Research the opposition between an aesthetic conception

Research PaperThe informing question in African-American literary criticism prior to the 1970s was the relation between the literary arts and developing conceptions of the nature of African-American culture.

Its emphasis on racial uplift and social development was undeniable. In America, the first half of the twentieth century witnessed an over-indulgence in classificatory disputes about art, and the extent of freedom an artist could exercise for his work. Literature certainly needed to be beautiful, but it also needed to be utilitarian. Art properly considered was a converging of aesthetics and politics. The fundamental defects of this early criticism rose precisely from this endeavour to mediate the opposition between an aesthetic conception of literature and an instrumental one. One of the more powerful voices rising in opposition to a class-based reading of literary imperatives belonged to Langston Hughes. The problem for the Negro artist from Hughes’s perspective was not so much the balancing of African and American identities within this double consciousness, as it was the emphasizing of a Negro cultural integrity out of which might rise an authentic conception of African-American art.

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Standing in the way of this effort was the racial mountain; “the urge within the race towards whiteness, the desire to pour racial individuality into the mold of American standardization, and to be as little Negro and as much American as possible” ADDIN ZOTERO_ITEM CSL_CITATION {“citationID”:”8z6gsd54″,”properties”:{“formattedCitation”:”(Hughes 34)”,”plainCitation”:”(Hughes 34)”,”noteIndex”:0},”citationItems”:{“id”:6,”uris”:”http://zotero.org/users/local/REiAA8n7/items/T24VQ9T6″,”uri”:”http://zotero.org/users/local/REiAA8n7/items/T24VQ9T6″,”itemData”:{“id”:6,”type”:”book”,”title”:”The Collected Works of Langston Hughes: Essays on art, race, politics, and world affairs”,”publisher”:”University of Missouri Press”,”number-of-pages”:”660″,”source”:”Google Books”,”abstract”:”The sixteen volumes are published with the goal that Hughes pursued throughout his lifetime: making his books available to the people. Each volume will include a biographical and literary chronology by Arnold Rampersad, as well as an introduction by a Hughes scholar lume introductions will provide contextual and historical information on the particular work.”,”ISBN”:”978-0-8262-1394-5″,”note”:”Google-Books-ID: 9JPL7qNp20wC”,”shortTitle”:”The Collected Works of Langston Hughes”,”language”:”en”,”author”:{“family”:”Hughes”,”given”:”Langston”},”issued”:{“date-parts”:”2001″}},”locator”:”34″,”label”:”page”},”schema”:”https://github.com/citation-style-language/schema/raw/master/csl-citation.json”} (34), a perspective adopted all too persistently by the black middle class, according to Hughes.

The flight from race not only robbed the Negro artist of his or her informing cultural perspective but also distanced the artist from the most fertile source of material, working-class Negro life, a locus of cultural integrity, Hughes felt was untouched by the urge towards whiteness. He emphasized the importance of jazz as an artistic influence because of its roots in working-class life, and because it retained the integrity he saw as so crucial to the artist. Hughes paid extreme importance to communal identity of an artist to secure a distinct position in the world of creative expression.

He stated: “No great poet has ever been afraid of being himself” ADDIN ZOTERO_ITEM CSL_CITATION {“citationID”:”S3XGurkb”,”properties”:{“formattedCitation”:”(7)”,”plainCitation”:”(7)”,”noteIndex”:0},”citationItems”:{“id”:6,”uris”:”http://zotero.org/users/local/REiAA8n7/items/T24VQ9T6″,”uri”:”http://zotero.org/users/local/REiAA8n7/items/T24VQ9T6″,”itemData”:{“id”:6,”type”:”book”,”title”:”The Collected Works of Langston Hughes: Essays on art, race, politics, and world affairs”,”publisher”:”University of Missouri Press”,”number-of-pages”:”660″,”source”:”Google Books”,”abstract”:”The sixteen volumes are published with the goal that Hughes pursued throughout his lifetime: making his books available to the people. Each volume will include a biographical and literary chronology by Arnold Rampersad, as well as an introduction by a Hughes scholar lume introductions will provide contextual and historical information on the particular work.”,”ISBN”:”978-0-8262-1394-5″,”note”:”Google-Books-ID: 9JPL7qNp20wC”,”shortTitle”:”The Collected Works of Langston Hughes”,”language”:”en”,”author”:{“family”:”Hughes”,”given”:”Langston”},”issued”:{“date-parts”:”2001″}},”locator”:”7″,”label”:”page”,”suppress-author”:true},”schema”:”https://github.

com/citation-style-language/schema/raw/master/csl-citation.json”} (7). Throughout his life, he staunchly believed that one could never become a great poet if he desired to run away spiritually from his race (16). Hence, in order to be free to explore new worlds, the creative artist must remain separate from, or alienated from the larger culture. Being outside the culture, he is free to mold it, shape it, and lead it to higher ideals, without fearing the judgement of the larger society, and thus can overcome the standardization of art.Several authors have contended that Harlem Renaissance artists refused the role of “invisible American” ADDIN ZOTERO_ITEM CSL_CITATION {“citationID”:”fJKcOSrF”,”properties”:{“formattedCitation”:”(Ponce 7)”,”plainCitation”:”(Ponce 7)”,”noteIndex”:0},”citationItems”:{“id”:72,”uris”:”http://zotero.org/users/local/REiAA8n7/items/825AH4TQ”,”uri”:”http://zotero.

org/users/local/REiAA8n7/items/825AH4TQ”,”itemData”:{“id”:72,”type”:”webpage”,”title”:”Langston Hughes’s queer blues”,”container-title”:”Modern Language Quarterly”,”URL”:”http://link.galegroup.com/apps/doc/A139436317/AONE?sid=googlescholar”,”language”:”English”,”author”:{“family”:”Ponce”,”given”:”Martin Joseph”},”issued”:{“date-parts”:”2005″,12,1},”accessed”:{“date-parts”:”2018″,3,10}},”locator”:”7″,”label”:”page”},”schema”:”https://github.com/citation-style-language/schema/raw/master/csl-citation.json”} (Ponce 7), and demanded recognition and compensation for the centuries of subjugation and discrimination. Winston Napier argued that for many Harlem writers, the Negro was primarily an artist ADDIN ZOTERO_ITEM CSL_CITATION {“citationID”:”rnf9XGaB”,”properties”:{“formattedCitation”:”(35)”,”plainCitation”:”(35)”,”noteIndex”:0},”citationItems”:{“id”:72,”uris”:”http://zotero.

