By James Smethurst
The interval among 1880 and 1918, on the finish of which Jim Crow used to be firmly demonstrated and the good Migration of African americans used to be good lower than approach, used to be now not the nadir for black tradition, James Smethurst unearths, yet in its place a time of profound reaction from African American intellectuals. The African American Roots of Modernism explores how the Jim Crow approach prompted major inventive and highbrow responses from African American writers, deeply marking the beginnings of literary modernism and, eventually, notions of yankee modernity.
In picking out the Jim Crow interval with the arriving of modernity, Smethurst upsets the ordinary evaluation of the Harlem Renaissance because the first nationally major black arts stream, displaying how artists reacted to Jim Crow with migration narratives, poetry in regards to the black event, black functionality of pop culture kinds, and extra. Smethurst introduces an entire forged of characters, together with understudied figures comparable to William Stanley Braithwaite and Fenton Johnson, and extra standard authors corresponding to Charles Chesnutt, Pauline Hopkins, and James Weldon Johnson. by way of contemplating the legacy of writers and artists lively among the top of Reconstruction and the increase of the Harlem Renaissance, Smethurst illuminates their impact at the black and white U.S. modernists who followed.
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This sort 32 | DUELING BANJOS of range and a back-to-the-future linking of medieval and early Renaissance verse to a racialized contemporary popular culture would, as scholars such as Jacques, Michael North, Ann Douglas, and Aldon Nielsen in their various ways note, become standard operating procedure of many of the “high” modernists (Jacques, 101–3). The most arresting and most remembered aspect of the poem is Dunbar’s metaphor of the mask. It may seem obvious, but, appropriately enough, this metaphor (and its relation to the logic of the poem) is more complicated than it might first appear.
And considers some of the ways the work of black writers between the end of Reconstruction and the beginning of the New Negro Renaissance informed the corpus of interwar modernism. 24 | INTRODUCTION Particular attention is paid to the poetry of T. S. Eliot and William Carlos Williams and to F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby and William Faulkner’s Light in August, as well as to the work of Jessie Fauset, Rudolph Fisher, Nella Larsen, Claude McKay, Wallace Thurman, and Jean Toomer, not only demonstrating structural, tonal, and thematic resonances between the work of the black writers of the Nadir and the modernists but also locating, in an extreme anxiety about racial identity primarily, but not solely, on the part of white (or, in the case of Williams perhaps, offwhite) writers, a paradoxical adoption and adaptation of the dualism of their black predecessors.
Du Bois to figure a diasporic and sometimes transatlantic black modernity expressing the ambivalent location of people of African descent simultaneously within and beyond what is known as “the West” (Gilroy, 111–45). S. 1 To understand why Du Bois’s formulation of the concept had such force, however, one has to examine the relationship of his formulation to similar expressions of African American dualism, within the political and cultural context in which these various articulations appeared. As Ernest Allen Jr.
African American Roots of Modernism by James Smethurst
Categories: African American Studies