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menuAmerican Social History Project  ·    Center for Media and Learning

  • Item Type > Fiction/Poetry (x)

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"To the Right Honourable William, Earl of Dartmouth, His Majesty's Principal Secretary of State for North America &c."

Phillis Wheatley, the first published African-American poet, was also the second woman in colonial America to publish a book on any subject. Born in Gambia, where she was taken into slavery, Wheatley was sold to the Wheatleys, a prosperous Boston [...]

"To A Locomotive in Winter" (Excerpt)

Walt Whitman ardently depicted scenes and objects of modernity in the mid 19th century, seeing beauty in the power and invention of the machine age. This set him apart from a slightly earlier generation of artists, poets, and writers like Henry [...]

"For My People"

As a young writer, Margaret Walker penned "For My People" to demonstrate African-American racial pride in the face of institutional racism and victimization. Walker interprets the dreams of African-Americans through discussions of the development [...]

"Unguarded Gates" (Excerpt)

Thomas Bailey Aldrich was a well-known and regarded American poet of the late nineteenth century. In "Unguarded Gates," he expresses the anti-immigrant xenophobia and notions of Anglo-American superiority shared by many native-born Americans of the [...]

"The White Man's Burden: The United States and the Philippine Islands"

In February 1899, British novelist and poet Rudyard Kipling wrote a poem entitled "The White Man's Burden: The United States and The Philippine Islands." In this poem, Kipling urged the U.S. to take up the "burden" of empire, as had Britain and [...]

"The Real White Man's Burden"

This satire of Rudyard Kipling's "The White Man's Burden" was written by Ernest Crosby, a pacifist and president of the Anti-Imperialist League of New York. Crosby's verses poke fun at Kipling's assumption that the "civilized" way of life is [...]

"The Black Man's Burden"

This poem by Lulu Baxter Guy turns the tables on Rudyard Kipling's "The White Man's Burden," suggesting that the real "burden" was borne by African-Americans under the weight of racial oppression. Making an impassioned plea for racial equality, Guy [...]

"The 'White Man's Burden': Uncle Sam to Kipling"

"Droch" was the pen name of Robert Bridges, a critic and editor at Scribner's and Life magazines and a friend to both Woodrow Wilson and Theodore Roosevelt. In this response to Rudyard Kipling's "The White Man's Burden," he opens by sarcastically [...]

"The Brown Man's Burden"

Much like Lulu Baxter Guy's "The Black Man's Burden," Henry Labouchère's "The Brown Man's Burden" shifts the emphasis of Kipling's notorious poem, offering a view of imperialism from the perspective of those who were most directly affected by [...]

"Halsted Street Car"

Carl Sandburg was born in Galesburg, Illinois, to a poor Swedish immigrant family. After leaving home at the age of thirteen, Sandburg drifted, working odd jobs, traveling as a hobo, and serving in the Spanish-American War. A fellow soldier [...]

Item Type: Fiction/Poetry