Paul Dunbar was an American poet and playwright of the late 19thand early 20th centuries. He learned to read and write at a youngage. His mother often read the bible with him.
He was born in Ohio, to parents who had been enslaved in Kentucky beforethe civil war. Many of his verse and short stories were written in dialect. Although hehad works in conventional English, his works written in dialect are mostly whathe is best known for.
Paul Dunbar was one of the first African-Americans writersto gain national prominence. The Emancipation proclamation, issued by president Abraham Lincoln onSeptember 22nd 1862, stated that the slaves “shall be, then,thenceforward and forever free”. Although itdid not free the slaves, it was a critical point in the war as it transformedit to a strife for human rights. An institution was established by thepresident, thorough which African-Americans could join the U.S. Army. The slaves still experienced racial discrimination andwere treated as inferior and as property.
Slide 2: The title of the text is, whenthey listed colored soldiers, and was published in 1896. The structure reveals that the text is a poem. The text has 5 stanzas,each with 8 lines. Almost the whole text written is written in rhymingcouplets.
It uses some figurative devices, such as anaphora (when BUT isrepeated) and epiphora (when war is). When looking closer to the text, one willnotice that it looks different from the conventional English that we are usedto. This is called the AAFE. Slide 3: Or the AfricanAmerican vernacular English , is a dialect of English, mostly spoken byworking- and middle-class African Americans.
Due to historical relation withthe Southern United States, AAVE shares a considerable section of its grammarand phonology with Southern American English. Another theory states that AAVE,was influenced by Languages from West Africa./The use of AAVE in the poem would appeal to people from the south.People from the south would recognize and appreciate this dialect. – “TH” sound changes to – Dropping Rs and Gs.