Thursday January 26, 2006

He Had His Dream

WDTN-TV will devote its half-hour "Dayton and Beyond" show to community-wide plans to celebrate the legacy of Dayton poet Paul Laurence Dunbar.

Celebrate Dunbar!, a yearlong community-wide tribute to Dayton poet Paul Laurence Dunbar, will be featured on WDTN-TV's "Dayton and Beyond" at noon on Sunday, Jan. 29.

Herbert Woodward Martin, poet-in-residence at the University of Dayton who enjoys an international reputation as a performer of Dunbar's poems and scholar of his works, talks about Dunbar's legacy with host Sharon Howard. He also "borrows" Dunbar's voice and perform two poems, "He Had His Dream" and "Negro Love Song."

"Dunbar elevated the language," said Martin, who appears on the show in a turn-of-the-century morning coat. "Dunbar wanted to fly with words, while the Wright brothers wanted to fly with machinery."

Fran Robinson, programming director at the Victoria Theatre Association, and Noreen Wilhelm, consultant with the Dayton Contemporary Dance Company, talk to Howard about the numerous public events being staged in the Dayton region this year to celebrate the poet's life and work.

Dunbar, the first African-American poet to garner national critical acclaim, died Feb. 9, 1906, of tuberculosis at the age of 33. A 10 a.m. graveside tribute at Woodland Cemetery is being planned for Thursday, Feb. 9, to mark the centennial of his death.

For information on all events, click here.