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.
Journal Of African American History 94, no. 3: 407-421. Academic Search Premier, EBSCOhost (accessed December 8, 2013).
Regarding these various matters, African American studies is an multidisciplinary field created from the history and development of the African American culture, viewed through an afro-centric mindset. The emergence of black studies can be traced back to the nineteenth century, particularly in the 1880’s. It first began as a movement to discuss the inferiority of blacks, and was originally defined as the study of black people. (Hayes 1) Essays and journals can be found dating back to the nineteenth century which examine elements of the black experience. Some of which handle the topic of literature, others deal with education, and several examine language and literature.
Maloney, Thomas. (2002). “African Americans in the Twentieth Century,” [Online]. http://eh.net/ encyclopedia/african-americans-in-the-twentieth-century/. [2014 February].
Their platform and its ideals struck a chord with blacks across the country, especially in the inner cities of the north. The panthers were able to organize and unite these blacks. A new dawn was about to begin for African Americans throughout the United States. Black Panthers Party for Self Defense wanted four things, equality in education, housing , civil rights and employment was based off of 10 Rules which they beloved would help start economic black reform throughout the country for African Americans; 1. We want freedom.
Black Culture and Black Consciousness: Afro-American Folk Thought from Slavery to Freedom. London: Sage Publishers. Robin, D. G. (2000). To Make Our World Anew: A History of African Americans. New York: Prentice Hall Publishers.
History of African Americans after Reconstruction During reconstruction the United States was divided on social issues, presidential campaigns were won and loss on these issues during this period. The struggle for development of African Americans and how they initiated change in political, economic, educational, and social conditions to shape their future and that of the United States. (Dixon, 2000) The South’s attempts to recover from the Civil war included determining what to do with newly freed slaves and finding labor to replace them. The task of elevating the Negro from slave to citizen was the most enormous one which had ever confronted the country. Local governments implemented mechanisms of discrimination to combat citizenship and equality such as Jim Crow laws and the KKK (Bowles, 2011) in place in the south to ensure the white citizen superiority, these inherent beliefs continued for generations.
The Black Arts Movement The Black Arts movement refers to a period of “furious flowering” of African American creativity beginning in the mid-1960’s and continuing through much of the 1970’s (Perceptions of Black). Linked both chronologically and ideologically with the Black Power Movement, The BAM recognized the idea of two cultural Americas: one black and one white. The BAM pressed for the creation of a distinctive Black Aesthetic in which black artists created for black audiences. The movement saw artistic production as the key to revising Black American’s perceptions of themselves, thus the Black Aesthetic was believed to be an integral component of the economic, political, and cultural empowerment of the Black community. The concepts of Black Power, Nationalism, Community, and Performance all influenced the formation of this national movement, and it proliferated through community institutions, theatrical performance, literature, and music.