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May 29, 2021

This book consists of “must-have” poems revealing the deepest thoughts and feelings of African Americans throughout modern times. The poems are works of African American literary giants including Langston Hughes, Maya Angelou, Nikki Giovanni, Ishmael Reed, and Gwendolyn Brooks, among others.

Arnold Adoff – editor of both the original and updated versions of this “stand out” anthology- selected each poem with utmost care. He had compelling reasons and impressive credentials to do so.

As an award-winning poet and teacher of Black, Hispanic, and Urban White youth in an inner-city school in New York in the 1960s, he deplored the scarcity of Black literature available to his students and set out to change that.

“I want my anthologies of Black American writing to make Black kids strong in their understanding in their knowledge of themselves and their great literary heritage – give them facts and people and power. I also want these Black books of mine to give knowledge to White kids around the country so that mutual respect and understanding will come from mutual learning.”

I Am the Darker Brother, as its title reflects, aims to promote brotherhood through knowledge and learning. A work of passion and purpose, Adoff’s book has become iconic – lasting since 1968, being updated to include later important literary figures, appealing to youth and adults alike, and being a gift to people of all races and all times.