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Great Poems for Black History Month

04/05/2010 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

The Huffington Post's "Books" page is celebrating Black History Month with recommendations from Baratunde Thurston that range from how best to explore a "post-racial" society, to why this site should change its name to "The Blackington Post."

To supplement this advice from the vigilante pundit, I humbly offer a brief selection of classic and contemporary poems from the Poetry Foundation archive that explore and celebrate the rich tradition of African-American poetry. These poems range from the familiar (Langston Hughes' "I, Too") to the emergent (Thulani Davis' "skinny-dippin' in the gene pool"), and they're doubtlessly only a fraction of what has been studied, celebrated, and recited over the years. In any case, February is a great excuse to showcase them and to talk about other poems that celebrate and explore African-American history.

Do you have favorites that I've forgotten to mention? If so, please offer up your favorite selections in the comments section below, and in the meantime, stay tuned to Baratunde's twitter feed for more February suggestions.

American Income
Afaa Michael Weaver

Unholy Women
Chris Abani

Nina's Blues
Cornelius Eady

won't you celebrate with me
Lucille Clifton

Canary
Rita Dove

Sterling A. Brown

Praise Song for the Day
Elizabeth Alexander

Elliptical
Harryette Mullen

Caged Bird
Maya Angelou

A Negro Love Song
Paul Laurence Dunbar

Beautiful Black Men
Nikki Giovanni

Booker T. and W.E.B.
Dudley Randall

Thomas Sayers Ellis

Arna Bontemps

Yet Do I Marvel
Countee Cullen

My Country 'Tis of Thee
W.E.B. Du Bois

Langston Hughes
Harlem Shadows
Claude McKay
Georgia Dusk
Jean Toomer

Michael S. Harper

Flounder
Natasha Trethewey

Haki Madhubuti

Reward
Kevin Young

E. Ethelbert Miller

The Gospel of Barbecue
Honore Fanonne Jeffers

No Images
William Waring Cuney

Song of the Andoumboulou: 60
Nathaniel Mackey

Lothar's Wife
Colleen J. McElroy

The Birth of John Henry
Melvin B. Tolson

For My People
Margaret Walker

Ode to Big Trend
Terrance Hayes

First Fire
Camille T. Dungy

Alameda Street
Douglas Kearney