This Day in History: 1935-02-21
The subject of the Literature and Drama Department’s meeting at the home of Mrs. Prendergast, was “The Influence of the Negro on American Culture”. Mrs. Leslie Rounds opened the afternoon meeting with brief biographies if important African-American writers from Phyllis Wheatley to the present. She spoke of James Weldon Johnson, Pal Lawrence Dunbar, William Stanley Braithwaite, Claude McKay, Leslie Pinckney Hill and County Cullen, as well as Booker T. Washington and his successor Maj. Robert Moulton. A number of poems were read, including “Rhapsody” by Braithwaite, “The Teacher” by Hill and four by County Cullen “Harlem Shadows”, “Spring in New Hampshire”, “The Mouthy Woman” and “To John Keats”. As an illustration to that part of Mrs. Rounds talk on sermons by Negro preachers, Mrs. Buhlman read “ListenLord”, a prayer and sermon on the creation. At various times in the program spirituals were sung by the Book Choral Club of Hillburn, conducted by Clyde Newall. Club members were reminded of the play reading, scheduled for March 16th, and urged to attend one of the Club’s major fundraising activities, ironically enough given the subject of the program that day, a minstrel show to take place on May 1st.