The 100 Best African American Poems

The 100 Best African American Poems

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Award-winning poet and writer Nikki Giovanni selects the 100 best African-American poems ever written.

Discover the voices of a culture from legendary New York Times bestselling author Nikki Giovanni


  • Langston Hughes
  • Gwendolyn Brooks
  • Countee Cullen
  • Paul Laurence Dunbar
  • Robert Hayden
  • Etheridge Knight


  • Rita Dove
  • Sonia Sanchez
  • Richard Wright
  • Tupac Shukar
  • Lucille Clifton
  • Mari Evans
  • Kevin Young

Including one audio CD featuring many of the poems read by the poets themselves, 100 Best African-American Poems is at once strikingly original and a perfect fit for the original poetry anthologies from Sourcebooks, including Poetry Speaks, The Spoken Word Revolution, Poetry Speaks to Children, and the Nikki Giovanni-edited Hip Hop Speaks to Children.

Award-winning poet and writer Nikki Giovanni takes on the difficult task of selecting the 100 best African-American works from classic and contemporary poets. This startlingly vibrant collection spans from historic to modern, from structured to free-form, and reflects the rich roots and visionary future of African-American verse in American culture. The resulting selections prove to be an exciting mix of most-loved chestnuts and daring new writing. Most of all, the voice of a culture comes through in this collection, one that is as talented, diverse, and varied as its people.