Melvin B. Tolson was born in Moberly, Missouri, in 1898. He published three collections of poetry during his lifetime: Rendezvous with America (1944), Libretto for the Republic of Liberia (1953), and Harlem Gallery (1965). A fourth collection, A Gallery of Harlem Portraits (1979), was published posthumously. Tolson taught at Wiley College for many years, nurturing its debate team and writing program, before moving to Langston University. In 1947 he was named the Poet Laureate of Liberia. He also served as the mayor of Langston, Oklahoma, from 1954-1960. Tolson died in 1966.
Audio Recordings with Melvin B. Tolson
- Melvin Beaunorus Tolson reading his poems with comment in the Coolidge Auditorium, Oct. 18, 1965