106 - Sometimes by Maggie Pogue Johnson
107 - The Negro Soldiers by Roscoe C Jamison
108 - Tired by Fenton Johnson
109 - Hymn by Fenton Johnson
110 - Singing Hallelujah (A Negro Spiritual) by Fenton Johnson
111 - Poetry by Claude McKay
112 - The White House by Claude McKay
113 - Enslaved Poem by Claude McKay
114 - The Lynching by Claude McKay
115 - Journey's End by Zora Neale Hurston
116 - Song of the Son by Jean Toomer
117 - Georgia Dusk by Jean Toomer
118 - Rain Music by Joseph Semon Cotter
119 - Is it Because I'm Black  by Joseph S Cotter Jnr
120 - The Washer-Woman by Otto Leland Bohanan
121 - Negro Woman by Lewis Alexander
122 - Africa by Lewis Alexander
123 - Enchantment by Lewis Alexander
124 - Dream Variation by Langston Hughes
125 - Harlem by Langston Hughes
126 - Minstrel Man by Langston Hughes
127 - Too by Langston Hughes
128 - The Negro Speaks of Rivers by Langston Hughes
129 - Heritage by Gwendolyn B Bennett
130 - To Usward by Gwendolyn B Bennett
131 - Epitaph by Gwendolyn B Bennett
132 - Fire! by Wallace Thurman
133 - Confession by Wallace Thurman
134 - The Day-Breakers by Arna Bontemps
135 - A Black Man Talks of Reaping by Arna Bontemps
136 - A Brown Girl Dead by Countee Cullen
137 - Tableau by Countee Cullen
138 - To John Keats, Poet, At Spring Time by Countee Cullen
139 - Jungle Taste by Edward S Silvera
140 - Forgotten Dreams by Edward Silvera
141 - On the Death of a Child by Edward Silvera