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This collection of essays on Dunbar's work builds on the research published over the last two decades. Employing an array of approaches to Dunbar's poetic creations, the contributors closely examine the self-motivated and dynamic effect of his use of dialect, language, rhetorical strategies, and narrative theory to promote racial uplift. They situate Dunbar's work in relation to the issues of advancement popular during the Reconstruction era and against the racial stereotypes proliferating in the early twentieth century while demonstrating its relevance to contemporary literary studies.