DUNBAR, Paul Laurence (1872-1906). When Malindy Sings. New York: Dodd, Mead & Company, 1906.

8vo (143 x 217 mm). Half-title, frontispiece with photographic plates throughout. (Edges worn.) Original publisher's illustrated cloth gilt, top edge gilt, others uncut (corners lightly bumped). 

FIRST EDITION. Dunbar's work received critical praise and acceptance during his lifetime. His friend, writer James Weldon Johnson, noted: "Paul Laurence Dunbar stands out as the first poet from the Negro race in the United States to show a combined mastery over poetic material and poetic technique, to reveal innate literary distinction in what he wrote, and to maintain a high level of performance. He was the first to rise to a height from which he could take a perspective view of his own race. He was the first to see objectively its humor, its superstitions, its short-comings; the first to feel sympathetically its heart-wounds, its yearnings, its aspirations, and to voice them all in a purely literary form" (The Book of American Negro Poetry, 1931).

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