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Black Arts Movement

The Black Arts Movement

The amazing era of the Black Arts Movement developed the concept of an influential and artistic blackness that created controversial but significant organizations such as the Black Panther Party. The Black Arts Movement called for "an explicit connection between art and politics" (Smith). This movement created the most prevalent era in black art history by taking stereotypes and racism and turning it into artistic value.

This connection between black art and politics was first made clear in a great essay written by Larry Neal in the summer of 1968. This essay illustrated the Black Arts Movement's "manifesto" or plan. Neal wrote: "The Black Arts Movement is radically opposed to any concept of the artist that alienates him from his community" (Smith). Meaning, all black people must reorganize the creativity of the Western culture because of their "desire for self-determination and nationhood "(Smith). Neal hoped that when the black community collectively join to create an new art form they would become powerful and strengthened in their society. Neal was just one of the important writers of the Black Arts Movement era. Other writers, poets, and essayists illustrated a new beginning for the black community to overcome their hardships and to rise up artistically.

The concept of Black Power stemmed from the Black Arts Movement. Black Power was a political movement that arose to express a new racial consciousness among Blacks in the United States. Black Power represented a racial dignity leading to freedom from white authority in economic and political grounds. In this era, African Americans went back to learn from old cultural history and traditions (Gladney). Major goals for Black Power were for all Blac...

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...read as it was in this era. There would not have been such an era without these two amazing innovators.

1. Bader, Philip. "Baraka, Amiri." African-American Writers , A to Z of African Americans. New York: Facts On File, Inc., 2004. Facts On File, Inc. African-American History & Culture .

2. Smith, Robert C. "Black Power Movement." Encyclopedia of African-American Politics . New York: Facts On File, Inc., 2003. Facts On File, Inc. African-American History & Culture .

3. Smith, Robert C. "Black Arts Movement." Encyclopedia of African-American Politics . New York: Facts On File, Inc., 2003. Facts On File, Inc. African-American History & Culture

4. Gladney, Marvin J. "The Black Arts Movement and Hip-Hop". African American Review, Vol. 29, No. 2. 1995, pp. 291-301.

5. Norton's Anthology of African American Literature; Gates, Henry Louis. 2004, New York. 45.
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