org/users/local/REiAA8n7/items/825AH4TQ”,”uri”:”http://zotero.org/users/local/REiAA8n7/items/825AH4TQ”,”itemData”:{“id”:72,”type”:”webpage”,”title”:”Langston Hughes’s queer blues”,”container-title”:”Modern Language Quarterly”,”URL”:”http://link.galegroup.com/apps/doc/A139436317/AONE?sid=googlescholar”,”language”:”English”,”author”:{“family”:”Ponce”,”given”:”Martin Joseph”},”issued”:{“date-parts”:”2005″,12,1},”accessed”:{“date-parts”:”2018″,3,10}},”locator”:”35″,”label”:”page”,”suppress-author”:true},”schema”:”https://github.

com/citation-style-language/schema/raw/master/csl-citation.json”} (35). The then power structure of the art world did not accept the Negro artist as just another artist. The “Harlemites” ADDIN ZOTERO_ITEM CSL_CITATION {“citationID”:”1NOG5EBC”,”properties”:{“formattedCitation”:”(Napier 9)”,”plainCitation”:”(Napier 9)”,”noteIndex”:0},”citationItems”:{“id”:4,”uris”:”http://zotero.org/users/local/REiAA8n7/items/75L4JRQC”,”uri”:”http://zotero.org/users/local/REiAA8n7/items/75L4JRQC”,”itemData”:{“id”:4,”type”:”book”,”title”:”African American Literary Theory: A Reader”,”publisher”:”NYU Press”,”number-of-pages”:”745″,”source”:”Google Books”,”abstract”:””African American Literary Theory is an extraordinary gift to literary studies. It is necessary, authoritative and thorough.

The timing of this book is superb!” —Karla F.C. Holloway, Duke University”The influence of African American literature can be attributed, in no small part, to the literary theorists gathered in this collection. This is a superb anthology that represents a diversity of voices and points of view, and a much needed historical retrospective of how African American literary theory has developed.” —Marlon B. Ross, University of Michigan”A volume of great conceptual significance and originality in its focus on the development of African American literary theory.” —Farah Jasmine Griffin, University of PennsylvaniaAfrican American Literary Theory: A Reader is the first volume to document the central texts and arguments in African American literary theory from the 1920s through the present.

As the volume progresses chronologically from the rise of a black aesthetic criticism, through the Blacks Arts Movement, feminism, structuralism and poststructuralism, and the rise of queer theory, it focuses on the key arguments, themes, and debates in each period.By constantly bringing attention to the larger political and cultural issues at stake in the interpretation of literary texts, the critics gathered here have contributed mightily to the prominence and popularity of African American literature in this country and abroad. African American Literary Theory provides a unique historical analysis of how these thinkers have shaped literary theory, and literature at large, and will be a indispensable text for the study of African American intellectual culture.Contributors include Sandra Adell, Michael Awkward, Houston A. Baker, Jr.

, Hazel V. Carby, Barbara Christian, W.E.

B. DuBois, Ann duCille, Ralph Ellison, Henry Louis Gates, Jr., Addison Gayle Jr., Carolyn F. Gerald, Evelynn Hammonds, Phillip Brian Harper, Mae Gwendolyn Henderson, Stephen E. Henderson, Karla F.

C. Holloway, Langston Hughes, Zora Neale Hurston, LeRoi Jones (Amiri Baraka), Joyce A. Joyce, Alain Locke, Wahneema Lubiano, Deborah E. McDowell, Harryette Mullen, Larry Neal, Charles I.

Nero, Robert F. Reid-Pharr, Marlon B. Ross, George S. Schuyler, Barbara Smith, Valerie Smith, Hortense J.

Spillers, Sherley Anne Williams, and Richard Wright.”,”ISBN”:”978-0-8147-5809-0″,”note”:”Google-Books-ID: xgsUCgAAQBAJ”,”shortTitle”:”African American Literary Theory”,”language”:”en”,”author”:{“family”:”Napier”,”given”:”Winston”},”issued”:{“date-parts”:”2000″,7}},”locator”:”9″,”label”:”page”},”schema”:”https://github.com/citation-style-language/schema/raw/master/csl-citation.

json”} (9), including Langston Hughes, claimed a more realistic goal for their art, which was the cultivation of wholesome race pride and removal of racial inferiority. Therefore, the black artist could not deny his historical and racial bond with African-American art. America in the 1920s witnessed a torrent of debates on the representation of African-Americans in art. The advent of a self-conscious Negro poetry by African-American poets, helped to foster the group consciousness that Alaine Locke found to be particularly lacking among African- Americans ADDIN ZOTERO_ITEM CSL_CITATION {“citationID”:”layP3pMm”,”properties”:{“formattedCitation”:”(2)”,”plainCitation”:”(2)”,”noteIndex”:0},”citationItems”:{“id”:21,”uris”:”http://zotero.org/users/local/REiAA8n7/items/QUDBC8IV”,”uri”:”http://zotero.org/users/local/REiAA8n7/items/QUDBC8IV”,”itemData”:{“id”:21,”type”:”book”,”title”:”The New Negro”,”publisher”:”Simon and Schuster”,”number-of-pages”:”496″,”source”:”Google Books”,”abstract”:”From the man known as the father of the Harlem Renaissance comes a powerful, provocative, and affecting anthology of writers who shaped the Harlem Renaissance movement and who help us to consider the evolution of the African American in society.

With stunning works by seminal black voices such as Zora Neale Hurston, Countee Cullen, and W.E.B. DuBois, Locke has constructed a vivid look at the new negro, the changing African American finding his place in the ever shifting sociocultural landscape that was 1920s America. With poetry, prose, and nonfiction essays, this collection is widely praised for its literary strength as well as its historical coverage of a monumental and fascinating time in the history of America.

