Black love poetry includes many famous African-American poets

No compilation of black love poetry will be complete without reference to Gwendoline Brooks. I have some of her poetry here and a few more from another famous writer, Marie Evans:

Gwendoline Brooks (1917-2000) had a long and prolific career. Brought up in the Chicago South side in a respectable but economically deprived family, her parents nutured her love for books and reading.

At thirteen her poem Eventide was published in a popular children's magazine and she was praised by both James Weldon Johnson and Langston Hughes. Her first major publication was of nineteen poems in the mid 1940's, and by the time she published her second volume of poems Annie Allen in 1949 she had established her reputation as an important American literary voice.

Brooks was early in her career, a writer who objectively chronicled the often bitter lives of her people. In later years, after attending a two day workshop in 1967 where she met younger radical black poets like Amiri Baraka (LeRoy Jones) she underwent a sea change of awareness and transformed into a protest poet. Her 1960 work, The Bean Eaters epitomised this.

Gwendoline Brooks lectured widely in many American Universities and won many prestigious awards: She was the first black woman writer to win the Pullitzer Prize in 1950, and she succeeded Carl Sandburg as Poet Laurete of Illinois in 1969 till her death in 2000 amongst many other recognitions.

Here are two examples of her black love poetry:


But in the crowding darkness not a word

did they say.

Though the pretty-coated birds had piped so

lightly all the day.

And he had seen the lovers in the little side


And she had heard the morning stories clogged

with sweets.

It was quite a time for loving. It was midnight. It

was May.

But in the crowding darknesss not a word did

they say.

Black Love

Black love, provide the adequate electric

for what is lapsed and lenient in us now.

Rouse us from blur, Call us.

Call adequately the postponed corner


And call our man in the pin-stripe suiting and


him to his abler logic; to his people.

Call to the shattered sister and repair her

in her difficult hour, narrow her fever.

Call to the Elders--

our customary grace and further sun

loved in the Long-ago, loathed in the Lately;

a luxury of languish and of rust.

Appraise, assess our Workers in the

Wild, lest they

descend to malformation and to undertow.

Black love, define and escort our young, be

means and

redemption, discipline.

Mari Evans(b.1923) is an African-American writer and educator who has won many awards for her poetry. Among her several volumes of poetry are I Am A Black Woman and Nightstar.

Here are two examples of her black love poetry:

Where Have You Gone

Where have you gone

with your confident

walk with

your crooked smile

why did you leave


when you took your


and departed

are you aware that

with you

went the sun

all light

and what few stars

there were?

where have you gone

with your confident

walk your

crooked smile the

rent money

in one pocket and

my heart

in another ...

Celebration (1993)

I will bring you a whole person

and you will bring me a whole person

and we will have us tiwce as much

of love and everything

I be bringing a whole heart

and while it do have nicks and

dents and scars,

that oly make me lay it down

more careful-like

An; you be bringing a whole heart

a little chipped and rusty an'

sometime skip a beat but

still an' all you bringing polish too

and look like you intend

to make it shine

we be brinigng, each of us

the music of ourselves to wrap

the other in

Forgiving clarities

Soft as a choir's last

lingering note our

personal blend

I will be bringing you someone whole

and you will be bringing me someone whole

and we be twice as strong

and we be twice as true

and we will have twice as much

of love

and everything

There are more examples of black love poetry from famous writers. let us next look at Alice Walker and Jean Toomer:

Famous Black Love Poetry 2

African 1

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