The new Negro aesthetic Selected writings

Alain Locke, 1885-1954

Book - 2022

"Pulitzer Prize-winning biographer edits a collection of Alain Locke's influential essays on the importance of the Black artist and the Black imagination"--

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2nd Floor 810.9896/Locke Checked In
[New York] : Penguin Books [2022]
Main Author
Alain Locke, 1885-1954 (author, -)
Other Authors
Jeffrey C. Stewart, 1950- (editor)
Physical Description
lvi, 418 pages ; 20 cm
Includes bibliographical references.
  • What Is an African American Classic?
  • Introduction
  • Suggestions for Further Reading
  • A Note on the Text
  • The New Negro Aesthetic
  • A Space for Beauty
  • 1. Harlem
  • 2. Enter the New Negro
  • 3. Youth Speaks
  • 4. Beauty Instead of Ashes
  • 5. Art or Propaganda?
  • 6. Beauty and the Provinces
  • 7. The Negro in the Three Americas
  • Literacies
  • 8. Paul Laurence Dunbar
  • 9. The Ethics of Culture
  • 10. Review of The Weary Blues
  • 11. American Literary Tradition and the Negro
  • 12. The Negro's Contribution to American Art and Literature
  • 13. Sterling Brown: The New Negro Folk-Poet
  • 14. Propaganda-or Poetry?
  • Drama
  • 15. Steps Toward the Negro Theater
  • 16. The Negro and the American Stage
  • 17. The Drama of Negro Life
  • Music
  • 18. Roland Hayes: An Appreciation
  • 19. Excerpt from The Negro and His Music, "From Jazz to Jazz Classics: 1926-1936"
  • 20. Spirituals
  • Art
  • 21. A Note on African Art
  • 22. Harlem Types: Portraits by Winold Reiss
  • 23. To Certain of Our Philistines
  • 24. The Art of Auguste Mambour
  • 25. A Collection of Congo Art
  • 26. The American Negro as Artist
  • 27. Excerpt from Negro Art: Past and Present
  • 28. Advance on the Art Front
  • 29. Up Till Now
  • Retrospective Thinking
  • 30. 1928: A Retrospective Review
  • 31. Black Truth and Black Beauty: A Retrospective Review of the Literature of the Negro for 1932
  • 32. The Eleventh Hour of Nordicism: Retrospective Review of the Literature of the Negro for 1934
  • 33. Deep River, Deeper Sea: Retrospective Review of the Literature of the Negro for 1935
  • 34. Jingo, Counter-Jingo, and Us: Retrospective Review of the Literature of the Negro: 1937
  • 35. Freedom Through Art: A Review of Negro Art, 1870-1938
  • 36. The Negro: "New" or Newer: A Retrospective Review of the Literature of the Negro for 1938
  • 37. Dry Fields and Green Pastures
  • 38. Of Native Sons: Real and Otherwise
  • 39. From Native Son to Invisible Man: A Review of the Literature of the Negro for 1952
  • 40. Self-Criticism: The Third Dimension in Culture
Review by Publisher's Weekly Review

The late philosopher Locke (1885--1954) tracks the evolving aesthetics of Black art in the first half of the 20th century in this dynamic collection. In "Enter the New Negro," Locke introduces the thought that was emerging in Black art and culture in the 1920s, that "the mind of the Negro seems suddenly to have slipped from under the tyranny of social intimidation and to be shaking off the psychology of imitation and implied inferiority." In an excerpt from The Negro and His Music, Locke defends jazz, arguing shrewdly that the genre represents "the serious possibilities of the Negro's music" and that it has "educated the general musical ear to subtler rhythms, unfinished and closer harmonies, and unusual cadences and tone qualities." The collection contains well-crafted introductory essays by the editors, Pulitzer Prize--winning Locke biographer Jeffrey C. Stewart and Henry Louis Gates Jr., who situate Locke's perspective within his historical era while also discussing how his work is relevant to the present: "Locke uncovered that Black art was an economy that would create outsized careers for African Americans of talent, who would also have the opportunity to shape the entire culture at large," Stewart writes. This is a comprehensive but accessible compendium, a perfect introduction to a titan of Black American thought. (Jan.)

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