Video Fridays: African American Poetry at LSU

Credit: LSU

It’s April and that means it’s National Poetry Month, the perfect time to share this news from Louisiana State University’s Special Collections: “The Wyatt Houston Day Collection of Poetry by African Americans, the most important private collection of Black poetry, now belongs to LSU. The LSU Libraries Special Collections will house the over 800 items previously owned by book collector and dealer Wyatt Houston Day. This collection includes works from the 18th century, the Harlem Renaissance and through to the 21st century.”

Some of the highlights of the collection include a first edition of Paul Laurence Dunbar’s rare second book, Majors and Minors (1895), once owned by Frederick Douglass’ family and inscribed to his niece; a collection of books by Pulitzer Prize winner Gwendolyn Brooks; and the original typed manuscript of the music cues for Langston Hughes’ 12-part poem, Ask Your Mama, inscribed by Hughes to poet Amiri Baraka, also known as LeRoi Jones.

You can read more about this collection and acquisition here. Watch a brief introduction below: