Black Labor Chant and Other Poems.

Featuring illustrated poems of racial discrimination, segregation, and violence


Extraordinary volume of posthumously published poetry by an African-American educator. Illustrated poems on themes of racial discrimination, segregation, and violence are prominently featured.

Half the volume, 18 poems, is comprised of brief, even terse, poems, most accompanied by an emblem-like vignette illustration by African American artist, John Borican (1913–1942).¹ The verbal/visual symbolism produces a profound effect. For example, the poem “Resignation”: the illustration shows a rope suspended from a church spire passing through the hooded eye of a Ku Klux Klansman; below hangs a black man: “They were so proud of twenty spires! / The whole town understood / Why twenty devotees were there, / With sacrificial rope and hood.”

Author, and New Jersey native, David Wadsworth Cannon, Jr. died while studying for his Ph.D. at Columbia University’s Teachers College. He had been investigating the social attitudes and adjustments of black college students. A capsule biography of Cannon is included in the Foreword.


Description: Black Labor Chant and Other Poems.

[New York:] The National Council on Religion in Higher Education, (Associated Press, 1939). First Edition. Portrait frontispiece, 56pp. 8vo. Brown cloth with printed title label on upper cover. Illustrations by John Borican. Near fine.

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Note. 1. John Borican (1913-1942) - Find A Grave Memorial accessed online. It is ironic to note that Borican, like Cannon, died while studying for his Ph.D. at Columbia University.


Price: $25.00