“,”ISBN”:”978-0-684-83831-1″,”note”:”Google-Books-ID: kuiSuqS4J38C”,”language”:”en”,”author”:{“family”:”Locke”,”given”:”Alain”},”issued”:{“date-parts”:”1925″}},”locator”:”2″,”label”:”page”,”suppress-author”:true},”schema”:”https://github.com/citation-style-language/schema/raw/master/csl-citation.json”} (2). Alaine Locke was a professor at Howard University, who claimed that his great literary anthology contained the “first fruits of the Negro Renaissance” ADDIN ZOTERO_ITEM CSL_CITATION {“citationID”:”Nigj6MbW”,”properties”:{“formattedCitation”:”(Alain Locke 3)”,”plainCitation”:”(Alain Locke 3)”,”noteIndex”:0},”citationItems”:{“id”:21,”uris”:”http://zotero.org/users/local/REiAA8n7/items/QUDBC8IV”,”uri”:”http://zotero.

org/users/local/REiAA8n7/items/QUDBC8IV”,”itemData”:{“id”:21,”type”:”book”,”title”:”The New Negro”,”publisher”:”Simon and Schuster”,”number-of-pages”:”496″,”source”:”Google Books”,”abstract”:”From the man known as the father of the Harlem Renaissance comes a powerful, provocative, and affecting anthology of writers who shaped the Harlem Renaissance movement and who help us to consider the evolution of the African American in society.With stunning works by seminal black voices such as Zora Neale Hurston, Countee Cullen, and W.E.B. DuBois, Locke has constructed a vivid look at the new negro, the changing African American finding his place in the ever shifting sociocultural landscape that was 1920s America. With poetry, prose, and nonfiction essays, this collection is widely praised for its literary strength as well as its historical coverage of a monumental and fascinating time in the history of America.”,”ISBN”:”978-0-684-83831-1″,”note”:”Google-Books-ID: kuiSuqS4J38C”,”language”:”en”,”author”:{“family”:”Locke”,”given”:”Alain”},”issued”:{“date-parts”:”1925″}},”locator”:”3″,”label”:”page”},”schema”:”https://github.

com/citation-style-language/schema/raw/master/csl-citation.json”} (3). His approach reaffirmed an excessive dependence of any black hopes for political change or reform upon white men of influence and their good intentions. In terms of art and literature, Locke saw no contention between being “American” and being “Negro,” but rather saw it as an opportunity to enrich both through cultural reciprocity. Moreover, Locke disliked Hughes’s approach of manifesting communal identity in art, and denounced his use of primitive art forms ADDIN ZOTERO_ITEM CSL_CITATION {“citationID”:”yKKZPrjj”,”properties”:{“formattedCitation”:”(Favor 59)”,”plainCitation”:”(Favor 59)”,”noteIndex”:0},”citationItems”:{“id”:15,”uris”:”http://zotero.

org/users/local/REiAA8n7/items/CLZTQATM”,”uri”:”http://zotero.org/users/local/REiAA8n7/items/CLZTQATM”,”itemData”:{“id”:15,”type”:”book”,”title”:”Authentic Blackness: The Folk in the New Negro Renaissance”,”publisher”:”Duke University Press”,”number-of-pages”:”204″,”source”:”Google Books”,”abstract”:”What constitutes “blackness” in American culture? And who gets to define whether or not someone is truly African American? Is a struggling hip-hop artist more “authentic” than a conservative Supreme Court justice? In Authentic Blackness J. Martin Favor looks to the New Negro Movement—also known as the Harlem Renaissance—to explore early challenges to the idea that race is a static category. Authentic Blackness looks at the place of the “folk”—those African Americans “furthest down,” in the words of Alain Locke—and how the representation of the folk and the black middle class both spurred the New Negro Movement and became one of its most serious points of contention.

Drawing on vernacular theories of African American literature from such figures as Henry Louis Gates Jr. and Houston Baker as well as theorists Judith Butler and Stuart Hall, Favor looks closely at the work of four Harlem Renaissance fiction writers: James Weldon Johnson, Nella Larsen, George Schuyler, and Jean Toomer. Arguing that each of these writers had, at best, an ambiguous relationship to African American folk culture, Favor demonstrates how they each sought to redress the notion of a fixed black identity.

Authentic Blackness illustrates how “race” has functioned as a type of performative discourse, a subjectivity that simultaneously builds and conceals its connections with such factors as class, gender, sexuality, and geography.”,”ISBN”:”978-0-8223-2345-7″,”note”:”Google-Books-ID: BvvVkKrttfoC”,”shortTitle”:”Authentic Blackness”,”language”:”en”,”author”:{“family”:”Favor”,”given”:”J. Martin”},”issued”:{“date-parts”:”1999″}},”locator”:”59″,”label”:”page”},”schema”:”https://github.com/citation-style-language/schema/raw/master/csl-citation.

json”} (Favor 59). By focusing on apparent “primitivism” ADDIN ZOTERO_ITEM CSL_CITATION {“citationID”:”vVXwoY4E”,”properties”:{“formattedCitation”:”(15)”,”plainCitation”:”(15)”,”noteIndex”:0},”citationItems”:{“id”:25,”uris”:”http://zotero.org/users/local/REiAA8n7/items/AGLDPJI3″,”uri”:”http://zotero.org/users/local/REiAA8n7/items/AGLDPJI3″,”itemData”:{“id”:25,”type”:”book”,”title”:”Harlem, Mecca of the New Negro”,”publisher”:”Black Classic Press”,”number-of-pages”:”108″,”source”:”Google Books”,”ISBN”:”978-0-933121-05-8″,”note”:”Google-Books-ID: eTfx4WoHwQIC”,”language”:”en”,”author”:{“family”:”Locke”,”given”:”A.

“},”issued”:{“date-parts”:”1925″}},”locator”:”15″,”label”:”page”,”suppress-author”:true},”schema”:”https://github.com/citation-style-language/schema/raw/master/csl-citation.json”} (15) in Hughes’s art, Locke overlooked the deeper problem of the standardization of art. To put it another way, Locke was reinterpreting W. E.

B. Du Bois’ concept of “double consciousness” ADDIN ZOTERO_ITEM CSL_CITATION {“citationID”:”N8KzkNtr”,”properties”:{“formattedCitation”:”(DuBois 5)”,”plainCitation”:”(DuBois 5)”,”noteIndex”:0},”citationItems”:{“id”:140,”uris”:”http://zotero.org/users/local/REiAA8n7/items/MZNXGXQX”,”uri”:”http://zotero.

org/users/local/REiAA8n7/items/MZNXGXQX”,”itemData”:{“id”:140,”type”:”article-journal”,”title”:”The Negro in Literature and Art”,”container-title”:”The Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science”,”page”:”233-237″,”volume”:”49″,”source”:”JSTOR”,”ISSN”:”0002-7162″,”author”:{“family”:”DuBois”,”given”:”W. E. Burghardt”},”issued”:{“date-parts”:”1913″}},”locator”:”5″,”label”:”page”},”schema”:”https://github.com/citation-style-language/schema/raw/master/csl-citation.json”} (233) for aesthetic and cultural uses.

