Biography: 

Daniel Decatur Emmett was born in Mt. Vernon, Ohio, on October 29, 1815. After working in newspaper offices, and serving in the army, Emmett played in circus bands. Emmett organized the first black minstrel company, the Virginia Minstrels, in New York in 1843; he played the violin, and his band was a great success.

Biography: 

Born in Dayton, Ohio, and raised by his mother, Paul Dunbar stood out as the only black student in Central High School, the class poet, the editor of the school newspaper, and the president of its literary club, the Philomathean Society.

Biography: 

For more poems, see the Academy of America Poets

 

Biography: 

Born on November 1, 1871, in Newark, New Jersey, Stephen Crane grew up in Port Jervis and Asbury Park.

Biography: 

Born February 11, 1802, in Medford, Massachusetts, Lydia Maria Child made her living as a novelist, story-story writer, schoolteacher, editor, writer for children, and controversialist. Her first notorious work, a novel entitled Hobomok, A Tale of Early Times (1824), celebrated interracial marriage.

Biography: 

Katharine Lee Bates, born August 12, 1859, graduated from Wellesley College in 1880, joined its English Department five years later, and earned a Masters degree there in 1891 following study at Oxford in 1888-89. She published the scholarly work for which she is best known critically, The English Religious Drama, in 1893, and edited many classics of English literature.

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