October Awareness Month (Week 4)

October 28, 2021

#BlackPoetryDay (Part I)
October 17, 2021

Jupiter Hammon

Did you know #BlackPoetryDay is celebrated October 17? According to National Day Calendar, Black Poetry Day was established in 1985 honoring the birth of the first Black poet published in the U.S., Jupiter Hammon, who was born in Long Island, New York on October 17, 1711. Hammon is considered the father of African American Literature. Hammon was born into slavery, received an education and learned to read and was allowed the use of the manor library. Black Poetry Day honors past and present Black poets. This day also celebrates the importance of Black heritage and literacy and recognizes the contributions made by Black poets and shows appreciation to Black authors.

Celebrate #BlackPoetry- Day by hosting a virtual poetry slam. Encourage Black poets of all ages to attend your virtual slam and share their poetry. If you are a teacher, pick up books written by Black poets and have their writings read during class every day during the month of October. In honor of #BlackPoetryDay, enjoy the poem entitled:

By: Paul Laurence Dunbar (1872-1906)

October is the treasurer of the year,
And all the months pay bounty to her store;
The fields and orchards still their tribute bear,
And fill her brimming coffers more and more.

But she, with youthful lavishness,
Spends all her wealth in gaudy dress,
And decks herself in garments bold
Of scarlet, purple, red, and gold.

She heedeth not how swift the hours fly,
But smiles and sings her happy life along;
She only sees above a shining sky;
She only hears the breezes’ voice in song.

Her garments trail the woodlands through,
And gather pearls of early dew
That sparkle, till the roguish Sun
Creeps up and steals them every one.

But what cares she that jewels should be lost,
When all of Nature’s bounteous wealth is hers?
Though princely fortunes may have been their cost,
Not one regret her calm demeanor stirs.

Whole–hearted, happy, careless, free,
She lives her life out joyously,
Nor cares when Frost stalks o’er her way
And turns her auburn locks to gray.

Beloved, who are your favorite Black poets? Honor them by reading and sharing their poems with a class, community group, your child or grandchild or on a virtual setting.


National Day Calendar, “Black Poetry Day, October 17” at: https://nationaldaycalendar.com/black-poetry-day-october-17/.

Paul Laurence Dunbar, at: https://etc.usf.edu/lit2go/187/lyrics-of-lowly-life/3773/october/.

Next Week: #BlackPoetryDay (Part II)

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