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Paul Laurence Dunbar (June 27, 1872– February 9, 1906) was a seminal African American poet of the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Dunbar gained national recognition for his 1896 Ode to Ethiopia, one poem in the collection Lyrics of Lowly Life.

Dunbar was born in Dayton, Ohio to parents who had escaped from slavery in Kentucky; his father was a veteran of the American Civil War, having served in the 55th…

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