MANA's BLACK LIT ALIVE! Featuring Poets Jupiter Hammon and George Moses Horton Segment#3

 MANA's BLACK LIT ALIVE! is a special segment of MANA, which will have podcasts on literature produced by African American writers in the early 1700s and 1800s. 

Through literature, the writers, whether free or slaves, realized their identity and expressed their individuality at a time when African Americans were only viewed as mere property. In this podcast, MANA’s DR C presents the discussion and works of Jupiter Hammon and George Moses Horton. 

Hammon (1711-ca.-1806) is known as a founder of African American literature since his poem published in 1761 in New York was the first by an African American in North America. 

Horton (1798-1883), considered "the Black bard of North Carolina," was a slave in North Carolina. Horton's first collection of poetry, The Hope of Liberty (1829) was intended to earn enough to purchase his freedom but failed to do so. He did not become free until 1865 when the Emancipation Proclamation reached North Carolina. 

Listen to DR C's podcast where she reads and discusses the works of Jupiter Hammon and George Moses Horton: 

Follow DR C in reading the poem "Love," by George Moses Horton:

Whilst tracing thy visage I sink in emotion,
A photograph of a North Carolina State
historical plaque to George Moses Horton.
Taken on October 7, 2007, by 
Michael Helms.

For no other damsel so wondrous I see;

Thy looks are so pleasing, thy charms so amazing,

I think of no other, my true love, but thee.

With heart-burning rapture, I gaze on thy beauty,

And fly like a bird to the boughs of a tree;

Thy looks are so pleasing, thy charms so amazing,

I fancy no other, my true love, but thee.

Thus oft in the valley I think, and I wonder

Why cannot a maid with her lover agree?

Thy looks are so pleasing, thy charms so amazing,

I pine for no other, my true love, but thee.

I'd fly from thy frowns with a heart full of sorrow--

Return, pretty damsel, and smile thou on me;

By every endeavor, I'll try thee forever,

And languish until I am fancied by thee.

The podcast also features an excerpt of Jupiter Hammon's "Essay on Slavery, with justification to Divine providence, that God Rules over all things":

Our forefathers came from Africa 

Tost over the raging main                            

Photo courtesy of Joseph Lloyd House, 
Northwest of Huntington on
Lloyd Harbor Road, Huntington

To a Christian shore there for to stay

And not return again. 

Dark and dismal was the Day

When slavery began

All humble thoughts were put away

Then slaves were made by Man.

When God doth please for to permit

That slavery should be

It is our duty to submit

Till Christ shall make us free

Come let us join with one consent

With humble hearts and say

For every sin we must repent

And walk in wisdom’s way.

If we are free we’ll pray to God

If we are slaves the same

It’s firmly fixt in his [holy] word

Ye shall not pray in vain...

Hear the words now of the Lord

The call is loud and certain

We must be judged by his word

Without respect of person.

Come let us seek his precepts now

And love his holy word

With humble soul we’ll surely bow

And wait the great reward.

Although we came from Africa

We look unto our God

To help our hearts to sigh and pray

And Love his holy word.

Although we are in slavery

Bound by the yoke of Man

We must always have a single eye

And do the best we can...

Have you written poems that you would like to self-publish? MANA can help. Contact MANA today at

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