Melvin B. Tolson

1898–1966
Melvin B. Tolson

Anchored by the masterful long poem “Dark Symphony,” Melvin B. Tolson's Rendezvous with America (1944) surveyed the historical achievements of African Americans while detailing the challenges they continued to face. One of the first and most perceptive writers on the Harlem Renaissance, and renowned for the breadth of his knowledge and expert handling of traditional literary forms, Tolson completed before his death the first of a projected five-part epic on the African-American experience. Among his honors was the Poet Laureateship of Liberia.