Paul Laurence Dunbar's Civil War Ties

This week we studied the great American poet, Paul Laurence Dunbar, whose poems embodied characters at the end of the 19th Century.

Dunbar, who grew up in Ohio and graduated as the only black student in his class at Dayton Central High School, would radically change poetry through his use of characterization and elements of black dialect. Some of the 20th-century writers he inspired included Langston Hughes and Maya Angelou, whose autobiography, "I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings," took its title from the first line of his poem, "Sympathy."

Though he was born after the Civil War, Dunbar was linked with one of the key African-American events of that war: the formation of the 55th Massachusetts, the regiment featured in the movie, Glory.

BONUS: What was Dunbar's connection to the 55th Massachusetts? Leave your answer as a comment to receive +4 bonus points.