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Black Poetry Day

Celebrate Black Poetry Day with amazing works of art from black poets! Read, write and share to recognize the beauty of their words.
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When it is?
October 17
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United States

Celebrate and honor the African American literary tradition on Black Poetry Day, October 17! This day is dedicated to not only honoring the works of prominent black poets, but also preserving and celebrating African American literature. Whether you're a poet yourself or simply love reading poetry, this is an excellent opportunity to delve into some amazing works by black authors.

History of Black Poetry Day

Black Poetry Day Dates

Black Poetry Day Timeline

<div class='timeline-item'><div class='timeline-left'><div class='timeline-date-text'>1773</div></div><div class='timeline-center'></div><div class='timeline-right'><div class='timeline-text timeline-text-title'>First African American Poet Published</div><div class='timeline-text'>Phillis Wheatley became the first African American to publish a book of poetry, "Poems on Various Subjects Religious and Moral."</div></div></div><div class='timeline-item'><div class='timeline-left'><div class='timeline-date-text'>1920s</div></div><div class='timeline-center'></div><div class='timeline-right'><div class='timeline-text timeline-text-title'>Harlem Renaissance</div><div class='timeline-text'>The Harlem Renaissance, an intellectual and cultural revival, spawns a new generation of Black poets, including Langston Hughes and Countee Cullen.</div></div></div><div class='timeline-item'><div class='timeline-left'><div class='timeline-date-text'>1945</div></div><div class='timeline-center'></div><div class='timeline-right'><div class='timeline-text timeline-text-title'>Gwendolyn Brooks's First Collection</div><div class='timeline-text'>Gwendolyn Brooks's first collection of poems, "A Street in Bronzeville," is published, marking the beginning of her acclaimed career.</div></div></div><div class='timeline-item'><div class='timeline-left'><div class='timeline-date-text'>1950</div></div><div class='timeline-center'></div><div class='timeline-right'><div class='timeline-text timeline-text-title'>First Black Pulitzer Prize Winner</div><div class='timeline-text'>Gwendolyn Brooks becomes the first African American to win the Pulitzer Prize for her second book of poems, "Annie Allen."</div></div></div><div class='timeline-item'><div class='timeline-left'><div class='timeline-date-text'>1976</div></div><div class='timeline-center'></div><div class='timeline-right'><div class='timeline-text timeline-text-title'>Creation of Black Poetry Day</div><div class='timeline-text'>The celebration of Black Poetry Day was established, honoring Jupiter Hammon, an enslaved African American who became one of the earliest published black poets in America.</div></div></div><div class='timeline-item'><div class='timeline-left'><div class='timeline-date-text'>2021</div></div><div class='timeline-center'></div><div class='timeline-right'><div class='timeline-text timeline-text-title'>Amanda Gorman's Inauguration Poem</div><div class='timeline-text'>Amanda Gorman becomes the youngest inaugural poet in U.S. history, reading her poem "The Hill We Climb" at Joe Biden's presidential inauguration.</div></div></div>

How to Celebrate Black Poetry Day

<div id='' class='facts-item'><div id='' class='facts-header'><h3 id='' class='facts-number'>1</h3></div><div id='' class='facts-text-wrapper'><h3 id='' class='facts-title'>Read a black poet's work</h3><p id='' class='facts-text'>Whether it is Maya Angelou, Langston Hughes, or Nikki Giovanni, take the time to appreciate their works and learn more about their lives.</p></div></div><div id='' class='facts-item'><div id='' class='facts-header'><h3 id='' class='facts-number'>2</h3></div><div id='' class='facts-text-wrapper'><h3 id='' class='facts-title'>Write your own poetry</h3><p id='' class='facts-text'>Get your pen and paper and create your own poem! Look up some of the greats for inspiration.</p></div></div><div id='' class='facts-item'><div id='' class='facts-header'><h3 id='' class='facts-number'>3</h3></div><div id='' class='facts-text-wrapper'><h3 id='' class='facts-title'>Attend a live poetry reading</h3><p id='' class='facts-text'>Find out if there are any local events taking place in your area to celebrate Black Poetry Day or just take a walk around town and see what you can find.</p></div></div><div id='' class='facts-item'><div id='' class='facts-header'><h3 id='' class='facts-number'>4</h3></div><div id='' class='facts-text-wrapper'><h3 id='' class='facts-title'>Share your favorite poem on social media</h3><p id='' class='facts-text'>Spread the word about Black Poetry Day by sharing one of your favorite poems with your friends and family on social media.</p></div></div><div id='' class='facts-item'><div id='' class='facts-header'><h3 id='' class='facts-number'>5</h3></div><div id='' class='facts-text-wrapper'><h3 id='' class='facts-title'>Organize a discussion group</h3><p id='' class='facts-text'>Gather some friends together to talk about the impact of black poets on literature and society as a whole.</p></div></div>

