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Crows, Nighthawks, Eagles--Henry Dumas's poetry is as avian as the winged dancers in Alvin Ailey's "Revelations." It soars, its head is high, like those, in Charles White's drawings--eyes aimed towards transcendence, which is as Dumas wants black people to be. This historian, teacher, guide, poet wants them to be aware of their traditions and of their power. His lines exude power and energy. He was one of the channels for the spirit of black pride that brought euphoria to millions in the 1960s, before governmental agencies, operating in secret, permitted the dumping of tons of toxic crack and heroin as a way of bringing people to the degradation we see happening in the ghettos throughout America. He successfully mediums the many black male voices that we hear in everyday life; he knows the blues of black men whose ill-wishers seem an army, and whose paranoia is justified. He is a prophet like St. John. He shows that the black male voice and style will never be for sale, will never be harlequined as tranquilizers for the suburbs. He knows Islam, Christianity, Greek, and Yoruban religion. He knows a variety of forms and techniques, He is a craftsman. He shows that even an avowedly black poet is more cosmopolitan than the average yawn-inspiring verse-maker in your average "American" anthology of poetry.