Document Type

News Article

Publication Date


Publication Source

The Conversation


Paul Laurence Dunbar was only 33 years old when he died in 1906.

In his short yet prolific life, Dunbar used folk dialect to give voice and dignity to the experiences of Black Americans at the turn of the 20th century. He was one of the first Black Americans to make a living as a writer and was seminal in the start of the New Negro Movement and the Harlem Renaissance.

Document Version



The document available for download is the author's accepted manuscript. Article was originally published on The Conversation; it was republished March 6, 2023, on the website of Smithsonian Magazine under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article.


Paul Laurence Dunbar, Maya Angelou, Langston Hughes, African American music, Black Culture, minstrels, Harlem Renaissance

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