Article abstract: Dunbar’s writing is recognized as providing the most authentic representations of African American life in the United States during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.
Paul Laurence Dunbar’s parents, Joshua and Matilda Murphy Dunbar, were slaves until the early or mid-1860’s. Matilda had been married to another slave, Willis Murphy, with whom she had two sons, both born in slavery. Willis, who joined the Union army and was never heard from again, sent his wife and sons to Dayton, Ohio, where they...
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