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[351] orator, two prose-writers, and one poet of merited eminence. These are Frederick Douglass (1817-95); Booker T. Washington (c. 1859-1915); W. E. Burghardt DuBois, and Paul Lawrence Dunbar (1872-1906). Up from slavery (1900) by Washington and The souls of black Folk (1903) by DuBois are works of almost diametrically opposite styles. The former makes its appeal by its simplicity and restraint; the latter by its emotionalism, its note of lyric intensity. Neither author, however, is of unmixed negro blood, and neither has come as close to the heart of his race as did Dunbar, a pure negro, in his Lyrics of lowly life (1896). He was the first American negro of pure African descent ‘to feel the negro life aesthetically and to express it lyrically.’1 His dialect poems, it may be added, are better than the poems that he wrote in standard English. Indeed, Dunbar's command of correct English was always somewhat meagre and uncertain.

Negro writers, however, were not the first to put their own race into literature or to realize the value of their own folk-lore.

‘The possibilities of negro folk-lore,’ says a recent negro writer,2 ‘have carried it across the line, so that it has had strong influence on the work of such Southern writers as Thomas Nelson Page and Frank L. Stanton, and on that of George W. Cable. Its chief monument so far has been in the Uncle Remus tales of Brer Rabbit and Brer Fox told by Joel Chandler Harris.’

The chief writers who preceded Harris in the attempt to portray negro character were William Gilmore Simms,3 Edgar Allan Poe,4 Harriet Beecher Stowe,5 Stephen Collins Foster, and Irwin Russell. Hector, the negro slave in Simms's Yemassee (1835), and Jupiter in Poe's Gold-Bug (1843) are alike in many respects. Both belong to the type of faithful body servant,6 both are natives of the coastal region of South Carolina, both illustrate a primitive sort of humour, and both

1 See Introduction by William Dean Howells to Lyrics of lowly life.

2 See Benjamin Griffith Brawley's The negro in literature and art (Atlanta, 1910), p. 5.

3 See also Book II, Chap. VII.

4 See also Book II, Chap. XIV.

5 See also Book III, Chap. XI.

6 For the body servant in later literature see The negro in Southern literature since the War, by B. M. Drake (Dissertation, Vanderbilt University, Nashville, 1898), pp. 21-22.

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