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The New Negro: Voices of the Harlem Renaissance (1925)

por Alain Locke (Editor)

Outros autores: Lewis Alexander (Contribuidor), Albert C. Barnes (Contribuidor), Gwendolyn B. Bennett (Contribuidor), Arna Bontemps (Contribuidor), William Stanley Braithwaite (Contribuidor)31 mais, Countée Cullen (Contribuidor), W. A. Domingo (Contribuidor), W. E. B. Du Bois (Contribuidor), Arthur Huff Fauset (Contribuidor), Jessie Fauset (Contribuidor), Rudolph Fisher (Contribuidor), E. Franklin Frazier (Contribuidor), Montgomery Gregory (Contribuidor), Angelina Weld Grimke (Contribuidor), Melville Herskovitz (Contribuidor), Langston Hughes (Contribuidor), Zora Neale Hurston (Contribuidor), Charles S. Johnson (Contribuidor), Georgia Johnson (Contribuidor), Helene Johnson (Contribuidor), James Weldon Johnson (Contribuidor), Paul U. Kellogg (Contribuidor), Cugo Lewis (Contribuidor), John Matheus (Contribuidor), Elise Johnson McDougald (Contribuidor), Claude McKay (Contribuidor), Kelly Miller (Contribuidor), Robert R. Moton (Contribuidor), Bruce Nugent (Contribuidor), Willis Richardson (Contribuidor), J. A. Rogers (Contribuidor), Arthur A. Schomburg (Contribuidor), Anne Spencer (Contribuidor), Jean Toomer (Contribuidor), Eric Walrond (Contribuidor), Walter White (Contribuidor)

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Alain Locke's "The New Negro" has been updated for the 21st century thanks to Duke Classics. Collecting poetry, fiction, and essays by notable Black writers such as Zora Neale Hurston and W.E.B. DuBois, Locke has gathered powerful and inspirational words used to shape and inspire the Black experience in America.   

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The true spirit of jazz is a joyous revolt from convention, custom, authority, boredom, even sorrow—
from everything that would confine the soul of man and hinder its riding free on the air
. —J.A. Rogers

The New Negro: An Interpretation (1925), edited by Alain Locke, is a splendid anthology of fiction, poetry and essays, presented as evidence of the flowering of Negro arts and letters in the early 20th century—what came to be known as the Harlem Renaissance. Even among black writers, though, there was no consensus around the notion of ‘renaissance’: James Weldon Johnson insisted that no re-birth was necessary, since Negro creativity never ceased, and Ishmael Reed has a character in his novel Mumbo Jumbo ask, “New Negro? What’s wrong with the old one?” Other commentators argued that the anthology presented an incomplete picture of Black thought at the time. The book is nonetheless an extraordinary literary compilation and invaluable historical document; of particular interest for the jazz bibliography is the essay by J.A. Rogers, “Jazz at Home.”

In a book celebrating the creative achievements of black Americans, Rogers’ essay on jazz strikes an ambivalent chord. On the one hand, he affirms the origins of jazz in the deep, specifically American folk traditions of Negroes, among the itinerant piano players wandering up and down the Mississippi (‘from saloon to saloon, from dive to dive’) and in the sound of the improvised bands at Negro dances in the South. As the music migrated with blacks around the country, it absorbed and reflected and became emblematic of the ‘nervous motion’ and ‘boisterous good nature’ of the American spirit. On the other hand, he wishes for jazz to transcend ‘the vulgarities and crudities of its lowly origins.’ He trusts the self-control of the bohemian Negro intellectual to protect himself from the dangers of the saloon and cabaret, but frets that ‘the morally anarchic spirit of jazz’ could lead the plain folks seeking ‘recreation and respite’ into ‘vice and vulgarizations’ (clearly, alliteration was one of Rogers’ favorite devices). Jazz, for all its power to rejuvenate civilization, must be ‘lifted and diverted into nobler channels,’ lest it remain a ‘poison for the weak.’ In an unfortunate turn, Rogers lauds the ‘white orchestras of Paul Whiteman and Vincent Lopez…now demonstrating the finer possibilities of jazz music.’ In trying to erase the nitty-gritty folk-soul of jazz, Rogers belies the racial pride that animates The New Negro, presenting instead the kind of elitist white-wishing that LeRoi Jones punctured in Blues People and Ishmael Reed parodied in Mumbo Jumbo.
  JazzBookJournal | May 24, 2023 |
Esta crítica foi escrita no âmbito dos Primeiros Críticos do LibraryThing.
It took a long time for me to get through this book, and not because it wasn't important or compelling, but because each piece caused me to do a lot of thinking about the topic, do additional research and sometimes confront some feelings or biases I had about the text. I wouldn't recommend trying to read this book all the way through unless you're much more familiar with the subject matter than I was when I began reading. I do recommend taking your time with this text and really ingesting all of it. ( )
  EmScape | Jul 19, 2022 |
Esta crítica foi escrita no âmbito dos Primeiros Críticos do LibraryThing.
This is a difficult book to review in that it contains multiple genres. The fiction and poetry hold up well, coming from the likes of Toomer, Hughes, Cullen, and Hurston. The non-fiction is more of a mixed bag. It is hard (for me at least) to read them without anachronism. Not only is some of the language dated (including the title, of course), but it is hard to fail to see where a certain optimism was misplaced, or a way of looking at things firmly of its era. On the other hand, it is interesting to see the ways black writers were thinking about black life in an era before Martin Luther King and the civil rights era. ( )
1 vote wrmjr66 | Jun 25, 2022 |
Esta crítica foi escrita no âmbito dos Primeiros Críticos do LibraryThing.
The New Negro by Alain L Locke was the first anthology I ever read back in the early 70s when I asked one of my teachers in high school for some suggestions. He gave me two anthologies but told me to read this one first and discuss it with him before moving on to the second (Barksdale's Black Writers of America). While this was all done outside the classroom, it was one of the best educational experiences of my life.

