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The New Negro


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This illuminating and indispensable anthology lays bare a fascinating genealogy of the most frequently invoked trope in the history of U.S. Black culture and politics: The New Negro. Professors Gates and Jarrett take us on an intellectual journey through a crucial half century of Black thought that remains relevant in our time! -- Cornel West, author of "Race Matters" and "Democracy Matters" This anthology will make a marvelous companion to any course on the Harlem Renaissance or the 'New Negro' phenomenon, and an excellent resource even for advanced scholars looking for a compendium of essays that contextualize African American cultural and political thought between the 1890s and 1930s. The range of authors is admirable and many of these essays are immensely readable--pithy, vituperative, inspiriting, and humorous by turns. -- George B. Hutchinson, Indiana University Bringing together a comprehensive body of essays from a wide range of fields, this anthology will be invaluable to scholars and students of the period from the late nineteenth century to the end of the Harlem Renaissance. It provides not only canonical texts, but also lesser-known pieces, so that it will enhance our understanding of this important period. -- Valerie Smith, Princeton University

Table of Contents

NOTE: For essays originally published without thematic titles, we have provided them in brackets. Acknowledgments xi Introduction by Gates and Jarrett 1 The Trope of a New Negro 2 New Negro Politics 6 New Negro Uplift 10 Race, Representation, and African American Culture 14 Notes 18 CHAPTER I: THE NEW NEGRO "The New Negro" by Rev. W.E.C. Wright 23 "An Appeal to the King" by J.W.E. Bowen 26 "Afro-American Education" by Booker T. Washington 33 "Heroes and Martyrs" by N.B. Wood 36 "The Club Movement among Colored Women of America" by Fannie Barrier Williams 54 "The Intellectual Progress of the Colored Women of the United States since the Emancipation Proclamation" 59 "Rough Sketches: A Study of the Features of the New Negro Woman" by by John Henry Adams, Jr. 66 "Rough Sketches: The New Negro Man" 67 "An Ostracised Race in Ferment: The Conflict of Negro Parties and Negro Leaders Over Methods of Dealing with Their Own Problem" by Ray Stannard Baker 69 "The New Negro" by William Pickens 79 "Returning Soldiers" by W.E.B. Du Bois 85 "The New Negro and the U.N.I.A." by Marcus Garvey 92 As to "'The New Negro'" by Anonymous 96 "The New Negro" by Geroid Robinson 97 "The New Politics" by Hubert H. Harrison 101 "Education and the Race" 107 "The New Negro" by Alain Locke 112 "Sterling Brown: The New Negro Folk-Poet" 119 "The New Negro Hokum" by Gustavus Adolphus Stewart 123 "Who Is the New Negro, and Why?" by J.A. Rogers 129 "The New Negro as Revealed in His Poetry" by Charlotte E. Taussig 131 "La Bourgeoisie Noire" E. Franklin Frazier 137 "The New Negro in Paris" by Claude McKay 141 "The Rise of the Black Internationale" by George S. Schuyler 149 CHAPTER II: HOW SHOULD ART PORTRAY THE NEGRO? "One Phase of American Literature" by Anna Julia Cooper 157 ["Negro in Literature"] by Paul Laurence Dunbar 172 "The Negro in Books" by Charles W. Chesnutt 173 "The Negro in Literature" by William Stanley Braithwaite 182 "The Negro in Art: How Shall He Be Portrayed" The Crisis Symposium 190 "Some Aspects of the Negro Interpreted in Contemporary American and European Literature" by John Frederick Matheus 204 "The Negro in Recent American Literature" by Eugene Clay 211 CHAPTER III: THE RENAISSANCE "The Younger Literary Movement" by W.E.B. Du Bois 219 "Negro Youth Speaks" by Alain Locke 220 "Uncle Tom's Mansion" by Carl van Vechten 223 "The Aframerican: New Style" by H.L. Mencken 227 "The Negro Renaissance" by Carl van Doren 229 "The Negro Renaissance" by Walter White 231 "The Negro Literary Renaissance" by Benjamin Brawley 233 "The Negro'Renaissance'" by Lloyd Morris 237 "The Negro Renaissance" by Martha Gruening 240 "Our Negro'Intellectuals'" by Allison Davis 246 "For a Negro Magazine" by Claude McKay 251 CHAPTER IV: ART OR PROPAGANDA? "Art and Propaganda" by Eric Walrond 255 "Propaganda in the Theatre" by Willis Richardson 255 "Criteria of Negro Art" by W.E.B. du Bois 257 "Art or Propaganda?" by Alain Locke 260 "Propaganda--or Poetry?" 261 "Blueprint for Negro Writing" by Richard Wright 268 CHAPTER V: LITERATURE: HISTORY AND THEORY "Afro-American Women and Their Work" by Katherine Tillman 277 "The Value of Race Literature" by Victoria Earle Matthews 287 "The Writing of a Novel" by Charles W. Chesnutt 297 "The Negro in Literature and Art" by W.E.B. du Bois 299 "Negro Literature for Negro Pupils" by Alice Dunbar-Nelson 302 "Negro Race Consciousness as Reflected in Race Literature" by Robert E. Park 305 "Colored Authors and Their Contributions to the World's Literature" by Irene M. Gaines 315 "A Point of View (An Opportunity Dinner Reaction)" by Brenda Ray Moryck 321??? "The Negro Digs Up His Past" by Arthur A. Schomburg 326 "A Note on the Sociology of Negro Literature" by Fred Dearmond 330 "Negro Art, Past and Present" by Albert C. Barnes 333 "Survey of Negro Literature, 1760-1926" by Thomas L.G. Oxley 337 "Race Prejudice and the Negro Artist" by James Weldon Johnson 343 "Negro Literature" by Walter White 350 "Characteristics of Negro Expression" by Zora Neale Hurston 355 "The Negro Genius" by Benjamin Brawley 364 CHAPTER VI: LITERATURE:THE LITERARY PROFESSION AND THE MARKETPLACE "On a Certain Condescension in White Publishers" by Hubert H. Harrison 373 "The Negro Audience" by Willis Richardson 375 "Negro Authors Must Eat" by George W. Jacobs (George S. Schuyler) 376 "The Dilemma of the Negro Author" by James Weldon Johnson 378 "Negro Authors and White Publishers" 382 "Our Literary Audience" by Sterling A. Brown 384 "A Negro Writer to His Critics" by Claude McKay 390 "Problems Facing the Negro Writer Today" by Eugene C. Holmes 394 CHAPTER VII: LITERATURE: POETRY "Some Contemporary Poets of the Negro Race" by William Stanley Braithwaite 401 "Dunbar's Poetry in Literary English" by Charles Eaton Burch 407 "The Negro in Poetry" by John Edward Bruce 410 "Old School of Negro'Critics'Hard on Paul Laurence Dunbar" by Thomas Millard Henry 413 "Negro Poets and Their Poetry" by Wallace Thurman 415 "The Negro Poets of the United States" by Alain Locke 422 "Mr. Garvey as a Poet" by T. Thomas Fortune 426 "Preface (from The Book of American Negro Poetry)" by James Weldon Johnson 426 CHAPTER VIII: MUSIC:SPIRITUALS "Negro Music" by Paul Laurence Dunbar 447 "The Sorrow Songs" by W.E.B. du Bois 448 "Negro Folk Song" by John W. Work 453 "The Negro Spirituals" by Alain Locke 457 "The Negro Spirituals and American Art" by Laurence Buermeyer 464 "Self-Portraiture and Social Criticism in Negro Folk-Song" by B.A. Botkin 467 "Spirituals and Neo-Spirituals" by Zora Neale Hurston 473 CHAPTER IX: MUSIC: JAZZ "Whence Comes Jass?" by Walter Kingsley 479 "That Mysterious'Jazz'" by Grenville Vernon 480 "Jazzing Away Prejudice" by Anonymous 481 "Where The Etude Stands on Jazz" 482 "Jazz at Home" by J.A. Rogers 492 "From The Appeal of Jazz" by R.W.S. Mendl 496 "Hot Jazz" by Robert Goffin 499 "From Swing That Music" by Louis Armstrong 501 CHAPTER X: THEATER "The Negro in Drama" by Rollin Lynde Hartt 507 "Reflections on O'Neill's Plays" by Paul Robeson 510 "The Drama of Negro Life" by Montgomery Gregory 511 "The Gift of Laughter" by Jessie Fauset 515 "Same Old Blues" by Theophilus Lewis 518 "The Drama of Negro Life" by Alain Locke 521 "The Negro in the Field of Drama" by Rowena Woodham Jelliffe 524 "Has the Negro a Place in the Theatre?" by Jules Bledsoe 526 "A Criticism of the Negro Drama as It Relates to the Negro Dramatist and Artist" by Eulalie Spence 527 "From Black Manhattan" by James Weldon Johnson 528 "The Negro Theatre--A Dodo Bird" by Ralph Matthews 532 CHAPTER XI: THE FINE ARTS "A Note on African Art" by Alain Locke 537 "The American Negro as Artist" 541 "African Art: Classic Style" 546 jessie fauset "Henry Ossawa Tanner" 549 "African Plastic in Contemporary Art" by Harry Alan Potamkin 551 "The Negro Artist and Modern Art" by Romare Bearden 554 Bibliography of Primary Sources 559 Suggested Futher Reading 563 Index 567

