Paul and Matilda Dunbar photograph   Save
Paul and Matilda Dunbar photograph
Description: Portrait of poet Paul Laurence Dunbar with his mother, Matilda Dunbar, Dayton, Ohio, ca. 1890-1900. Josephine Watkins Lehman, known to Dunbar as "Aunt Bam," was the daughter of Dunbar's high school principal and mentor, William Watkins. She is credited with taking this photograph. Paul Laurence Dunbar was born in Dayton, Ohio, in 1872 to Joshua and Matilda Dunbar, both former slaves, and was encouraged by his mother in poetry and his schooling from an early age. He attended Dayton Central High School and was the sole African American student at that time. Following his high school graduation, Dunbar worked as an elevator operator while writing poetry in his free time. He built a reputation as a successful literary voice and writer of dialect poetry, and was the first African American poet to receive critical acclaim for his work. Dunbar authored twelve collections of poetry, five novels, one play, and a large number of newspaper articles before his death from tuberculosis on February 9, 1906. He is buried in the Woodland Cemetery in Dayton. View on Ohio Memory.
Image ID: AL01055
Subjects: African American women--Ohio; Dunbar, Paul Laurence, 1872-1906; African American poets; American poetry--Ohio; Literary Ohio
Places: Dayton (Ohio); Montgomery County (Ohio)