THE BLACK MAN IN AMERICA: 1905-1932 by Florence Jackson


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Unlike other more purely political surveys, this essay traces the contributions of black people to the theatre, art and literature and records as well the establishment of the first black-run banks and fraternities. Jackson is at her best in outlining the literary and intellectual emergence of the ""New Negro"" (a term she traces back to 1895), and she quotes effectively from Claude McKay, Jean Toomer and, most pointedly, Langston Hughes' manifesto ""The Negro Artist and the Racial Mountain."" Unfortunately the scope of the series allows for only a superficial view of any one aspect of black life; the blues are celebrated without ever explaining just what the ""blue note"" is; no one from Paul Robeson to Bessie Smith to Countee Cullen can be spared more than a few paragraphs, and anecdotes are often so compressed that their point is hopelessly lost. Still functional as a quick listing of the period's notable black leaders, but too hurried to do more than remind us of their names.

Pub Date: March 1st, 1974
Page count: 84pp
Publisher: Franklin Watts