About the Author

Henry Louis Gates, Jr., is the Alphonse Fletcher University Professor and director of the W.E.B. Du Bois Institute at Harvard University. His most recent books include "Finding Oprah's Roots" and "The Trials of Phillis Wheatley". Gene Andrew Jarrett is associate professor of English and African American studies at Boston University. He is the author of "Deans and Truants: Race and Realism in African American Literature".


"Because 'New Negro' is really just a catchprase for the capacious topic of race in America, this is less an anthology than a mix of articles, criticism, essays, theories, calls to action and commentary by people both black and white, ranging from the famous (Richard Wright, James Weldon Johnson, H.L. Mencken) to those lesser known but prominent in their time (Alain Locke). The result is a spirited...dialectic tracing the most intense period of New Negro discussions, between 1892 and 1938."--Erin Aubry Kaplan, Los Angeles Times Book Review "Recent years have seen an explosion of writings on the so-called new Negro... Now Gates and Jarrett lend their considerable voices to the discussion. Including an excellent introduction that situates the debate, this anthology collects some 100 essays on the trope of the new Negro between 1892 and 1938, years that broadly encompass the period known as the Harlem Renaissance... The book covers not only literature but also music, theater, and the fine arts and convincingly links them with social and political happenings of the period... [O]verall this is a masterful piece of work."--L. J. Parascandola, Long Island University, for CHOICE "The New Negro is a valuable collection of essays that is accessible to scholars, teachers, and those generally interested in African-American history. When placed within the context of recent New Negro scholarship, the anthology reinforces the need to expand the depth and breadth of research into Post-Reconstruction representations of race in African-American culture."--Gabriel A. Briggs, Callaloo

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