Why We Love Black Poetry Day

<div id='' class='whywelove-item'><div id='' class='whywelove-letter-cont'><div class='whywelove-letter'>A</div></div><div id='why-we-love-main-cont'><h3 id='' class='whywelove-title'>Black Poetry acknowledges the legacy of Black experiences</h3><p id='' class='whywelove-text'>In a world that often overlooks or minimizes the struggles and triumphs of African American history, black poetry serves as a powerful reminder that black voices, stories and perspectives have always been — and always will be — a vital part of our collective narrative.</p></div></div><div id='' class='whywelove-item'><div id='' class='whywelove-letter-cont'><div class='whywelove-letter'>B</div></div><div id='why-we-love-main-cont'><h3 id='' class='whywelove-title'>Black Poetry celebrates amazing Black poets</h3><p id='' class='whywelove-text'>From Langston Hughes to Maya Angelou to particularly new writers like Imani Cezanne and Mahogany Browne, black poetry is important because it allows us to recognize and celebrate the incredible accomplishments of black writers. On National Black Poetry Day, we get to recognize these amazing artists and honor their work.</p></div></div><div id='' class='whywelove-item'><div id='' class='whywelove-letter-cont'><div class='whywelove-letter'>C</div></div><div id='why-we-love-main-cont'><h3 id='' class='whywelove-title'>Black Poetry helps strengthen community</h3><p id='' class='whywelove-text'>In addition to providing joyous moments of self reflection, black poetry has the power to create meaningful connections between people. By lifting up the stories of formerly marginalized voices, black poets can help unite communities by reminding us all of our shared experiences.</p></div></div>

5 Enlightening Facts for Black Poetry Day

<div class='facts-item'><div class='facts-number-wrapper'><p class='facts-number'>1</p></div><div class='facts-core-content'><h3 class='facts-title'>Jupiter Hammon: America's First Published Black Poet</h3><p class='facts-content'>Born in 1711, Hammon was an enslaved African American who became the first black poet to get published in the United States, releasing his first captured work in 1761.</p></div></div><div class='facts-item'><div class='facts-number-wrapper'><p class='facts-number'>2</p></div><div class='facts-core-content'><h3 class='facts-title'>Langston Hughes: A leading Voice of the Harlem Renaissance</h3><p class='facts-content'>Hughes was a distinguished poet who played an instrumental role in shaping the artistic contributions of the Harlem Renaissance. His innovative jazz poetry helped to highlight the plight and beauty of ordinary black lives.</p></div></div><div class='facts-item'><div class='facts-number-wrapper'><p class='facts-number'>3</p></div><div class='facts-core-content'><h3 class='facts-title'>Paul Laurence Dunbar: Recognized for his Dialectic Poetry</h3><p class='facts-content'>An early black poet who achieved national fame in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, Dunbar’s work was praised for its colorful language and use of African-American dialect.</p></div></div><div class='facts-item'><div class='facts-number-wrapper'><p class='facts-number'>4</p></div><div class='facts-core-content'><h3 class='facts-title'>The Black Arts Movement: The "Black Aesthetic"</h3><p class='facts-content'>Established in the mid-1960s, the Black Arts Movement was the only major black American literary movement to openly align its sympathies with a progressive political movement. This movement greatly influenced many black poets and led to the development of what is known as the "Black Aesthetic".</p></div></div><div class='facts-item'><div class='facts-number-wrapper'><p class='facts-number'>5</p></div><div class='facts-core-content'><h3 class='facts-title'>Rita Dove: A Younger Generation’s Standard Bearer</h3><p class='facts-content'>Rita Dove, ranked among the top black poets, was the youngest and the first African American to be appointed Poet Laureate Consultant by the Library of Congress. Her poetry often deals with African-American themes and topics.</p></div></div>

Black Poetry Day FAQs

When is Black Poetry Day?

Black Poetry Day is celebrated on October 17 every year. In 2024 Black Poetry Day will occur on a Thursday.

Black Poetry Day Dates



Oct 17



Oct 17



Oct 17



Oct 17



Oct 17


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