Du Bois, like Locke, highlighted the conflicts over the representation of African-American culture in art; his emphasis was primarily on the psychology of the masses, and not on offering a solution to the “Negro problem” (235). In contrast, Locke clearly tried to catch Hughes in the “coil of classicism” ADDIN ZOTERO_ITEM CSL_CITATION {“citationID”:”QJ8mwCjQ”,”properties”:{“formattedCitation”:”(Stokes 7)”,”plainCitation”:”(Stokes 7)”,”noteIndex”:0},”citationItems”:{“id”:142,”uris”:”http://zotero.org/users/local/REiAA8n7/items/AQZH7DXV”,”uri”:”http://zotero.org/users/local/REiAA8n7/items/AQZH7DXV”,”itemData”:{“id”:142,”type”:”article-journal”,”title”:”Strange Fruits”,”container-title”:”Transition”,”page”:”56-79″,”issue”:”92″,”source”:”JSTOR”,”ISSN”:”0041-1191″,”author”:{“family”:”Stokes”,”given”:”Mason”},”issued”:{“date-parts”:”2002″}},”locator”:”7″,”label”:”page”},”schema”:”https://github.com/citation-style-language/schema/raw/master/csl-citation.json”} (Stokes 57). While it is true that there is enough room in Locke’s views for different kinds of talents to exist and thrive together, it does not necessarily follow that he saw any direct connection between African and African-American arts.

Moreover, it can be deduced from Locke’s writings that the most important lesson the black artist could derive from African art was not cultural inspiration or technical innovations, but the lesson of a classic background; the lesson of discipline, of style, and of technical control that artists like Langston Hughes considered incorrect.Also, Locke attempted to outline what he saw as the critical transformation of mass black consciousness into a more heightened sense of itself as a “progressive” ADDIN ZOTERO_ITEM CSL_CITATION {“citationID”:”n0TBZLTR”,”properties”:{“formattedCitation”:”(15)”,”plainCitation”:”(15)”,”noteIndex”:0},”citationItems”:{“id”:21,”uris”:”http://zotero.org/users/local/REiAA8n7/items/QUDBC8IV”,”uri”:”http://zotero.org/users/local/REiAA8n7/items/QUDBC8IV”,”itemData”:{“id”:21,”type”:”book”,”title”:”The New Negro”,”publisher”:”Simon and Schuster”,”number-of-pages”:”496″,”source”:”Google Books”,”abstract”:”From the man known as the father of the Harlem Renaissance comes a powerful, provocative, and affecting anthology of writers who shaped the Harlem Renaissance movement and who help us to consider the evolution of the African American in society.With stunning works by seminal black voices such as Zora Neale Hurston, Countee Cullen, and W.E.

B. DuBois, Locke has constructed a vivid look at the new negro, the changing African American finding his place in the ever shifting sociocultural landscape that was 1920s America. With poetry, prose, and nonfiction essays, this collection is widely praised for its literary strength as well as its historical coverage of a monumental and fascinating time in the history of America.

“,”ISBN”:”978-0-684-83831-1″,”note”:”Google-Books-ID: kuiSuqS4J38C”,”language”:”en”,”author”:{“family”:”Locke”,”given”:”Alain”},”issued”:{“date-parts”:”1925″}},”locator”:”15″,”label”:”page”,”suppress-author”:true},”schema”:”https://github.com/citation-style-language/schema/raw/master/csl-citation.json”} (15) force.

The fundamental defects of this early view rose precisely from this attempt to mediate the opposition between an aesthetic conception of literature and an instrumental one. Casting literature as a source of aesthetic pleasure came into conflict with seeing the work of art as a tool in the liberation of the “race.” In his review of Alaine Locke’s arguments, Du Bois himself tried to balance these two critical perspectives. His critical position constantly foundered on the perceived conflict between a reading that emphasized beauty and one that emphasized propaganda, since the meaning of “truth” in the former tended to be idealized and in the latter tended to be pragmatic.In other words, Du Bois emphasized on the racial uplift and social development.

Literature certainly needed to be beautiful, but it also needed to be utilitarian. Art properly considered was a merging of aesthetics and politics. In 1921 Du Bois himself wrote: “We want everything that is said about us to tell of the best and highest and noblest in us.

We insist that our Art and Propaganda be one” ADDIN ZOTERO_ITEM CSL_CITATION {“citationID”:”jiWiNZxo”,”properties”:{“formattedCitation”:”(MacWilliam 2)”,”plainCitation”:”(MacWilliam 2)”,”noteIndex”:0},”citationItems”:{“id”:154,”uris”:”http://zotero.org/users/local/REiAA8n7/items/2N3FNJAG”,”uri”:”http://zotero.org/users/local/REiAA8n7/items/2N3FNJAG”,”itemData”:{“id”:154,”type”:”article-journal”,”title”:”criteria_of_negro_art”,”page”:”2″,”source”:”Zotero”,”language”:”en”,”author”:{“family”:”MacWilliam”,”given”:”Greg”}},”locator”:”2″,”label”:”page”},”schema”:”https://github.com/citation-style-language/schema/raw/master/csl-citation.

json”} (qtd. in MacWilliam 2); and in 1926 he stated: “All Art is propaganda and ever must be, despite the wailing of the pursuits” ADDIN ZOTERO_ITEM CSL_CITATION {“citationID”:”hnnW6ph2″,”properties”:{“formattedCitation”:”(MacWilliam 2)”,”plainCitation”:”(MacWilliam 2)”,”noteIndex”:0},”citationItems”:{“id”:154,”uris”:”http://zotero.org/users/local/REiAA8n7/items/2N3FNJAG”,”uri”:”http://zotero.org/users/local/REiAA8n7/items/2N3FNJAG”,”itemData”:{“id”:154,”type”:”article-journal”,”title”:”criteria_of_negro_art”,”page”:”2″,”source”:”Zotero”,”language”:”en”,”author”:{“family”:”MacWilliam”,”given”:”Greg”}},”locator”:”2″,”label”:”page”},”schema”:”https://github.

com/citation-style-language/schema/raw/master/csl-citation.json”} (2). In short, he consistently attempted to contextualize literature as a tool in the struggle for political liberation, just as it emphasized the need for “Beauty” (2), even to the point of characterizing “the great mission” (2) of the Negro to America and to the modern world as “the development of Art and the appreciation of the Beautiful” ADDIN ZOTERO_ITEM CSL_CITATION {“citationID”:”c7RVKEQe”,”properties”:{“formattedCitation”:”(1)”,”plainCitation”:”(1)”,”noteIndex”:0},”citationItems”:{“id”:154,”uris”:”http://zotero.

org/users/local/REiAA8n7/items/2N3FNJAG”,”uri”:”http://zotero.org/users/local/REiAA8n7/items/2N3FNJAG”,”itemData”:{“id”:154,”type”:”article-journal”,”title”:”criteria_of_negro_art”,”page”:”2″,”source”:”Zotero”,”language”:”en”,”author”:{“family”:”MacWilliam”,”given”:”Greg”}},”locator”:”1″,”label”:”page”,”suppress-author”:true},”schema”:”https://github.com/citation-style-language/schema/raw/master/csl-citation.json”} (2).

