The Black Poets Society is a group of four law professionals who get together and recite the short story poems that they write, they are also each going through their own issues in the process that threaten to adjourn them permanently. With poetry as the backdrop, come along with four affluent brothers and revel in the mishaps ofÉ THE BLACK POETS SOCIETY!
The 1920s witnessed an extraordinary flowering of literary and artistic creativity among African Americans. Critics hailed the emergence of a "New Negro," who took pride in the black race and its African heritage, and whose writings exposed and attacked discrimination, explored black folk culture, and strove to create a unique African-American literature. Yet for all its vitality, the cultural movement best known as the Harlem Renaissance was fraught with tensions: between the ideal of Africa and the reality of America; between the lure of a romanticized rural past and the demands of an alien urban present; between the need to affirm the uniqueness of black culture and the desire to achieve acceptance by the majority white culture. Perhaps more than any other Harlem Renaissance figure, Claude McKay embodied these contradictory impulses. The paradox of Claude McKay cannot be reduced to any simple formula. He was at once an enfant terrible who took pride in the Negro's cultural heritage and an intellectual who strove for acceptance in predominantly white circles. He was a radical intent on transforming his adopted county who nevertheless left the United States temporarily for the Soviet Union. Yet these tensions, as this book strives to show, cannot simply be ascribed to personal or psychological problems; ultimately, they were rooted in the ambiguous social and cultural position of the black artist and political radical of the early twentieth century.
Presents a collection of critical essays on the works of the African American poets Robert Hayden, Gwendolyn Brooks, Jean Toomer, Claude McKay, Langston Hughes, Paul Laurence Dunbar, James Weldon Johnson and Alice Dunbar-Nelson.
In 1965 Dudley F. Randall founded the Broadside Press, a company devoted to publishing, distributing and promoting the works of black poets and writers. In so doing, he became a major player in the civil rights movement. Hundreds of black writers were given an outlet for their work and for their calls for equality and black identity. Though Broadside was established on a minimal budget, Randall's unique skills made the press successful. He was trained as a librarian and had spent decades studying and writing poetry; most importantly, Randall was totally committed to the advancement of black literature. The famous and relatively unknown sought out Broadside, including such writers as Gwendolyn Brooks, Margaret Walker, Mae Jackson, Lance Jeffers, Etheridge Knight, Sonia Sanchez, Nikki Giovanni, Audre Lorde and Sterling D. Plumpp. His story is one of battling to promote black identity and equality through literature, and thus lifting the cultural lives of all Americans.
Twelve critical essays sketch the tradition of black poets in the U. S. from the Harlem Renaissance of the 1920's to the black rage of the 1970's. Separate critiques are devoted to the work of Langston Hughes, Countee Cullen, Melvin B. Tolson, Robert Hayden, and Imamu Amiri Baraka.
During the 1960s and 1970s, a cadre of poets, playwrights, visual artists, musicians, and other visionaries came together to create a renaissance in African American literature and art. This charged chapter in the history of African American culture—which came to be known as the Black Arts Movement—has remained largely neglected by subsequent generations of critics. New Thoughts on the Black Arts Movement includes essays that reexamine well-known figures such as Amiri Baraka, Larry Neal, Gwendolyn Brooks, Sonia Sanchez, Betye Saar, Jeff Donaldson, and Haki Madhubuti. In addition, the anthology expands the scope of the movement by offering essays that explore the racial and sexual politics of the era, links with other period cultural movements, the arts in prison, the role of Black colleges and universities, gender politics and the rise of feminism, color fetishism, photography, music, and more. An invigorating look at a movement that has long begged for reexamination, this collection lucidly interprets the complex debates that surround this tumultuous era and demonstrates that the celebration of this movement need not be separated from its critique.
A definitive literary portrait of contrasting visions and styles covers the key issues important to the African-American experience, including poetry on slavery, the South; protest and resistance, music and religion, spirituality, sexuality and love, and the idea of Africa.
For his humanistic religious verse, his poignant and deeply personal antislavery poems, and, above all, his lifelong enthusiasm for liberty, nature, and the art of poetry, George Moses Horton merits a place of distinction among nineteenth-century African American poets. Enslaved from birth until the close of the Civil War, the self-taught Horton was the first American slave to protest his bondage in published verse and the first black man to publish a book in the South. As a man and as a poet, his achievements were extraordinary. In this volume, Joan Sherman collects sixty-two of Horton's poems. Her comprehensive introduction--combining biography, history, cultural commentary, and critical insight--presents a compelling and detailed picture of this remarkable man's life and art. George Moses Horton (ca. 1797-1883) was born in Northampton County, North Carolina. A slave for sixty-eight years, Horton spent much of his life on a farm near Chapel Hill, and in time he fostered a deep connection with the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. The author of three books of poetry, Horton was inducted into the North Carolina Literary Hall of Fame in May of 1996.
While blacks have made perhaps their most obvious and substantial contributions to Western popular culture through music and dance, they have developed a rich popular culture in a number of other areas, including the visual arts, mass media, health practices, recreation, and literature. Glimpsed through any medium, black popular culture is the DNA that runs throughout the various kinds of black—and American—artistic achievement and shared experience, helping to identify, explain, and retain Africanisms and the essential blackness that emanate from the everyday lives of black people.
In "After Mecca," Cheryl Clarke explores the relationship between the Black Arts Movement and black women writers of the period. Poems by Gwendolyn Brooks, Ntozake Shange, Audre Lorde, Nikki Giovanni, Sonia Sanchez, Jayne Cortez, Alice Walker, and others chart the emergence of a new and distinct black poetry and its relationship to the black community's struggle for rights and liberation. Clarke also traces the contributions of these poets to the development of feminism and lesbian-feminism, and the legacy they left for others to build on.
And as I groped in darkness and felt the pain of millions, gradually, like day driving night across the continent, I saw dawn upon them like the sun a vision. —Dudley Randall, from "Roses and Revolutions" In 1963, the African American poet Dudley Randall (1914–2000) wrote "The Ballad of Birmingham" in response to the bombing of a church in Alabama that killed four young black girls, and "Dressed All in Pink," about the assassination of President Kennedy. When both were set to music by folk singer Jerry Moore in 1965, Randall published them as broadsides. Thus was born the Broadside Press, whose popular chapbooks opened the canon of American literature to the works of African American writers. Dudley Randall, one of the great success stories of American small-press history, was also poet laureate of Detroit, a civil-rights activist, and a force in the Black Arts Movement. Melba Joyce Boyd was an editor at Broadside, was Randall's friend and colleague for twenty-eight years, and became his authorized biographer. Her book is an account of the interconnections between urban and labor politics in Detroit and the broader struggles of black America before and during the Civil Rights era. But also, through Randall's poetry and sixteen years of interviews, the narrative is a multipart dialogue between poets, Randall, the author, and the history of American letters itself, and it affords unique insights into the life and work of this crucial figure.