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The New Negro

The New Negro

Publisher Oxford University Press
Year 01/02/2018
Edition First
Pages 944
Version hardback
Readership level Professional and scholarly
Language English
ISBN 9780195089578
Categories History of the Americas, 20th century history: c 1900 to c 2000, History of Western philosophy, Others
$35.59 (with VAT)
139.47 PLN / €32.82 / £27.29
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Book description

A tiny, fastidiously dressed man emerged from Black Philadelphia around the turn of the twentieth century to mentor a generation of young artists like Langston Hughes, Zora Neale Hurston, and Jacob Lawrence and call them the New Negro-the gender ambiguous, transformative, artistic African Americans whose art would subjectivize Black people and embolden greatness. Alain Locke (1885-1954) believed Black Americans were sleeping giant that could transform America into a truly humanistic and pluralistic society. In the 1920s, these views were radical, but by announcing a New Negro in art, literature, music, dance, theatre, Locke shifted the discussion of race from the problem-centered discourses of politics and economics to the new creative industries of American modernism. Although this Europhile detested jazz, he used the Jazz Age interest in Black aesthetics to plant the notion in American minds that Black people were America's quintessential artists and Black urban communities were crucibles of creativity where a different life was possible in America. By promoting art, a Black dandy subjectivized Black people and became in the process a New Negro himself. Jeffrey C. Stewart's comprehensive biography of Locke is a surprisingly gripping read... Locke's life story, beginning as a young black man who was born to a middle-class family in Philadelphia, and who was especially close with his mother, is compelling right from the beginning. * Vox * Stewart's biography is no mere birth-to-death catalogue of Locke's deeds in life; it is comprised of exquisite intellectual detail that Stewart presents as the defining engine of his subject's development. * Black Perspectives * The New Negro is a nuanced biography of a complicated, important figure in black and queer cultural history... Those brave enough to plunge in... will find much of interest to take away. * The Gay & Lesbian Review * Stewart's sprawling, magisterial labor of love comes as a reminder that in those Birth of a Nation days a century ago, when race relations were far worse than they are now, a fiercely independent philosopher of color set down visions of black American freedom beyond economic agendas, nationalist visions, and political protest. This book draws Alain Locke out of the shadows and bestows his legacy to artists of all colors and genders seeking freedom from narrow-minded expectations and fear-mongering hypocrisy. * Bookforum * A masterpiece of sustained craft, research, and historical scope. * New York Journal of Books * Locke's achievement-an

The New Negro

Table of contents


Section I. The Education of Alain Locke
1. A Death and a Birth
2. A Black Victorian Childhood
3. Child God and Black Aesthete
4. An Errand of Culture at Howard College, 1904-1905
5. A Reluctant Prometheus: Locke's Intellectual Awakening at Harvard, 1905-1907
6. Going for the Rhodes
7. Oxford Contrasts
8. Black Cosmopolitan
9. Paying Second Year Dues at Oxford, 1908-1909
10. Italy and America, 1909-1910
11. Berlin Stories
12. Exile's Return
13. Back in the U.S.S.R., 1911-1912
14. Search for a Voice at Howard University, 1912-1916
15. Rapprochement and Silence: Harvard, 1916-1917
16. Fitting in Washington, DC, 1917-1922

Section II: Enter the New Negro
17. Rebirth
18. Queen Mother of the Movement, 1922-1923
19. Opportunity Knocks
20. Egypt Bound
21. Renaissance and Self-Fashioning in 1924
22. The Dinner and the Dean
23. Battling the Barnes
24. Looking for Love
25. Survey Says
26. Renaissance and Rejection
27. The New Negro and The Blacks
28. Beauty or Propaganda?
29. The Curator and the Patron
30. Langston's Indian Summer
31. The American Scholar
32. Loves' Labour Lost

Section III: Metamorphosis
33. The Naked and the Nude
34. The Saving Grace of Realism
35. Bronze Booklets, Gold Art
36. Warn A Brother
37. The Riot and the Ride
38. Conversion
39. Two Trains Running
40. Queer Toussaint
41. The Invisible Locke
42. FBI, Haiti, and Diasporic Democracy
43. Inclusion and Death: Wisdom de Profundis
44: Buried but not Dead

Selected Bibliography

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