The Black Bard of North Carolina
George Moses Horton and His Poetry

Edited by Joan R. Sherman

For his humanistic religious verse, his poignant and deeply personal antislavery poems, and, above all, his lifelong enthusiasm for liberty, nature, and the art of poetry, George Moses Horton merits a place of distinction among nineteenth-century African American poets. Enslaved from birth until the close of the Civil War, the self-taught Horton was the first American slave to protest his bondage in published verse and the first black man to publish a book in the South. As a man and as a poet, his achieve ments were extraordinary.

Sixty-two of Horton's poems are collected in this new book. Joan Sherman's comprehensive introduction--combining biography, history, cultural commentary, and critical insight--presents a compelling and detailed picture of this remarkable man's life and ar t. Covering a wide range of poetical subjects in varied verse forms, this collection is an eloquent testament to Horton's unique voice.

George Moses Horton (ca. 1797-1883) was born in Northampton County, North Carolina. A slave for sixty-eight years, Horton spent much of his life on a farm near Chapel Hill, and in time he fostered a deep connection with the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. The author of three books of poetry (in addition to this new collection), Horton was inducted into the North Carolina Literary Hall of Fame in May of 1996.

168 pp.
ISBN 0-8078-2341-4 $32.50 hardcover
ISBN 0-8078-4648-1 $14.95 paperback


  • Excerpts from the Introduction
  • Selected Poems from the Book
  • Related Sites
  • Also available
    The Poems of Phillis Wheatley
    Revised and Enlarged Edition
    Edited and with an Introduction by Julian D. Mason, Jr.
    254 pp.
    ISBN 0-8078-4245-1 $18.95 paperback


    The University of North Carolina Press 1-800-848-6224

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