The words “reconstruction” and “representation” play crucial roles in “The Trope of a New Negro” reading. These two words represents the importance of Black people’s new chosen identity post-slavery. Is there any relevance to white people’s influences and opinions on Black people in the U.S.? Should their influences and opinions be eliminated, and replaced under the category of irrelevancy? Black people’s representation of themselves and their choice to be eloquent or choosing to be the “black as Sambo” version of an African descendant, as mentioned in the “New Negro” reading, in the United States is a choice they should enjoy freely.
The image of Black intellectual importance should be in favor of the Afro-community and hold no significance of acceptance from white people. However, W.E.B. Dubois was concerned that the popularity of magazines wasn’t as creditable as books, or white publications. Books run the risk of being outdated because their publishing process is longer than magazines, and white publications run the risk of being inaccurate to the Black experience. Dubois didn’t initially see magazines as intellectual work worthy to be widespread. Donal Harris included this Dubois quote: “Periodicals are as numerous and as pestilential nowadays as flies were in Egypt, and most of them meet with the very same reception.” (Dubois, 64)
The Crisis magazine communicated the Black experience in the U.S. by allowing African descendants to finally control and reconstruction their own images via media. In the reading “Printing the Color Line in The Crisis,” Donal Harris wrote, “The Crisis emerged with the conscious desire to reshape the style, size, and color of commercial periodicals as well as the implicit race of the people who read and wrote them.” (Harris, 62) These Crisis covers are for African descendants who were often not important enough to be properly included in the bigger magazines. The Crisis magazine cover suggest implications of “the New Negro” as a trope of Black representation in the US which showcased the “racialized intellectual works,” as Harris wrote in the reading. This new form of identity was meant to not only keep an accurate record of the African American experience, but to also represent the true nature of African Americans rather than the false representation throughout slavery years via European descendants. In the “New Negro” reading, Henry Louis Gates Jr wrote, “In an accurate, if humorous, sense, blacks seem to have felt the need to attempt to ‘reconstruct’ their image to whites probably since that dreadful day in 1619 when the first boatload of us disembarked in Virginia.”
Dubois wanted to move away from the NAACAP’s control in politics and power over Black creativity in the press. The “Printing the Color Line in The Crisis” reading talked about the means of production and the value of owning a printing technology. (Dubois, 74) This was a way to further add to African American’s new identity by expanding readership and obtaining greater control overreaching beyond white limits. Therefore, any white people’s influences and opinions on Black people is irrelevant. Other’s influences and opinions that are not bettering the lives and creativity of the Afro-Community should be eliminated. African Americans will thrive while they continue to dictate their own identity and representation.