The New Negro Movement Essay

The New Negro Movement Essay

Length: 955 words (2.7 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Better Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

Shortly after Rachel was written in 1916, the New Negro Movement began to gain traction in the African American community. This broad cultural movement focused on promoting a public image of African Americans as industrious, urban, independent, and distinct from the subservient and illiterate “Old Negro” of the rural South. Unlike his predecessor, the New Negro was self-sufficient, intellectually sophisticated, creative, knowledgeable and proud of his racial heritage (Krasner, Beautiful Pageant 140). While these concepts had been promoted since the turn of the century, it was not until 1917-1918 that they began to crystalize as a concerted effort among African American intellectuals. These men actively supported the creation of black drama because they recognized that “At a time when African Americans had virtually no political recourse, their voice could best be heard through…a creative and humanistic effort to achieve the goal of civil rights by producing positive images of African Americans and promoting activism through art” (“New Negro Movement” 926). The New Negros therefore shared the same overall goal as black intellectuals such as DuBois, but believed that black artists should focus on presenting the reality and beauty of the “black human experience” instead of an idealized vision of what life should be. Ultimately, the transition from “political” art to that which held creativity in high esteem was complex and divisive. Fortunately, just as Dubois emerged as the primary advocate of the former Political Theatre, so too would Alain Locke help guide the New Negros to support the idea of Art Theatre.
Alain Locke’s support of the New Negro Movement helped convince African Americans to move away from the propagandistic ph...

... middle of paper ...

...vid. A Beautiful Pageant: African American Theatre, Drama, and Performance in the Harlem Renaissance, 1910-1927. New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2002. Print.
Krasner, David. Resistance, Parody, and Double Consciousness in African American Theatre: 1895-1910. Basingstoke: MacMillan, 1997. Print.
Mackay, Constance D'Arcy. The Little Theatre in the United States. New York: H. Holt, 1917. Print.
McKay, Nellie. "Black Theater and Drama in the 1920s: Years of Growing Pains." The Massachusetts Review 28.4 (1987): 615-626. JSTOR. Web. 31 Mar. 2014
Saxon, Theresa. American Theatre: History, Context, Form. Edinburgh: Edinburgh Univ, 2011. Print.
Scott, Freda L. "Black Drama and the Harlem Renaissance." Theatre Journal 37.4 (1985): 426-439. Print.
Wheeler, Kip. "Literary Terms and Definitions M." Literary Terms and Definitions "M" Carson-Newman University, n.d. Web. 12 May 2014.

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

The Harlem Renaissance: The New Negro Movement Essay

- The Harlem Renaissance, also known as “The New Negro Movement” was a cultural movement that spanned the1920’s. The Harlem Renaissance was a defining moment in African American literature causing an outburst of creative activity in black writers and artists in New York City. The Harlem Renaissance was influenced by the migration of African Americans from the South seeking better opportunities for themselves. A black man named Charles Spurgeon Johnson who was the editor for the National Urban League magazine encouraged and supported black writers and artists who were part of the Harlem Renaissance....   [tags: cultural movement, african american literature]

Better Essays
950 words (2.7 pages)

The Harlem Renaissance And The New Negro Movement Essay

- Progress can take shape in many forms; music, dance, education, political activism, and literature all played a role in black people making space for themselves in America from the 17th century up to today. The Harlem Renaissance and the New Negro movement brought black Americans a boom of culture and pride, urging each other to admire the arts and look toward the future where they could express themselves more freely, differing from the era of lynching, disenfranchisement, and terror that was the Reconstruction Era....   [tags: African American, W. E. B. Du Bois]

Better Essays
1043 words (3 pages)

The New Negro Movement : A New Age Of Advocacy Among Black Americans Essay

- Prompt 2 The New Negro movement represented a new age of advocacy among Black Americans unwilling to submit to the racism of a post-Reconstruction America. They had already had their pleas for reform denied with the Compromise (or Betrayal) of 1876, while the first World War revealed critical discrepancies between the idealist views of America and the realities of the nation for Black people. Even as Black Americans left the South, either to escape racist policies or simply to find a job, they fell victim to de facto segregation and redlining within their new urban communities....   [tags: Harlem Renaissance, African American]

Better Essays
744 words (2.1 pages)