Furthermore, another important figure in this debate was George Samuel Schuyler, who took up the issue of African-American artistry. Schuyler’s skepticism found its source in a “historical” reading of cultural development, on that privileged the nation-state as the basis for cultural formation. He stated: “Negro art there has been, is, and will be among the numerous black nations of Africa; but to suggest the possibility of any such development among the ten million colored people in this republic is self-evident foolishness…All Negroes; yet their work shows the impress of nationality rather than race. They all reveal psychology and culture of their environment; their color is incidental.

” ADDIN ZOTERO_ITEM CSL_CITATION {“citationID”:”wKMuG8oS”,”properties”:{“formattedCitation”:”(2)”,”plainCitation”:”(2)”,”noteIndex”:0},”citationItems”:{“id”:157,”uris”:”http://zotero.org/users/local/REiAA8n7/items/QXL5PUA6″,”uri”:”http://zotero.org/users/local/REiAA8n7/items/QXL5PUA6″,”itemData”:{“id”:157,”type”:”chapter”,”title”:”The Negro-Art Hokum (1926)”,”container-title”:”Within the Circle”,”publisher”:”Duke University Press”,”page”:”51-54″,”source”:”Crossref”,”URL”:”https://read.dukeupress.

edu/books/book/1923/chapter/190726/”,”ISBN”:”978-0-8223-9988-9″,”note”:”DOI: 10.1215/9780822399889-005″,”language”:”en”,”editor”:{“family”:”Mitchell”,”given”:”Angelyn”},”author”:{“family”:”Schuyler”,”given”:”George S.”},”issued”:{“date-parts”:”2012″,8,1},”accessed”:{“date-parts”:”2018″,5,26}},”locator”:”2″,”label”:”page”,”suppress-author”:true},”schema”:”https://github.com/citation-style-language/schema/raw/master/csl-citation.

json”} (52)The value of Schuyler’s perspective is his insistence on bringing the idea of “culture” into relation with the idea of race. Unfortunately, Schuyler’s analysis operates out of a largely underdeveloped conception of race, culture and nationality. Revealingly, his analysis alternately separates and then conflates all three categories.

Schuyler is assuredly aware of the limitations of a concept such as race, particularly when he construes the sources of theories of “racial” difference as being motivated by racialist or “Negrophobist” ADDIN ZOTERO_ITEM CSL_CITATION {“citationID”:”ExorSAHF”,”properties”:{“formattedCitation”:”(3)”,”plainCitation”:”(3)”,”noteIndex”:0},”citationItems”:{“id”:157,”uris”:”http://zotero.org/users/local/REiAA8n7/items/QXL5PUA6″,”uri”:”http://zotero.org/users/local/REiAA8n7/items/QXL5PUA6″,”itemData”:{“id”:157,”type”:”chapter”,”title”:”The Negro-Art Hokum (1926)”,”container-title”:”Within the Circle”,”publisher”:”Duke University Press”,”page”:”51-54″,”source”:”Crossref”,”URL”:”https://read.dukeupress.edu/books/book/1923/chapter/190726/”,”ISBN”:”978-0-8223-9988-9″,”note”:”DOI: 10.1215/9780822399889-005″,”language”:”en”,”editor”:{“family”:”Mitchell”,”given”:”Angelyn”},”author”:{“family”:”Schuyler”,”given”:”George S.

“},”issued”:{“date-parts”:”2012″,8,1},”accessed”:{“date-parts”:”2018″,5,26}},”locator”:”3″,”label”:”page”,”suppress-author”:true},”schema”:”https://github.com/citation-style-language/schema/raw/master/csl-citation.json”} (54) impulses. But having devalued the idea of color as a signifier of difference, Schuyler can only substitute in its place the idea of “nation,” a conception here no less insubstantial. And although he tries to locate the source of human consciousness in some form of “history,” largely the function of environmental forces, he can finally offer only an unapologetically classist reading of artistic creation. Hence, what passes for Negro art either is indistinguishable in all respects from other forms of “high” art, that is, it shows more or less evidence of “European influence”, or is the product of “the peasantry of South,” whose skin color is mere “coincidence.” From this perspective, art was clearly the province of the more “intelligent” and “advanced” classes.

The question whether beauty or truth was paramount found itself complicated by antecedent questions concerning the nature of black culture; that is, who best represented “the Negro,” the “advanced” class or those behind the “advanced” class? The desire for “cultural regeneration” ADDIN ZOTERO_ITEM CSL_CITATION {“citationID”:”JkJXmX9j”,”properties”:{“formattedCitation”:”(Bloom 52)”,”plainCitation”:”(Bloom 52)”,”noteIndex”:0},”citationItems”:{“id”:9,”uris”:”http://zotero.org/users/local/REiAA8n7/items/XGBVRW3Y”,”uri”:”http://zotero.org/users/local/REiAA8n7/items/XGBVRW3Y”,”itemData”:{“id”:9,”type”:”book”,”title”:”Langston Hughes”,”publisher”:”Infobase Publishing”,”number-of-pages”:”257″,”source”:”Google Books”,”abstract”:”Poet, playwright, novelist, and public figure, Langston Hughes is regarded as a cultural hero who made his mark during the Harlem Renaissance. A prolific author, Hughes focused his writing on discrimination in and disillusionment with American society. His most noted works include the novel Not Without Laughter, the poem “The Negro Speaks of Rivers,” and the essay The Negro Artist and the Racial Mountain, to name just a few. Langston Hughes, New Edition features compelling critical essays that create a well-rounded portrait of this great American writer. An introductory essay by Harold Bloom and a chronology tracing the major events in Hughes’s life add further depth to this newly updated study tool.

