Black Culture and the Harlem Renaissance / Edition 1

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Harlem symbolized the urbanization of black America in the 1920s and 1930s. Home to the largest concentration of African Americans who settled outside the South, it spawned the literary and artistic movement known as the Harlem Renaissance. Its writers were in the vanguard of an attempt to come to terms with black urbanization. They lived it and wrote about it.

First published in 1988, Black Culture and the Harlem Renaissance examines the relationship between the community and its literature. Author Cary Wintz analyzes the movement’s emergence within the framework of the black social and intellectual history of early twentieth-century America. He begins with Booker T. Washington, W. E. B. Du Bois, and others whose work broke barriers for the Renaissance writers to come.

With an emphasis on social issues—like writers and politics, the role of black women, and the interplay between black writers and the white community—Wintz traces the rise and fall of the movement. Of special interest is material from the Knopf Collection and the papers of several Renaissance figures acquired by the Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center at the University of Texas at Austin. It reveals much of interest about the relationship between the publishing world, its writers, and their patrons—both black and white.

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Editorial Reviews

Barry A. Crouch

" . . . a wonderful piece of overall analysis. . . . the reader comes away with an enhanced knowledge of the milieu in which the Harlem Renaissance occurred and how this backdrop influenced those who wrote about it."--Barry A. Crouch
Barry A. Crouch

" . . . a wonderful piece of overall analysis. . . . the reader comes away with an enhanced knowledge of the milieu in which the Harlem Renaissance occurred and how this backdrop influenced those who wrote about it."--Barry A. Crouch

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Although this important cultural history contains details about the lives, careers and achievements of Zora Neale Hurston, Claude McKay, Countee Cullen, Langston Hughes and many other black American writers of the 1920s and 1930s, it examines the Harlem Renaissance more as a social and intellectual movement, in a new urban setting, within the framework of earlier black social, literary and intellectual history, as well as its connections with Garveyism and other political alternatives. The study also shows how it related to black critics such as Alain Locke and Sterling Brown and to Carl Van Vechten and other members of the white literary establishment. According to Wintz, professor of history at Texas Southern University, the movement was primarily a state of mind or attitude rather than a common political, social or literary ideology or philosophya sense of community, ``a feeling that they were all part of the same endeavor.'' (Oct.)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780890967614
  • Publisher: Texas A&M University Press
  • Publication date: 2/1/1997
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 288
  • Sales rank: 1,016,349
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.65 (d)

Meet the Author

CARY D. WINTZ is professor of history at Texas Southern University in Houston. He co-edited Black Dixie: Afro-Texan History and Culture in Houston, published by Texas A&M University Press.
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