Celebrating 150 Years of Paul Laurence Dunbar

Paul Laurence Dunbar was born on June 27, 1872, in Dayton, Ohio. He was was one of the first African American literary figures to gain national critical acclaim. On May 2, 1992, Wright State University’s main library was renamed “Dunbar Library” in recognition of Dunbar’s significant literary contributions, importance to Dayton, and friendship with Wilbur and Orville Wright for whom the University is named.

This year, we join with the National Parks Service and local organizations in celebrating the 150th anniversary of his birth. This spring semester the University Libraries and the Friends of the Libraries will host several events to commemorate the anniversary. These events offer an opportunity to explore the history, the work, and the legacy of this influential author. 

Upcoming Dunbar 150 events sponsored by University Libraries and the Friends of the Libraries include:

  • February 17 @ 3:00 pm: Paul Laurence Dunbar: Beyond the Mask documentary screening and discussion with filmmaker Frederick Lewis 
  • March 8 @ 5:30 pm: Book Club discussion of The Sport of the Gods by Paul Laurence Dunbar
  • April 15 @ 4:30 pm: Visions of Dunbar art & literary expo (submissions are open to WSU students and area high school students, accepted through March 16th)
  • April 20 @ noon: Friends of the Libraries Virtual “Lunch-in”: Paul Laurence Dunbar, a Celebration of the 150th Anniversary of His Birth, featuring Herbert Woodward Martin
  • May 6 : Silver Melted into Sound music festival (hosted by WSU School of Music)

For full details and registration information on all of these events, please visit the University Libraries’ blog.

We hope to see you there!

P.S. – Don’t forget, you can enjoy reading Dunbar’s poetry on our web site anytime!

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