“,”ISBN”:”978-0-7910-9612-3″,”note”:”Google-Books-ID: yeQ4cBxm7aQC”,”language”:”en”,”author”:{“family”:”Bloom”,”given”:”Harold”},”issued”:{“date-parts”:”2008″}},”locator”:”52″,”label”:”page”},”schema”:”https://github.com/citation-style-language/schema/raw/master/csl-citation.json”} (Bloom 52) led an African-American artist to readjust his role in American art; he started to believe that art was to serve the people, and the Negro artist would be judged according to racial and not artistic standards. This implies that this idea of embracing one’s own communal identity in art freed him from the constraints of the whitish models of art.

Moreover, it asserts that African-Americans were assure to assert their own agency in culture and politics instead of just remaining a “problem” or “formula” for others to debate about; and amid these fierce debates, Langston Hughes responded to the intellectual twilight of Harlem to express his idiosyncratic views about art through his poetry. Langston Hughes asked not only for the liberation from physical, but rather the mental and spiritual, bondage of pervasive racism and racial oppression in America. He criticized the “Nordecized Negroes” ADDIN ZOTERO_ITEM CSL_CITATION {“citationID”:”D6JNnntD”,”properties”:{“formattedCitation”:”(Napier 19)”,”plainCitation”:”(Napier 19)”,”noteIndex”:0},”citationItems”:{“id”:4,”uris”:”http://zotero.org/users/local/REiAA8n7/items/75L4JRQC”,”uri”:”http://zotero.org/users/local/REiAA8n7/items/75L4JRQC”,”itemData”:{“id”:4,”type”:”book”,”title”:”African American Literary Theory: A Reader”,”publisher”:”NYU Press”,”number-of-pages”:”745″,”source”:”Google Books”,”abstract”:””African American Literary Theory is an extraordinary gift to literary studies. It is necessary, authoritative and thorough. The timing of this book is superb!” —Karla F.

C. Holloway, Duke University”The influence of African American literature can be attributed, in no small part, to the literary theorists gathered in this collection. This is a superb anthology that represents a diversity of voices and points of view, and a much needed historical retrospective of how African American literary theory has developed.” —Marlon B. Ross, University of Michigan”A volume of great conceptual significance and originality in its focus on the development of African American literary theory.

” —Farah Jasmine Griffin, University of PennsylvaniaAfrican American Literary Theory: A Reader is the first volume to document the central texts and arguments in African American literary theory from the 1920s through the present. As the volume progresses chronologically from the rise of a black aesthetic criticism, through the Blacks Arts Movement, feminism, structuralism and poststructuralism, and the rise of queer theory, it focuses on the key arguments, themes, and debates in each period.By constantly bringing attention to the larger political and cultural issues at stake in the interpretation of literary texts, the critics gathered here have contributed mightily to the prominence and popularity of African American literature in this country and abroad. African American Literary Theory provides a unique historical analysis of how these thinkers have shaped literary theory, and literature at large, and will be a indispensable text for the study of African American intellectual culture.Contributors include Sandra Adell, Michael Awkward, Houston A. Baker, Jr., Hazel V.

Carby, Barbara Christian, W.E.B. DuBois, Ann duCille, Ralph Ellison, Henry Louis Gates, Jr.

, Addison Gayle Jr., Carolyn F. Gerald, Evelynn Hammonds, Phillip Brian Harper, Mae Gwendolyn Henderson, Stephen E. Henderson, Karla F.

C. Holloway, Langston Hughes, Zora Neale Hurston, LeRoi Jones (Amiri Baraka), Joyce A. Joyce, Alain Locke, Wahneema Lubiano, Deborah E. McDowell, Harryette Mullen, Larry Neal, Charles I.

Nero, Robert F. Reid-Pharr, Marlon B. Ross, George S. Schuyler, Barbara Smith, Valerie Smith, Hortense J.

Spillers, Sherley Anne Williams, and Richard Wright.”,”ISBN”:”978-0-8147-5809-0″,”note”:”Google-Books-ID: xgsUCgAAQBAJ”,”shortTitle”:”African American Literary Theory”,”language”:”en”,”author”:{“family”:”Napier”,”given”:”Winston”},”issued”:{“date-parts”:”2000″,7}},”locator”:”19″,”label”:”page”},”schema”:”https://github.com/citation-style-language/schema/raw/master/csl-citation.

json”} (Napier 19) for depicting a slavish devotion to Nordic standards. He successfully unveiled their snobbishness and their detachment from the Negro masses through his critical works. Along the same lines, Arthur Rundt portrayed African-American writers of 1920s not in terms of their difference from the American mainstream, but in their similarity to it ADDIN ZOTERO_ITEM CSL_CITATION {“citationID”:”2iMbOXvI”,”properties”:{“formattedCitation”:”(Stokes 64)”,”plainCitation”:”(Stokes 64)”,”noteIndex”:0},”citationItems”:{“id”:142,”uris”:”http://zotero.org/users/local/REiAA8n7/items/AQZH7DXV”,”uri”:”http://zotero.org/users/local/REiAA8n7/items/AQZH7DXV”,”itemData”:{“id”:142,”type”:”article-journal”,”title”:”Strange Fruits”,”container-title”:”Transition”,”page”:”56-79″,”issue”:”92″,”source”:”JSTOR”,”ISSN”:”0041-1191″,”author”:{“family”:”Stokes”,”given”:”Mason”},”issued”:{“date-parts”:”2002″}},”locator”:”64″,”label”:”page”},”schema”:”https://github.

com/citation-style-language/schema/raw/master/csl-citation.json”} (Stokes 64). His interpretation of African-American culture revolved around how they were passionately determined by a need to mimic and recreate white culture. For Rundt, the “sameness” (58) oscillated between demands for political and social equality, and a racially rooted drive towards cultural assimilation. He highlighted the message of the African-American art of the 1920s, as farther away from the importance of African-American belief in oneself, and towards the desire to repeat and to copy whiteness.

These conclusions, which Rundt discussed, add weight to the argument that Hughes’s ideology of the “New Negro Identity” revolted against the call for “sameness” (58) in art by the white artists. He himself turned within the group experience for artistic creation and attempted to identify with his African heritage. Accordingly, he desired a non-white quality for the black artist’s literary artistry, which would present him as being unique, and therefore different from other artists.

Thus, we see an intimate relationship between African primitive art and the production of American Negro art; it is the skillful reworking of the primitive art forms. It can further be insisted that the greatness of an artist lies in denouncing the standardization of art.One of the inescapable concerns for an artist is the subject matter. For Langston Hughes, this became a question of which people should provide the experiences for his creative formations.