Analysis Of Zora Neale Hurston 's ' The New Negro Movement ' Essay

- One of America’s famous folklorist and novelist during the mid-late 1930’s was Zora Neale Hurston. On January 7, 1891, in Notasulga,Alabama, Zora was born during a time when african american women faced many restrictions and were treated unfairly lowering there shots of opportunity. Hurston made an uproar in the Harlem Renaissance age and was often referred to as the“ New Negro Movement”. Bildungsroman is a type of novel that deals with the development of the protagonist in which they grow up and become knowledgeable....   [tags: Black people, African American, White people]

Better Essays
1864 words (5.3 pages)

Degrees of Transcendence: Opposing Views by McKay and Hughes on the Consumption of Art

- Writing during the emergence of the “New Negro” movement, Claude McKay and Langston Hughes work to reconcile black life in white America. The trope used by the two poets within “The Harlem Dancer” and “The Weary Blues” is that of a performance and a single speaker’s recollection of it. While both depict an African-American performer presumably consumed by the isolation and oppression of their condition, the intensity of the performances prove to be vastly disparate. Hughes’ “The Weary Blues” features a much more transcendent performance than that of McKay’s “The Harlem Dancer” not only because of the relationship between the audience and the performer, but the degree of ubiquity in descripti...   [tags: New Negro Movement, Poetry]

Better Essays
1724 words (4.9 pages)

Essay about The Harlem Renaissance

- ... Passing makes reference to a person who is classified as a certain race or belonging to one racial group whom is also accepted as a apart of another racial group. Passing was especially used to describe someone of a mixed background in America who assimilated to the white majority. The concept of passing is something that tears the black community apart; Langston Hughes not only saw, but experienced passing. Hughes writes about passing in some of his works. In one of his works entitled “Passing” certain lines really stand out and directly speak about passing, not in the literal sense, but passing in a world that puts the fairer skinned above those who are of a darker skin tone....   [tags: new negro movement, Langston Hughes]

Better Essays
1101 words (3.1 pages)

Essay on Analysis of the New Negro

- In the beginning Alain Locke tells us about the “tide of negro migration.” During this time in a movement known as the Great Migration, thousands of African-Americans also known as Negros left their homes in the South and moved North toward the beach line of big cities in search of employment and a new beginning. As Locke stated, “the wash and rush of this human tide on the beach line of Northern city centers is to be explained primarily in terms of a new vision of opportunity, of social and economic freedom, of a spirit to seize, even in the face of an extortionate and heavy toll, a chance for the improvement of conditions....   [tags: tide of negro migration, african-american]

Better Essays
1607 words (4.6 pages)

Essay about The New Negro Of The Harlem Renaissance

- This essay will examine what was new about the new negro from 1920-1936. During the years 1920-1936 African Americans began to rebrand themselves and change their image. African Americans wanted to create an image of themselves that was more positive, educated, and cultured, with an emphasis on African culture, hence began the Harlem Renaissance and the New Negro movement. The Harlem Renaissance was a new focus on African American literature, paintings, artwork, and music through the lens of African American experience....   [tags: Harlem Renaissance, African American]

Better Essays
1055 words (3 pages)

Aaron Douglas, The New Negro Movements Essay

- African American Artists in the Harlem Renaissance Art today isn't really thought of as something big or important, but during the Harlem renaissance the art industry was huge because there was so much racial prejudice that nobody really thought that a African American could draw, paint or sculpt something so beautiful. According to, "Between 1920-1930 and outburst of creativity among African American occurred in every aspect of art. This cultural movement became known as "the New Negro Movement" later the Harlem renaissance." The art today isn't really memorable but during that time it was, it expressed how the people in Harlem were feeling and they...   [tags: African American Artists, Harlem Renaissance]

Better Essays
1068 words (3.1 pages)

The New Negro By Alain Locke Essay

- “The New Negro” as described by Alain Locke is seeking social justice, however he is doing so in a way different from the various forms of resistance that preceded him. Locke describes a shift from radicalism in the fight for social justice to a need to build a relationship between races. The “New Negro” has come to the realization that assimilation into American culture is not a viable answer; therefore he has decided to build his own culture in collaboration with American culture. The construction of this culture became known as The New Negro Movement or The Harlem Renaissance....   [tags: Black people, White people, Harlem Renaissance]

Better Essays
926 words (2.6 pages)