By James Smethurst
The interval among 1880 and 1918, on the finish of which Jim Crow was once firmly demonstrated and the good Migration of African americans was once good less than manner, was once now not the nadir for black tradition, James Smethurst finds, yet as a substitute a time of profound reaction from African American intellectuals. The African American Roots of Modernism explores how the Jim Crow process brought on major inventive and highbrow responses from African American writers, deeply marking the beginnings of literary modernism and, eventually, notions of yankee modernity.
In selecting the Jim Crow interval with the arriving of modernity, Smethurst upsets the conventional evaluation of the Harlem Renaissance because the first nationally major black arts stream, exhibiting how artists reacted to Jim Crow with migration narratives, poetry concerning the black adventure, black functionality of pop culture varieties, and extra. Smethurst introduces an entire forged of characters, together with understudied figures comparable to William Stanley Braithwaite and Fenton Johnson, and extra customary authors similar to Charles Chesnutt, Pauline Hopkins, and James Weldon Johnson. through contemplating the legacy of writers and artists lively among the tip 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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Additional info for African American Roots of Modernism
Dunbar’s work also inspired black literary societies devoted to the reading of his poetry, both “high literary” and “dialect” (James Weldon Johnson, Along This Way, 160; Knupfer, 223–24). The age of Dunbar, Washington, and the early Du Bois is a paradoxical one. The paradox is that Dunbar (born 1872) and Du Bois (born 1868), and their African American age cohort, including James Weldon Johnson (born 1871) and even the older Washington (born 1856), Anna Julia Cooper (born 1858) and Charles Chesnutt (born 1858), were members of the first generation to grow up after Emancipation.
B. 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.
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. ” Yet there is a sort of game of doubling in this revelation of concealment. The speaker weirdly stands outside himself or herself, describing the existence and something of the nature of “the mask” that he or she as part of the “we” wears. Or does he or she really stand outside? How is that possible? On the other hand, is it not a contradiction for the speaker to proclaim that “the world” never really sees “us,” only the disguise “we” put on because this naked exposure would seem to involve a lowering of the mask—unless the revelation about the mask is a mask?
African American Roots of Modernism by James Smethurst