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Paul Laurence Dunbar (1872-1906) was a late 19th century / early 20th century poet and writer whose work was a significant representation of African American life. The poem “When Dey Listed Colored Soldiers” was published in Candle-Lightin’ Time (1901) which was illustrated with photographs by the Hampton Institute Camera Club. It also appeared in Lyrics of Love and Laughter (1903).

Here’s an audio file of “When Dey Listed Colored Soldiers.”

Dunbar’s better-known poems include “I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings,” “Little Brown Baby,” “A Negro Love Song,” and “We Wear the Mask.” For more information about the poet and his work see Poetry Foundation: Paul Laurence Dunbar or Wright State University: Special Collections & Archives — Paul Laurence Dunbar.

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