For many years the negro in America have struggled to have a high social and political standing in america. Blacks in America have always been seen as second class citizens. This can be seen through the history of America. There have been many time periods in America where individuals or groups have fought for the rights of blacks in America like the civil rights movement period which brought many individuals such as Rosa Parks and Martin Luther King Jr. to fight against racial inequality in the 50s. Moments in history are equally important as well such as Brown v. Board of Education , The Freedom Rides, March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom, the Civil Rights Act of 1964 , and the Voting Rights Act of 1965. But one equally important moment in the American Timeline of the black struggle is the Harlem Renaissance. The Harlem Renaissance which was a time between approximately 1918-1937 was an important moment in the development of the black American culture. influential figures during this time were involved in creative arts and helped to turn the New York City community of Harlem into a major focal point of African American music, literature, politics, and culture. The Harlem renassiance birthed the movement that is known as the New Negro Movement , the term ‘ New negro’ was coined by the famous Harlem Renaissance writer Alain Locke. Some historian that study African american culture also refer the Harlem Renassiance as The New Negro Movement. This movement begs the the question what is meant by the ‘New negro’ and this is what will be focused on.
The New negro movement is not just a moment in period but a movement that helped influence many black intellects, artist , writers and politicians.Conversations between writers and politicians in social politcal moments such as the many police killings of innocent black men have remnants of the New Negro Movement. Historians and writers refer to essays and different types of literary works of the New Negro Movement when formulating arguments in the social political environemnt we are currently in. Literary Artifacts of the Harlem renaissance such as the Crisis Magazines , the periodical Fire!! , Academic journal Oppurtinty , and Survey Graphic: Harlem Mecca of the New Negro didnt just come into fruition in a matter of months they took a long process and often times faced major backlash from readers and critiques. These literary works were often lost but with help of historians many were recovered and have stood their time as important works of this time period.
In the post titled The Crisis Magazine: Image of the New Negro we are entirely focusing on the Crises Magazine and how its founder/editors used this form of media to create the image of the ‘New negro’. One of the magazine’s major founders was W.E.B Du bois, who was also the main editor of the magazine. Du Bois as mentioned in the post wanted to create an image that would discard the image of the ‘Old Negro’ and generate the portrayal of the ‘New Negro’. Du Bois with little support from the NAACP wanted to create a magazine solely for the black reader one of his main goals was to extend his viewership to the entire nation. His reach would connect with the black reader and influence such readers to think of advancement in the unequal social-political environment of American society. One way Du Bois would do this is to get influence from magazines such as Mclures and the Ladies Home Journal which were made of white founders and white editors whose goal was not to influence black readers. These magazines were intended for white people which Du Bois believed was unfair but cannot be ignored “Our covers and our publishers talk may sometimes savor the ‘penny-dreadful,’ ‘ he wrote, but“the methods that have built up McCLURE’S and the LADIES HOME JOURNAL cannot be altogether ignored by The CRISIS.”(76). When looking at the different Magazines and thoroughly going through them one can see Du Bois goal was to reach Black Scholars and students. The Crisis Magazine along with its founders and editors helped create the image of the new negro and what mattered most of the Negro in American society.
The second blog post focuses on the culture that came from New negro movement the works of art, music, poems and other literary works that inspired todays artist and literary writers. The post A Tale of Harlem: Through the Eyes and Mind of those who lived it is based on the culture of the arts that transpired during the new negro movement. As mentioned Poets like Langston Hughes, Claude McKay, Countee Cullen and Georgia Douglas Johnson showed the beauty and pain of black life and sought out to show the culture of Harlem a black community that as any other black community is often plagued by white stereotypes. The blog post speaks on the periodical the Survey Graphic Harlem Mecca of the New Negro “The Making of Harlem” by James Weldon Johnson which shows first hand experiences of harlem life and also many literary works such as poems and essays on the Harlem Rennaisance. When speaking of the eyes and mind as titled in my blog post I am speaking as such the eyes are the experiences of the people who lived in Harlem and felt the vibrancy of the culture. Mind is those of the literary writers that made essay and poems that referred to the Harlem renaissance otherwise known as the New Negro movement. This post focuses on two literary works such as the work of the famous Harlem Renaissance writer Countee Cullen Harlem Wine which we delve to understand his mind and his reaction to what Harlem was like and the culture that it birthed. We also look at the Konrad Bercovici essay The Rhythm of Harlem which uses his eyes and gives us a valid description of what it was like experiencing Harlem first hand and what kind of culture and vibrancy it gave to him. The Culture described in the many literary works from the Survey Graphic Harlem Mecca of the New Negro “The Making of Harlem” is what we expect to read about and the influence it has gave to modern day artist and writers. We see first hand through the eyes and minds of those who experienced it.
Passing By Nella Larsen and the academic journal Opportunity is our focus in our last post. This post was entirely focused on the quote of one the characters from Passing a novel written by Nella larsen. Nella Larsen’s Passing is based on the life of our main character Irene Redfield and how her life changes around once she meets up with an old friend Clare Kendry who is passing as a white woman thus the title of the novel. The novel centers on the many issues of passing and the social inequality of blacks in American society during that time. It is important to study this novel when speaking of the New negro movement because this novel is also set in harlem during the New negro movement period. One quote in which I focus is that of the husband of Irene Redfeild in which he says “Instinct of the race to survive and expand” . I believe this quote is important to expand on, which drifted towards looking at the academic journal Opportunity. The purpose of this post was to expand on what this quote meant and how this quote is a mentality that was the main goal of the ‘New Negro’ . The purpose of the creation of the ‘New negro’ was to leave the ‘Old Negro’ in the past and this quote is something that is relatable as many people that were moving to cities such as Chicago , Los Angeles, Cleveland and New York City wanted to survive from the racial inequality of the south and ongoing racial violence they were experiencing. Expansion was necessary for the New negro to influence other black scholars to join the movement to become a part of the higher social and political society of America.
This site is intended to let readers learn of the New negro movement and how it affected those during the period of the early 2oth century and how it influenced those today. Artist and writers refer the New Negro movement as pinpoint in time where black culture was at its finest. As mentioned early the many works that were created during this time helped develop a sense of what the New Negro movement was like. The New Negro movement was not only a moment in the black struggle but a moment that is part of American history thus why this site is title the American timeline: The New Negro Movement.
Survey Graphic: Harlem , Mecca of the New Negro
Printing the Color Line in The Crisis by Donal Harris
The Crisis : Record the Darker Races
Opportunity: Journal of Negro Life
Passing by Nella Larsen