Program Details

African American Literature: 1773-2000

Jeff Morgan

Course Description

Explore the distinctive poetry of African-American authors in this series. In chronological order, participants will hear the poetry of some well-known and some lesser-known African-American authors and get an understanding of how the African-American voice has evolved over time. This poetry reflects the African-American experience as seen through the eyes of these authors, allowing the reader to develop an even greater empathetic relationship with African-American culture and opening the door for more acceptance, adaptation, and integration within our society. Morgan will read each poem as it is projected on a screen and then analyze it within its historical context as well as on its formal elements.


  1. 1773-1900: Phillis Wheatley, Francis Harper, Paul Laurence Dunbar, and James Weldon Johnson
  2. 1900-1938: (Harlem Renaissance) Claude McKay, Jean Toomer, Countee Cullen, and Langston Hughes
  3. 1938-1962: Sterling Brown, Gwendolyn Brooks, Langston Hughes, and Robert Hayden
  4. 1962-2000: Dudley Randall, Michael Harper, Rita Dove, Maya Angelou, Lucille Clifton, and June Jordan

About the Instructor

  • Jeff Morgan, Ph.D. is the author of three books and numerous essays and poems. His fourth book, "The American Novel and the Liminal Mind", is forthcoming from McFarland. His latest essay is a chapter in the book, "Teach English with a Sense of Humor", and his latest poems can be read in "Grist and Proem". This spring marks his 40th year of teaching.