This is justifiably a classic that even (especially?) today generates positive and negative commentary. Not so much the selections, they represent a good, though incomplete, selection of writing up to that point (1925). Locke's title essay coupled with what he chose to include and exclude is where the discussions can be most enlightening. Whenever someone makes a broad and sweeping statement about a group of people there is going to be disagreement and issues about potential misuse of the statement by those opposed to those people. Much of the debate has been about whether he contributed to stereotypes, yet even most of that debate is about modifying Locke's statements rather than discarding them. For the time, this was a very good and, for the writers included, very helpful anthology.

As an anthology I find the selections speak to me in 2022 in a very different manner than they did in 1975, and no doubt in a different manner than they would have in 1925. One of the passages that hit me when I first read it, generated some great discussion with my teacher (thank you Mr Wattree!), and is still relevant today is from Rudolph Fisher's The City of Refuge. It is the scene early in the story when King Solomon Gillis, fleeing the Jim Crow south, first sets foot in Harlem and sees the community living there. The scene is written with a bit of humor but is a combination of joyous and heartbreaking.

I would recommend this new reprint for both Locke's essay and introductions as well as the works anthologized here. It serves as a snapshot of the Harlem Renaissance as well as a collection of wonderful literature.

Reviewed from a copy made available by the publisher via LibraryThing Early Reviewers. ( )
1 vote pomo58 | Apr 7, 2022 |
A phenomenal collection, including a balls-up selection of poetry from all the important voices of the Harlem Renaissance and some terrific essays. Well chosen and well commented on, this is the work that defined the Harlem Renaissance and it's indispensable. Not a false note in it. ( )
  AlCracka | Apr 2, 2013 |
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Nome do autorPapelTipo de autorObra?Estado
Locke, AlainEditorautor principaltodas as ediçõesconfirmado
Alexander, LewisContribuidorautor secundáriotodas as ediçõesconfirmado
Barnes, Albert C.Contribuidorautor secundáriotodas as ediçõesconfirmado
Bennett, Gwendolyn B.Contribuidorautor secundáriotodas as ediçõesconfirmado
Bontemps, ArnaContribuidorautor secundáriotodas as ediçõesconfirmado
Braithwaite, William StanleyContribuidorautor secundáriotodas as ediçõesconfirmado
Cullen, CountéeContribuidorautor secundáriotodas as ediçõesconfirmado
Domingo, W. A.Contribuidorautor secundáriotodas as ediçõesconfirmado
Du Bois, W. E. B.Contribuidorautor secundáriotodas as ediçõesconfirmado
Fauset, Arthur HuffContribuidorautor secundáriotodas as ediçõesconfirmado
Fauset, JessieContribuidorautor secundáriotodas as ediçõesconfirmado
Fisher, RudolphContribuidorautor secundáriotodas as ediçõesconfirmado
Frazier, E. FranklinContribuidorautor secundáriotodas as ediçõesconfirmado
Gregory, MontgomeryContribuidorautor secundáriotodas as ediçõesconfirmado
Grimke, Angelina WeldContribuidorautor secundáriotodas as ediçõesconfirmado
Herskovitz, MelvilleContribuidorautor secundáriotodas as ediçõesconfirmado
Hughes, LangstonContribuidorautor secundáriotodas as ediçõesconfirmado
Hurston, Zora NealeContribuidorautor secundáriotodas as ediçõesconfirmado
Johnson, Charles S.Contribuidorautor secundáriotodas as ediçõesconfirmado
Johnson, GeorgiaContribuidorautor secundáriotodas as ediçõesconfirmado
Johnson, HeleneContribuidorautor secundáriotodas as ediçõesconfirmado
Johnson, James WeldonContribuidorautor secundáriotodas as ediçõesconfirmado
Kellogg, Paul U.Contribuidorautor secundáriotodas as ediçõesconfirmado
Lewis, CugoContribuidorautor secundáriotodas as ediçõesconfirmado
Matheus, JohnContribuidorautor secundáriotodas as ediçõesconfirmado
McDougald, Elise JohnsonContribuidorautor secundáriotodas as ediçõesconfirmado
McKay, ClaudeContribuidorautor secundáriotodas as ediçõesconfirmado
Miller, KellyContribuidorautor secundáriotodas as ediçõesconfirmado
Moton, Robert R.Contribuidorautor secundáriotodas as ediçõesconfirmado
Nugent, BruceContribuidorautor secundáriotodas as ediçõesconfirmado
Richardson, WillisContribuidorautor secundáriotodas as ediçõesconfirmado
Rogers, J. A.Contribuidorautor secundáriotodas as ediçõesconfirmado
Schomburg, Arthur A.Contribuidorautor secundáriotodas as ediçõesconfirmado
Spencer, AnneContribuidorautor secundáriotodas as ediçõesconfirmado
Toomer, JeanContribuidorautor secundáriotodas as ediçõesconfirmado
Walrond, EricContribuidorautor secundáriotodas as ediçõesconfirmado
White, WalterContribuidorautor secundáriotodas as ediçõesconfirmado
Hayden, RobertPrefácioautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Rampersad, ArnoldIntroduçãoautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Reiss, WinoldIlustradorautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado

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Fiction. Literature. HTML:

Alain Locke's "The New Negro" has been updated for the 21st century thanks to Duke Classics. Collecting poetry, fiction, and essays by notable Black writers such as Zora Neale Hurston and W.E.B. DuBois, Locke has gathered powerful and inspirational words used to shape and inspire the Black experience in America.   


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