To celebrate Black History Month in February—and the rich tradition of African American poetry all year long—browse this selection of poems by classic and contemporary poets.

more black history month resources

Tending” by Elizabeth Alexander
In the pull-out bed with my brother…
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Still I Rise” by Maya Angelou
You may write me down in history…

The Tradition” by Jericho Brown
Aster. Nasturtium. Delphinium. We thought…
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won’t you celebrate with me” by Lucille Clifton
won’t you celebrate with me
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Dirt” by Kwame Dawes
We who gave, owned nothing…

A Place in the Country” by Toi Derricotte
We like the houses here…
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A Small Needful Fact” by Ross Gay
Is that Eric Garner worked…
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Knoxville, Tennessee” by Nikki Giovanni
I always like summer…
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Barberism” by Terrance Hayes
It was light and lusterless and somehow luckless
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Theme for English B” by Langston Hughes
I wonder if it’s that simple?
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Lift Every Voice and Sing” by James Weldon Johnson
Lift every voice and sing…

Notes on the Peanut” by June Jordan
Hi there. My name is George…

Facing It” by Yusef Komunyakaa
My black face fades…
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Imagine” by Kamilah Aisha Moon
A blanket of fresh snow…
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1905” by Marilyn Nelson
Looking out of the front page, a wild-haired…
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The Bronze Legacy” by Effie Lee Newsome
‘Tis a noble gift to be brown, all brown…

Old South Meeting House” by January Gill O’Neil
We draw breath from brick
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Don’t Let Me Be Lonely [Mahalia Jackson is a genius.]” by Claudia Rankine
Mahalia Jackson is a genius…
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little prayer” by Danez Smith
let ruin end here…
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more black history month lesson plans

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browse poems and poets

how to create an anthology