The recurring challenge for faculty designing survey or special topics poetry courses is choosing a good anthology. For African American poetry courses there are only three good options: Arnold Rampersad’s Oxford Anthology of African American Poetry (2005), Michael Harper’s Vintage Book of African American Poetry (2000), and Dudley Randall’s The Black Poets (1985). All are comprehensive collections, but each requires supplemental readings in key traditions and periods (spirituals, dialect, the Harlem Renaissance, the Black Arts movement, post-civil rights era). I generally forego the poetry collections in favor of the Norton Anthology of African American Literature, which includes substantial scholarly apparatus and contextual materials, and assign supplementary critical readings such as Tony Bolden on innovation and funk, Joanne Gabbin on the black aesthetic tradition, Keith Leonard on formal poetry, Fred Moten on the black radical tradition, Michael North and Nadia Nurhussein on dialect, Howard...

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