After an exhausting period of oppression from their captors from 1886 to 1910, newly emancipated negros traveled to Harlem and transitioned into New Negros. Following years of bondage and the inability to exercise the rights that their forefathers created, they were granted these rights. The New Negro’s voice is free, and the New Negro learns to navigate this strange sense of freedom. The New Negro created poetry, educated themselves, lifted one another, and amplified their unheard voices. The New Negro established a new culture while training their voice to be loud in a world where it was unheard of in Harlem.

Uplifting the New Negro

First, the New Negro had to encourage one another after enduring years of trauma. They reminded one another that it is okay to achieve greatness like others that received a head start. Crisis magazine, edited by W.E Du Bois, depicted the beginnings of black excellence from 1910 to 1922. Women scholars (Vol 20, No.6), black love (Vol 8, No. 6), increasing black population (Vol 6, No. 6), and inviting the idea of black nationalism are a selected few of the several characterizations depicted in Crisis.

The New Negro reminded one another that it is okay to achieve feats that were once unheard of through powerful images of themselves in the distributions Crisis. Before the publication of Crisis, New Negros are represented to society as vile beings. They are not meant to survive in a society that does not cater to nor consider them. However, several other New Negros start to notice that they were not alone in the shared struggle of navigating their freedom with confusion in this society. They uplift one another through art, shared expressions, and their testimonies in Crisis.

New Negro poet, Countee Cullen, amplified his upliftment of New Negros with his voice through Crisis; Cullen published his poems “To a Brown Boy” and “To a Brown Girl”. Cullen amplifies the features of a New Negro delightfully; it is imperative that the New Negro elevates after reading.

The exhilaration of New Negros is the first step in the New Negro instituting their culture.


Endorsement of New Negros by New Negros

In 1925, Claude Mckay, a New Negro poet, publishes “Like a Strong Tree”. New Negros are starting to use the megaphone W.E DuBois, New Negro editor of Crisis, grants them. W.E Dubois is one of the several New Negros that places the megaphone on the voices of his peers. New Negro words are printed on paper for society to view and understand that they are resilient beings. The New Negro starts to find and accept their sense of belonging in this society. They begin to ground themselves and bury their roots deep within, “Like a Strong Tree” (“Like a Strong Tree”, Claude Mckay). There is strength in the strident voices of New Negros that are supported by one another. The New Negro becomes resilient and adapts to a lack of support in their newfound freedom in society.

The second step of instituting a New Negro culture is for the New Negro to become resilient.

Credence of a New Negro

As the years progressed, the New Negro receives endorsement from others that maintain an advantage in society. The New Negro forms an ally with the people in power of these publications; white people. White people discover their freedom in the years before the New Negro navigate their own. The New Negro continues to write poetry in response to their newfound allies. However, this poetry poked fun at their allies’ ability to understand their experience as New Negros in Harlem. The New Negro develops double consciousness. As a result, there is credence to New Negros; there is a profound understanding that the culture that the New Negro aims to build is everlasting.

The New Negro develops the confidence to speak rambunctiously, like Georgia Douglas Johnson in her poem “My Race” and Helene M. Johnson’s “The Riddle”. Both poems were published in Opportunity magazine, edited by Charles S. Johnson, in 1930. In only a few years the New Negro voice became loud as a trumpet during a jazz solo. There are more New Negros presented to the world through the publication of these magazines. These poems are intricate and criticize their allies, the people who created this society. Confidently, both poets amplify their disbelief in their ally’s ability to aid in establishing New Negro culture.

The final step for the New Negro instituting their culture is for the New Negro to bask in the built credibility of their culture. After the New Negro gains assurance of their culture, it becomes established.


The Established Signature of a New Negro

From 1910-to 1940, the New Negro make final adjustments to the culture raised out of nothing. They believe that they are divine beings and not vile beings. They believe in and witness greatness within their culture. They witness one another become homeowners, lovers, graduates, educators, scholars, poets, writers, editors, and several roles that once were unheard of for a New Negro in society. Their voice crescendoes from 1910 to 1940 and remains loud.

