Black Poetry Day:
Celebrated on the 17th of October every year, the Black Poetry Day is a celebration of the black poets of all times.
Related: Other National Days Celebrated on October 17th:
Why Black Poetry Day?
Black Poetry Day commemorates and honors the black poets in the past and from the present era. This day is also the birth date of the Black Poet, Jupiter Hammon who was also the first of the Black Poets to be published. He was born on October 17th in New York’s Long Island in the year 1711. The Black Poetry Day also celebrates the birth of this poet. It is also a day that celebrates literacy and black heritage. It is a day to appreciate the efforts and the works of black poets and black authors.
How can we celebrate Black Poetry Day:
On the Black Poetry Day, here are some ways you can make this day special and tips to celebrate the Black Poetry Day.
- Kick off the celebrations with a poetry slam/poetry reading in a gathering. It could be in your house, in the garden, or any other possible place of interest.
- Everyone gathered can read out a favorite poem from a black poet and explain why and what they like about the poem. This will also incite interest among others.
- You can also share your poetry on the Black Poetry day or encourage other black poets to share their creativity.
- Explore a wide range of poetry by different Black poets like Arna Bontemps, Gwendolyn Brooks, and others and discuss more about their works.
- You can also invite a black poet if possible to address the gathering and share their inspiration and ideas behind their poetry.
- Organize or be part of poetry reading on that day which honors the Black Poets.
- You can also make use of social media to create awareness about the Black Poetry Day and the Black Poets in general. Use the Hashtags #BlackPoetryDay!
Interesting facts about Black Poetry Day:
Black Poetry Day that celebrates and honors the contribution of Black Poets to literature in general and is an honor to the black heritage as well. On this special day, let us take a look at some interesting facts about Jupiter Hammon and other black poets in general.
- Jupiter Hammon who is hailed as the father of Afro-American literature was the first the black poet to be published.
- His work “An Evening Thought” was the first poem by a Black Poet to be published in the US. The poem was published when Jupiter Hammon was 49 years of age.
- While Jupiter Hammon is the first black poet to be published in the US, Phillis Wheatley was the first of the woman black poets to be published, though it was in England.
- The essays and poems by Hammon were directed towards Christian salvation, morality and were more for the slave readers.
- Hammon had written a dedication poem to Phillis Wheatley even though the two have never met in person.
- More than the written word, the black poetry emphasizes more on oral rendition which is another unique factor about it.
- It was proposed by Stanley A Ransom to celebrate the Black Poetry Day in the year 1970.
- Three black poets found a place in the Poet Laureate in the 20th century which underlines the accomplishments of this community in literature.
History of Black Poetry Day:
The Black Poetry Day was first celebrated in the year 1985 in honor of the first Black Poet whose work was first published in the US. Jupiter Hammon is the poet in whose honor the Black Poetry Day came into existence. The poet Jupiter Hammonis also considered to be the father of African American Literature which is a great accomplishment in itself.
The poet was born as part of the slave community and yet managed to complete education, making use of the library in the manor to read, and became a published poet, the first of the black poets to do so. The Black Poetry day is a celebration of his achievements and an honor for other black poets in the past and present era.
Black Poetry day is celebrated in recognition of the compassion, courage, and language command of the black poets who spoke out even when they were silenced.