Paul L. Dunbar


Paul Laurence Dunbar was born June 27, 1872 in Dayton, OH. His mother Matilda, was a former slave and his father Joshua had escaped slavery and served in the 55th Massachusetts Infantry Regiment and the 5th Massachusetts Colored Calvary Regiment during the Civil war (online). Joshua and Matilda separated in 1874.
Dunbar came from a poor family. After his father left, his mother supported the family by working as a washerwoman. One of the families she worked for was the family of Orville and Wilbur Wright. Paul attended Dayton’s Central High School with the two. When Matilda was a slave she heard a lot of poems by the families she worked for. She loved poetry and encouraged her ...

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dialect, of which he was initially most noted for (Martin and Hudson 16).
His second volume, “Majors and Minors” was published in 1895. “Majors and Minor” were a collection of poems that was written in standard English (“major”) and in dialect (“minor”) (Young 373). It was this book that fixed him on his literary path. This book attracted favorable notice by novelist and critic, William Dean Howells who also introduced Dunbar’s next book, “Lyrics of Lowly Life” which contained some of the finest verses of the first two volumes.
Dunbar was a popular writer of short fiction. He relied upon tone, subtle details expressed through speech, atmosphere, assumed manners and morals, and mood rather than plot to tell his tale. His depiction of life on plantations gives a vivid account of the fate of black men before and after the emancipation.
Interestingly enough, Dunbar did write about whites in society also. He did not write about them at the bottom of society, but ...

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Added: 4/13/2004 12:42:22 PM
Category: Biographies
Type: Premium Paper
Words: 1163
Pages: 5

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