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By Harold, Ed Bloom

Harlem within the Twenties and Thirties used to be the epicenter of a rebirth in African-American literature with the poetry and prose of writers equivalent to Langston Hughes, Zora Neale Hurston, and Gwendolyn Brooks. This quantity examines the defining subject matters and kinds of African-American literature in this interval.

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This philosophy of artistic distance was integral to Hughes’s argument in the much earlier essay “The Negro Artist and the Racial Mountain,” which became a rallying call to young black writers of the twenties concerned with reconciling artistic freedom with racial expression: “It is the duty of the younger Negro artist if he accepts any duties at all from outsiders, to change through the force of his art that old whispering ‘I want to be white’ hidden in the aspirations of his people, to ‘Why should I want to be white?

These writers found it expedient to plead their case by presenting black middle-class characters and situations in their fictional works in order to demolish the prevailing stereotype. B. Du Bois. However, the primitivistic mode had such wide and deep appeal among their readership that white publishers often hesitated to publish their works. ”15 But it was important for these black writers to be published by major publishers and to reach the white audiences at whom their works were primarily aimed.

4 On the plus side, this Negro fad of the twenties in the United States led to an unprecedented artistic activity that focused on the depiction of the Negro in fiction, drama, poetry, painting and sculpture. More white writers in the South as well as the North wrote about the Negro and in sheer quantity the record remains unmatched to this day. 5 Known generally as writers of the Southern Renaissance, the group included Paul Green, Julia Peterkin, DuBose Heyward, T. S. Stribling, Elizabeth Lay Green, and Edward Sheldon.

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