Paul Laurence Dunbar
Paul Laurence Dunbar was an African American poet, novelist, and playwright. Born to former slaves in Dayton, Ohio, Dunbar rose to prominence in the late 19th century as one of the leading African American literary figures of his time. Despite his limited formal education, Dunbar's poetry celebrated the rich oral traditions of African American culture and captured the essence of Black life in America. His most famous works include "Oak and Ivy" (1892) and "Majors and Minors" (1895). Dunbar suffered from tuberculosis, which eventually claimed his life at the young age of 33. Nevertheless, his work continues to be celebrated today as an enduring testament to the African American experience.