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.
The Norton Anthology of African American Literature. Ed. Henry Louis Gates, Jr and Nellie Y. McKay. 2nd ed. New York: W.W. Norton & Company, 2004.
The life and Writings of Claude McKay Introduction Every literary period can be defined by a group of writers. For the Harlem Renaissance, which was an extraordinary eruption of creativity among Black Americans in all fields of art, Claude McKay was the leader. Claude McKay was a major asset to the Harlem Renaissance with his contributions of such great pieces of writings such as “If We Must Die” and “The Lynching.” McKay wrote in many different styles. His work which vary from “dialect verse celebrating peasant life in Jamaica, to militant poems challenging white authority in the United States, to philosophically ambitious novels about the effort of blacks to cope in western society” (“Claude McKay” 1375) displays the depth of this great writer. The main ideals of this poet were to raise social issues and to inspire his people.
Over the course of the century chronicling the helm of slavery, the emancipation, and the push for civil, equal, and human rights, black literary scholars have pressed to have their voice heard in the midst a country that would dare classify a black as a second class citizen. Often, literary modes of communication were employed to accomplish just that. Black scholars used the often little education they received to produce a body of works that would seek to beckon the cause of freedom and help blacks tarry through the cruelties, inadequacies, and inconveniences of their oppressed condition. To capture the black experience in America was one of the sole aims of black literature. However, we as scholars of these bodies of works today are often unsure as to whether or not we can indeed coin the phrase “Black Literature” or, in this case, “Black poetry”.
African-American literature has a rich tradition that exemplifies this concept: From Equiano and Harriot Jacobs' slave narratives to Nella Larsen and James Wheldon Johnson's "passing;" from Phyllis Wheatley and Countee Cullen's solemn classical poetic forms to the eloquent anger of the 1960s Black Arts movement, the universal thread of discord and displacement influence the overall design of African-American literature. Then there is Invisible Man. One of the most celebrated texts in African-American literature, Invisible Man has been interpreted as relying heavily on African-American folk tradition for its deep, rich resonance. But in essays about literature and the folly of literary critics, Ellison defends Invisible Man against simple categorization. It is more than a Negro coming-of-age tale, more than a Negro picaresque psychological travelogue, and m... ... middle of paper ... ...allow anyone to gloss over the distinction.
"Wright Richard." Encyclopaedia of African-American Culture and History. 1996 ed. Hill, Robert A. "Garvey, Marcus Mosiah."
Some of which handle the topic of literature, others deal with education, and several examine language and literature. Most of these essays were written by black scholars, who can be traced from historically black colleges. The historical importance of these black colleges shaped the foundation upon which African American studies was built. But why initially investigate black studies? The primary goal of these black scholars was to counteract racism and the discrimination of the African-American race in America.
Based upon the readings of Larry Neal’s “The Black Arts Movement” and Peniel Joseph’s “Black Liberation Without Apology” they have helped the critical understanding of 1960s Black Arts Movement tremendously. In Larry Neal’s “The Black Arts Movement” he discusses key factors on how black artists contribute to African-American culture. Larry Neal also discusses how Black Power and Black Art relate to one another, which subsequently aids in developing the needs of Black America. Lastly, Larry Neal discusses the central characters in Black Art, and how those individuals changed the black theatre and the perceptions of African Americans. These three key ideas help develop a critical understanding of the Black Arts Movement by: understanding the
Also called the New Negro Renaissance, it was a period in history when talented African American writers produced volumes of literary works. This period was characterized by many important themes. The first theme was migration; many African Americans migrated to large cities such as Chicago, Philadelphia, and Harlem. The Harlem Renaissance, the literary movement we are discussing was named so because Harlem became heavily populated with African Americans thus becoming the epicenter for this literary and artistic movement (Gates Jr. and McKay). Another theme of this period was he regeneration of black culture, folk traditions, and character.
Nella Larsen's Passing The Harlem Renaissance was a turning point for many African Americans. A vast amount of literature was created specifically for this group during this era. It was a period when the African American "was in vogue" and "white thinkers and writers were devoting a considerable amount of attention" to them (Taylor 91, 90). For the first time, African Americans were being told that it was okay to be proud of who they were. This new consciousness and self-awareness was prominent in many works of literate, but several writers began exploring the darker side of this movement with literature that concentrated on the negative aspects of race relations in America.