George Moses Horton (ca. 1797-1883)

George Moses HortonGeorge Moses Horton began composing poems in his head, speaking them aloud, and “selling” them at the Chapel Hill Farmers Market around 1815. His first poetry collection, The Hope of Liberty (1829), was the first book to be published by an African-American man in the south—and one of the first to publicly protest his slavery in poetry. The Black Bard of North Carolina: George Moses Horton and His Poetry, edited by Joan Sherman includes 62 of the poems from Horton’s three volumes: The Hope of Liberty, Poetical Works (1845), and Naked Genius (1865). Sherman provides an introduction and biographical information that puts Horton in context.