A great deal of the work created at this time was very opinionated and designed to empower and uplift African-Americans. The movement holds a tremendous effect and influence on writers that have come in the later part of the on-going insurgence. The themes, concepts, and social questions that the Black Arts Movement artists had influenced a new generation of writers who extended and related to the Black Aesthetic in more contemporary times. Conscientious novelists now write with the purpose to communicate the definition of blackness and the variety of the “Black Experience” correlating with writers of the movement. Natasha Tretheway‘s poem “Help 1968” is one that was subsequently influenced by the logic and perspectives of the movement.
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.
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.
Langston Hughes left an immense impression on the literature of his time period. He influenced many other writers and helped to establish a voice for black people. Langston Hughes was an extraordinary poet that should be known as the man who brought light to the injustice that the people of color of America had to survive.
Liberating Voices: Oral Tradition in African American Literature. Harvard University Press; Cambridge, 1991. Okpewho, Isidore. African Oral Literature. Indiana University Press; Bloomington, 1992.
"Ellison in Black and White: Confession, Violence and Klein, Marcus. "Ralph Ellison." After Alienation: American Novels in Mid-Century. Cleveland: World Pub., 1964. 71-146.
Struggles of African Americans in Langston Hughes’ Poems, Mother to Son and Lenox Avenue: Midnight The experiences, lessons, and conditions of one’s life provide a wellspring of inspiration for one’s creative expressions and ideas. Throughout life people encounter situations and circumstances that consequently help to mold them into individualized spirits. An individual’s personality is a reflection of his or her life. Langston Hughes, a world-renowned African American poet and self-professed defender of African American heritage, boldly defies the stereotypical and accepted form of poetry at his own discretion. Although Langston Hughes is a successful African American poet, he, like many other Harlemites, faces obstacles and opposition along his journey through life; however, Hughes embraces his hardships and infuses his life experiences into poetical works that his fellow African Americans can relate to on some level.
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.
<http://www.unc.edu/course/eng81br1/harlem.html.> Haskins, Jim. The Harlem Renaissance. Brookfield, CT: The Millbrook Press, 1996. Hornsby, Jr., Alton. “Black Americans.” The World Book Encyclopedia.
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.