The New Negro continues to feature in relevant publications for the encouragement of other New Negros. For the foundation towards the establishment of their culture.

With the publication of Crisis, the New Negro’s voice starts off as low as the beginning of a lullaby to a baby. Then Opportunity builds the New Negros confidence about the building blocks of their culture. Their poetry and criticisms become deafening as well.

This piece analyzes the New Negro’s establishment of their culture through amplification of their voices in society from 1910 to 1940. The increase of New Negro voices is transparent through Crisis and Opportunity. The negative mental association with New Negros blossomed into something positive from 1910 to 1940. They were able to ring their voices in a society that ill-treats them. This piece analyzes the increasingly blaring sound of the New Negro permanently signing their culture into an unwelcoming world from 1910 to 1940.  

Works Cited

Angelou, Maya. “Still I Rise .” Poetry Foundation, Poetry Foundation, 1978, https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poems/46446/still-i-rise.

Bates-Rutgers, Todd. “Without Much Rain, Roots Dive Deep to Find Water.” Futurity, Futurity, 18 Sept. 2017, https://www.futurity.org/root-depth-soil-hydrology-1546972/.

Cullen, Countee. “To a Brown Boy .” Poets.org, Academy of American Poets, 1925, https://poets.org/poem/brown-boy.

Cullen, Countee. “To a Brown Girl .” Poets.org, Academy of American Poets, 1925, https://poets.org/poem/brown-girl.

Du, Bois W. E. B. The Crisis. New York: Crisis Pub. Co, 1910-

Du, Bois W.E.B. The Crisis. New York, “New Negro amplifying his freedom in poetry”: Vol. 9, No. 4 (February 1915)

Du, Bois W.E.B. The Crisis. New York, “New Negro woman and her baby amplifying their life”: The Crisis, Vol. 11, No. 4. (February 1916)

Du, Bois W.E.B. The Crisis. New York, “New Negro encouraging his brethren to amplify their voice and not be silent”: The Crisis, Vol. 13, No. 5. (March 1917)

Du, Bois W.E.B. The Crisis. New York, “New Negro woman amplifying her education possibilities”: The Crisis, Vol. 24, No. 4. (August 1922)

Gates, Henry Louis. “The Trope of a New Negro and the Reconstruction of the Image of the Black.” Representations, no. 24, 1988, pp. 129–55.

Graham, Shane. “Cultural exchange in a black Atlantic Web: South African Literature, Langston Hughes, and Negritude.” Twentieth-Century Literature, vol. 60, no. 4, winter 2014, pp.481+.

Johnson, Charles S. “Opportunity: A Journal of Negro Life.” Encyclopedia of Black Studies, 2005, https://doi.org/10.4135/9781412952538.n200.

Published by National Urban League

Johnson, Georgia Douglas. “The Riddle.” African American Registry, 1930, https://aaregistry.org/poem/the-riddle-by-geogia-douglas-johnson/.

Johnson, Helene M. “My Race.” By Helene M Johnson – Famous Poems, Famous Poets. – All Poetry, 1930, https://allpoetry.com/My-Race.

Johnson, Helene M. Johnson. “Sonnet to a Negro in Harlem”

Johnson, James Weldon, “The Making of Harlem”

Lamb, Nick. “Georgia Douglas Johnson.” Medium, Medium, 30 Mar. 2017, https://medium.com/@njacoblamb/georgia-douglas-johnson-4468ba21729b.

Lindley, Robin. “Poor Whites and Slavery in the Antebellum South: An Interview with Historian Keri Leigh Merritt.” History News Network, 2017, https://historynewsnetwork.org/article/167224.

McKay, Claude. “Like a Strong Tree by Claude McKay – Poems | Academy of American Poets.” Poets.org, Academy of American Poets, 1925, https://poets.org/poem/strong-tree.



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