Hughes, like others active in the Harlem Renaissance, had a strong sense of racial pride. As a result, he provided the “New Negro Material” ADDIN ZOTERO_ITEM CSL_CITATION {“citationID”:”wxye1o9f”,”properties”:{“formattedCitation”:”(Ponce 1)”,”plainCitation”:”(Ponce 1)”,”noteIndex”:0},”citationItems”:{“id”:72,”uris”:”http://zotero.org/users/local/REiAA8n7/items/825AH4TQ”,”uri”:”http://zotero.org/users/local/REiAA8n7/items/825AH4TQ”,”itemData”:{“id”:72,”type”:”webpage”,”title”:”Langston Hughes’s queer blues”,”container-title”:”Modern Language Quarterly”,”URL”:”http://link.galegroup.com/apps/doc/A139436317/AONE?sid=googlescholar”,”language”:”English”,”author”:{“family”:”Ponce”,”given”:”Martin Joseph”},”issued”:{“date-parts”:”2005″,12,1},”accessed”:{“date-parts”:”2018″,3,10}},”locator”:”1″,”label”:”page”},”schema”:”https://github.com/citation-style-language/schema/raw/master/csl-citation.

json”} (Ponce 1); the representation of low-class Negroes, as the subject matter for his poetry that rang the yelps of the colored critics. It is important to consider that Hughes found in the ordinary, simple black people the essence of blackness, and initiated the expressive portrayal of the black identity due to the fact that he believed that they still held their own individuality in the face of American standardization. Professor J. Martin Favor maintained that the artist’s indigenous culture provided the richer mass of material for his art; he had only to become conscious of it and manifest it through his creative expression ADDIN ZOTERO_ITEM CSL_CITATION {“citationID”:”QREfcPdN”,”properties”:{“formattedCitation”:”(Gates (Jr.) and Jarrett 69)”,”plainCitation”:”(Gates (Jr.) and Jarrett 69)”,”noteIndex”:0},”citationItems”:{“id”:13,”uris”:”http://zotero.org/users/local/REiAA8n7/items/9DAL4RSU”,”uri”:”http://zotero.

org/users/local/REiAA8n7/items/9DAL4RSU”,”itemData”:{“id”:13,”type”:”book”,”title”:”The New Negro: Readings on Race, Representation, and African American Culture, 1892-1938″,”publisher”:”Princeton University Press”,”number-of-pages”:”612″,”source”:”Google Books”,”abstract”:”When African American intellectuals announced the birth of the “New Negro” around the turn of the twentieth century, they were attempting through a bold act of renaming to change the way blacks were depicted and perceived in America. By challenging stereotypes of the Old Negro, and declaring that the New Negro was capable of high achievement, black writers tried to revolutionize how whites viewed blacks–and how blacks viewed themselves. Nothing less than a strategy to re-create the public face of “the race,” the New Negro became a dominant figure of racial uplift between Reconstruction and World War II, as well as a central idea of the Harlem, or New Negro, Renaissance. Edited by Henry Louis Gates, Jr., and Gene Andrew Jarrett, The New Negro collects more than one hundred canonical and lesser-known essays published between 1892 and 1938 that examine the issues of race and representation in African American culture. These readings–by writers including W.E.

B. Du Bois, Paul Laurence Dunbar, Alain Locke, Carl Van Vechten, Zora Neale Hurston, and Richard Wright–discuss the trope of the New Negro, and the milieu in which this figure existed, from almost every conceivable angle. Political essays are joined by essays on African American fiction, poetry, drama, music, painting, and sculpture.

More than fascinating historical documents, these essays remain essential to the way African American identity and history are still understood today.”,”ISBN”:”978-0-691-12652-4″,”note”:”Google-Books-ID: K6TFfEvDJREC”,”shortTitle”:”The New Negro”,”language”:”en”,”author”:{“family”:”Gates (Jr.)”,”given”:”Henry Louis”},{“family”:”Jarrett”,”given”:”Gene Andrew”},”issued”:{“date-parts”:”2007″}},”locator”:”69″,”label”:”page”},”schema”:”https://github.com/citation-style-language/schema/raw/master/csl-citation.json”} (Gates (Jr.) and Jarrett 69). Langston Hughes followed his own advice, using his personal experience for the subject matter of much of his poetry.

For his work, he intended to overcome the inferiority complex that ravaged the values and attitudes of the black middle class. The general principle which the Negro material illustrates is that the racial temperament selects out of the masses of cultural materials, to which it had access, such technical, mechanical and intellectual devices as to meet its needs at a particular period of its existence ADDIN ZOTERO_ITEM CSL_CITATION {“citationID”:”5xSLeGtq”,”properties”:{“formattedCitation”:”(Patterson 5)”,”plainCitation”:”(Patterson 5)”,”noteIndex”:0},”citationItems”:{“id”:70,”uris”:”http://zotero.org/users/local/REiAA8n7/items/A6HUYQUF”,”uri”:”http://zotero.org/users/local/REiAA8n7/items/A6HUYQUF”,”itemData”:{“id”:70,”type”:”article-journal”,”title”:”Jazz, Realism, and the Modernist Lyric: The Poetry of Langston Hughes”,”container-title”:”MLQ: Modern Language Quarterly”,”page”:”651-682″,”volume”:”61″,”issue”:”4″,”source”:”Project MUSE”,”ISSN”:”1527-1943″,”shortTitle”:”Jazz, Realism, and the Modernist Lyric”,”language”:”en”,”author”:{“family”:”Patterson”,”given”:”Anita Haya”},”issued”:{“date-parts”:”2000″,12,1}},”locator”:”5″,”label”:”page”},”schema”:”https://github.com/citation-style-language/schema/raw/master/csl-citation.json”} (Patterson 652).

It clothes and enriches with such new customs, habits, and cultural forms as it is able, or allowed to utilize. Hughes specifically put into these relatively external things such concrete meanings, as its changing experience and its unchanging racial individual demanded. He chiefly valued poetry based on the experiences of the common man: “The best poetry is not written in books, but comes from the lives of men and women in the streets…you have to learn to be yourself…natural and undeceived as to who you are, calmly and surely you” (658). It can be corroborated that a great poet always pursues his own cultural materials to foster much precious work of art. Likewise, the culture and tradition to which a poet belong, provides all the necessary aesthetic material that can contribute to a poet’s greatness.

