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Afro-American Poets and Their Verse
			
422     AFRO-AMERICAN POETS AND THEIR VERSE

our own, and, therefore, a herald of better day ahead
For what ostracism shall be able to continue when di-
rected against a race of people in whom dwel1 the di-
vine trio--Poetry, Music and Art?  Of what  avail to
close our doors, our companionship, yea, our  souls, to
those high spirits who dwell in thought with Moses.
Milton, Shakespeare; above all, with the master mind of
the universe, Jesus Christ?
 Let no man who loves the Negro race then decry
poetry, for it is by this and other proofs of genius that
our race will be enabled to take its place among the
nations of the earth.  Then, let the poem of rudest com-
struction not pass unnoticed, lest we throw away a dia-
mond of precious thought; while to those whose many
commendable poems entitle them to the rank of poets
let us give our hearty encouragement, bidding them
God-speed in singing their songs.  For poets thrive rap
idly in a congenial atmosphere, and if we wish the best
of which our poets are capable, we must inspire them
to greater efforts by our appreciation of what they have
already accomplished.
  It is, perhaps, a part of human nature to praise that
which is old, and to underrate the good in the new but
it is poor policy, after all.  Ralph Waldo Emerson
taught American literature to stand on its feet, when, in
his essay on the American scholar, delivered at Har-
vard, 1837, he said, "We will walk on our own feet;
we will work with our own hands; we will speak our
own minds.  A nation of men can exist only when each
man believes himself inspired by the divine soul which
also inspires all other men."  Let us have done with
servile admiration of other men's work, and dare to
think that genius dwells with us as well as with other




			
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African Methodist Episcopal Church Review, Vol. 14, Num. 4

Afro-American Poets and Their Verse

Davis

Volume:  14
Issue Number:  04
Page Number:  421
Date:  04/1898


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