Paul Laurence Dunbar's The Heart Of Happy Hollow

Words: 769
Pages: 4

Paul Laurence Dunbar was one of the first African American poets to gain recognition across the nation. Both of his parents were freed slaves, inspiring many poems about their lives on plantations. He began his writing career early on, publishing work before he even reached high school. His poetry reflected the lives of African Americans during this time period, with detailed accounts of life before and after slavery. Half of his poems were written in typical African American dialect, and the other half written in standard English.
Dunbar’s writing career started early, before he even reached high school. By the time he turned 14, he had several poems published in the Dayton Herald, a newspaper based in Dayton, Ohio. Throughout high school,
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One of his most popular poems, Ode to Ethiopia, he describes the accomplishments of African Americans, while encouraging them to maintain their pride despite the abuse they faced daily. In his collection of short stories titled The Strength of Gideon, he addressed the lives of African Americans both before and after slavery. Most critics at the time tried to ignore his accounts of violent abuse and tried to focus on pre-emancipation stories that were nostalgic and humorous. However, these stories have gained the recognition they deserved recently, due to their emotional honesty and dramatic language. In his collection of short stories, The Heart of Happy Hollow, a larger range of aspects of the life of African Americans was addressed, with some stories discussing topics as dark as …show more content…
He began publishing poetry at the young age of 14 and continued writing until his death. He was uneducated, but worked hard to make a living, accepting whatever jobs he could get. His options were limited because African Americans were discriminated against, so he had to accept simple jobs like operating an elevator. His poems were usually written in dialects, but some were written in standard English. They described the life of an average African American during the time before and after slavery. Dunbar was an important poet who overcame the struggles he faced by working hard and staying