After its start in 1910, The Crisis: A Record of the Darker Races
magazine became the major outlet for works by African American writers and intellectuals. In 1920, Langston Hughes's poem The Negro Speaks of Rivers was published in The Crisis
and W. E. B. Du Bois, the magazine's editor, wrote about the coming renaissance of American Negro literature, beginning what is now known as the Harlem Renaissance. The Crisis Reader
is a collection of poems, short stories, plays, and essays from this great literary period and includes, in addition to four previously unpublished poems by James Weldon Johnson, work by Countee Cullen, Langston Hughes, Jessie Fauset, Charles Chesnutt, W. E. B. Du Bois, and Alain Locke.