Saturday, December 28, 2013

Poem: The Colored Soldiers

The Colored Soldiers is a poem written by Paul Laurence Dunbar (1872-1906).  I discovered this poem while watching online video performances by storyteller, recording artist, poet, actor and author Mitch Capel aka “Gran’daddy Junebugor.” Mr. Capel is the national interpreter of the works of poet  Paul Laurence Dunbar.

Mitch Capel’s Performance of The Colored Soldiers by Paul Laurence Dunbar

Paul Laurence Dunbar wrote several black soldier-themed poems as a tribute to his father, Joshua Dunbar, an escaped slave from a Kentucky plantation who served in the 55th Massachusetts Regiment of the United States Colored Troop (USCT) during the Civil War.  The sentiments expressed in Dunbar’s black soldier-themed poems also give accolades to all soldiers of the USCT for their courage and sacrifices in the fight for freedom. 

Soldier-Themed Poems of Paul Laurence Dunbar (1872-1906)

In the last stanza of the poem, The Colored Soldiers, Dunbar sums up what he hoped to accomplish by writing this poetry tribute.

And their deeds shall find a record
In the registry of Fame;
For their blood has cleansed completely
Every blot of Slavery's shame.
So all honor and all glory
To those noble sons of Ham--