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Paul Laurence Dunbar
Photographer: Allen C. Browne
Taken: November 29, 2015
Caption: Paul Laurence Dunbar
Additional Description: This 1934 portrait of Paul Laurence Dunbar (1872-1906) by William McKnight Farrow hangs in the National Portrait Gallery in Washington, DC.

“Regarded by Frederick Douglass as ‘one of the sweetest songsters his race has produced,’ poet Paul Laurence Dunbar became the first African American author to be able to support himself solely through his writings. Although he wrote three novels and many short stories, it was his poetry, written in both standard English and African American dialect, that first caught the attention of a national audience and allowed him to leave his job as an elevator operator. Although many readers gravitated toward his dialect poems that presented a sunny vision of African American life, Dunbar also probed with great eloquence the harsh world of racial segregation and discrimination. His example inspired not only the next generation of African American writers, but also William McKnight Farrow, who like Dunbar grew up in Dayton before moving to Chicago to pursue a career as an artist.” — National Portrait Gallery
Submitted: November 6, 2017, by Allen C. Browne of Silver Spring, Maryland.
Database Locator Identification Number: p402854
File Size: 1.345 Megabytes

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