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Sunday, May 18, 2014

POET PROFILE

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JAMES MONROE WHITFIELD (1822-1871)

     Was free born in New Hampshire in 1822. Little is known about him, so he remains much of a mysterious and interesting character to study.

He was well-traveled, and worked as a barber all of his life, living in places like Buffalo, New York, California, Oregon, Idaho, and Nevada.

Whitfield wrote forceful protest poems, and his writings appeared often in Black newspapers and periodicals. He also read and recited his verse in public.

It was said of him, "He was an outstanding poet whose impassioned protest verse combined bitter anger and artistry."

Whitfield's only published volume is "America and Other Poems."

He died in 1871 and was buried in the Masonic Cemetery of San Francisco.

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To read and perhaps discover more info, please consult the following books:

"Invisible Poets: Afro-Americans of the Nineteenth Century, 2nd ed., 1989 - Joan R. Sherman-

The Concise Oxford Companion to African-American Literature 2001 Oxford University Press

To read a short bio and one of his poems, click on the following link poetryfoundation.org and search his full name.

Also google-search his name for more details.

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