THE NEW NEGRO

The man that believed art was “the key to black liberation”  was something i hovered over  in a Times article. It’s true in from, but Alain Locke was a revolutionary for the arts and the idea of self-drive. The idea that the African-American of that era has most significance in his (or her) individual self. In this excerpt from 1925 it is easy to see why this is the literary piece that can sum up a need to move strong. The piece that ultimately initiated a new mindset and action plan. The arts and jazz we’re swinging the Renaissance by storm but WHO was doing it is a better question. Who was in the stalls and levels of the Harlem world puffing on weed and throwing up emotion for the world to see, in front of that same society that was so fearful of exploring.. the dark-colored revolutionaries of our time ! Locke to me revealed that obsession and fixation on politics was leading black ideals into such a wrong path, so it’s miraculous to know that one man can put emphasis on the need to do it a different way; with the art and imagination of a beautiful mind.

Locke made it clear with fiction and poetry that one can explore so much in  our given senses, it was too good to pass up. This does show a time where the stereotypical presence of a black man wasn’t causing fear but rather acceptance, and a gorgeous input along with it. But with this rise  in the 20th century, what comes to mind is a fall too. Recently, an artist I used to not be so fond of, Jermaine Cole, dropped an album called “KOD” symbolizing “Kids on Drugs”. I must say it;’s what really turned my opinion around about him. He expresses the constant pattern of abusing behavior in rap music today, whether it’s excessive drug use or criminal activity or mindless spending. Of course this is the material adapted and accepted by young adults today, but Cole expresses the stereotypical side of it pertaining to the new idea of a young black man . That young black man can’t have a superior side unless he’s rocking chains around his neck and sipping lean in a double cup. Cole puts a timeline in place which tells of African Americans going from a time where a breakthrough caused a major shift to a time now where we group young black individuals, with so much potential, to be ones who must rap and talk ignorantly. The switch-around is crazy to think about. The crazier thing is that art was the tool for both.