Heard (Henderson), Josephine D.
|INTRODUCTION. -- Bishop Benj. Tucker Tanner, D.D.|
That he somewhat influenced the publication of " Morning Glories ," gives the writer real pleasure; which is enhanced by the thought that he gladly accepted the invitation to write the Introduction.
For quite a quarter of a century, he has had much to do with the literary life of the people with whom he is especially identified; as that life manifested itself in the production of papers, of monthly or quarterly magazines, of pamphlets and of books. He rejoices in the great progress made, both in quantity and quality. When he may be said to have begun his public literary career in 1868, there was scarcely more than two or three papers published by colored men. There are now quite as many hundred. Of magazines, there was none, now there are four. Of pamplets, upon very rare occasions, one was now and then issued. Now they appear, as do the leaves of autumn. And the same is true of books. A quarter of a century ago, a colored author was indeed a rara avis. Not so now, however, such individuals are fairly numerous.
What is true of the colored literature of the country, as to quantity, is equally true as to quality. On this score the most rapid advancement has also been made. Incipient scholarship everywhere appearing upon the pages offered the public .
On the line of Poetry, we as a people, give sufficient evidence to show that the Muse is indeed no respecter of persons. That he is equally an admirer of shade; and although at times compelled in his approaches to us, to walk in unbeaten paths, yet he condescendingly comes, and inspires a music as sweet as is the wild honey of unkept hives. If any doubt, let him read, " Morning Glories ," to which these lines are to serve as an introduction. In rigid versification, the lines herein given, may here and there come short, but for brightness of imagination, for readiness of expression, and now and then for delicateness of touch, they are genuinely poetical; clearly evincing a talent of no mean order.
We would wish that " Morning Glories " might be received in the houses of our millions; showing thereby the party of the second part among us, stands ready to support the party of the first part, in all that tends to redeem the good name of the Race.