Furthermore, the foundation for poetic language and techniques was Hughes’s rich legacy of black oral and musical folk art, shipped in chains from Mother Africa to flourish in the South despite the considerable fearful cultural suppression. Hughes retorted to the charge that his poems were indelicate with “so is life” ADDIN ZOTERO_ITEM CSL_CITATION {“citationID”:”30IbWuZo”,”properties”:{“formattedCitation”:”(Hughes 55)”,”plainCitation”:”(Hughes 55)”,”noteIndex”:0},”citationItems”:{“id”:6,”uris”:”http://zotero.org/users/local/REiAA8n7/items/T24VQ9T6″,”uri”:”http://zotero.org/users/local/REiAA8n7/items/T24VQ9T6″,”itemData”:{“id”:6,”type”:”book”,”title”:”The Collected Works of Langston Hughes: Essays on art, race, politics, and world affairs”,”publisher”:”University of Missouri Press”,”number-of-pages”:”660″,”source”:”Google Books”,”abstract”:”The sixteen volumes are published with the goal that Hughes pursued throughout his lifetime: making his books available to the people. Each volume will include a biographical and literary chronology by Arnold Rampersad, as well as an introduction by a Hughes scholar lume introductions will provide contextual and historical information on the particular work.”,”ISBN”:”978-0-8262-1394-5″,”note”:”Google-Books-ID: 9JPL7qNp20wC”,”shortTitle”:”The Collected Works of Langston Hughes”,”language”:”en”,”author”:{“family”:”Hughes”,”given”:”Langston”},”issued”:{“date-parts”:”2001″}},”locator”:”55″,”label”:”page”},”schema”:”https://github.com/citation-style-language/schema/raw/master/csl-citation.

json”} (55). To the charge that he dealt with “low life” ADDIN ZOTERO_ITEM CSL_CITATION {“citationID”:”x4gWaIoP”,”properties”:{“formattedCitation”:”(55)”,”plainCitation”:”(55)”,”noteIndex”:0},”citationItems”:{“id”:6,”uris”:”http://zotero.org/users/local/REiAA8n7/items/T24VQ9T6″,”uri”:”http://zotero.org/users/local/REiAA8n7/items/T24VQ9T6″,”itemData”:{“id”:6,”type”:”book”,”title”:”The Collected Works of Langston Hughes: Essays on art, race, politics, and world affairs”,”publisher”:”University of Missouri Press”,”number-of-pages”:”660″,”source”:”Google Books”,”abstract”:”The sixteen volumes are published with the goal that Hughes pursued throughout his lifetime: making his books available to the people.

Each volume will include a biographical and literary chronology by Arnold Rampersad, as well as an introduction by a Hughes scholar lume introductions will provide contextual and historical information on the particular work.”,”ISBN”:”978-0-8262-1394-5″,”note”:”Google-Books-ID: 9JPL7qNp20wC”,”shortTitle”:”The Collected Works of Langston Hughes”,”language”:”en”,”author”:{“family”:”Hughes”,”given”:”Langston”},”issued”:{“date-parts”:”2001″}},”locator”:”55″,”label”:”page”,”suppress-author”:true},”schema”:”https://github.com/citation-style-language/schema/raw/master/csl-citation.

json”} (55), he asked whether “life among the better classes was any cleaner or any more worthy of a poet’s consideration?” ADDIN ZOTERO_ITEM CSL_CITATION {“citationID”:”XnKX75XL”,”properties”:{“formattedCitation”:”(Hughes 56)”,”plainCitation”:”(Hughes 56)”,”noteIndex”:0},”citationItems”:{“id”:6,”uris”:”http://zotero.org/users/local/REiAA8n7/items/T24VQ9T6″,”uri”:”http://zotero.org/users/local/REiAA8n7/items/T24VQ9T6″,”itemData”:{“id”:6,”type”:”book”,”title”:”The Collected Works of Langston Hughes: Essays on art, race, politics, and world affairs”,”publisher”:”University of Missouri Press”,”number-of-pages”:”660″,”source”:”Google Books”,”abstract”:”The sixteen volumes are published with the goal that Hughes pursued throughout his lifetime: making his books available to the people. Each volume will include a biographical and literary chronology by Arnold Rampersad, as well as an introduction by a Hughes scholar lume introductions will provide contextual and historical information on the particular work.”,”ISBN”:”978-0-8262-1394-5″,”note”:”Google-Books-ID: 9JPL7qNp20wC”,”shortTitle”:”The Collected Works of Langston Hughes”,”language”:”en”,”author”:{“family”:”Hughes”,”given”:”Langston”},”issued”:{“date-parts”:”2001″}},”locator”:”56″,”label”:”page”},”schema”:”https://github.com/citation-style-language/schema/raw/master/csl-citation.json”} (56).

What aggravated numerous critics was not merely the class of people Hughes wrote about but also the approach he took towards that class, and the identity set up between himself and that class.Of course, many would disagree in the light of the fact that both Hughes’s championing of the characteristics of lower-class black life and his extreme disapproval of the black middle classes, seem to be excessively oversimplified and unreflective. Also, the characterization of lower-class black life as playful, direct, unmediated, and somehow more natural than the world of work characteristic of the middle-class, is excessively romantic and might be seen as a simple inversion of the traditional racist stereotype that figures African Americans psychologically as children; it can still be argued that a poet always look up to his immediate experiences with his surrounding to get inspiration. To be true to his art, he resorts to personal experiences rather than importing foreign experiences of some other world into his own creative world. These personal experiences become “authentic” when they pass through his sieve of subjectivity and come out as creative expressions.

In addition, the question of “soul” was the core of Hughes’s concern for the subject matter. He stated:”I do not write in the conventional forms of Keats, Poe, Dunbar or McKay…I write because I want to say what I have to say. And I choose the form which seems to be best to express my thoughts.

I fail to see why I should be expected to copy someone else’s modes of expression when it amuses me to attempt to create forms of my own…I am not interested in doing tricks with rhymes. I am interested in reproducing the human soul, if I can.” ADDIN ZOTERO_ITEM CSL_CITATION {“citationID”:”AVMiVzCn”,”properties”:{“formattedCitation”:”(25)”,”plainCitation”:”(25)”,”noteIndex”:0},”citationItems”:{“id”:6,”uris”:”http://zotero.org/users/local/REiAA8n7/items/T24VQ9T6″,”uri”:”http://zotero.org/users/local/REiAA8n7/items/T24VQ9T6″,”itemData”:{“id”:6,”type”:”book”,”title”:”The Collected Works of Langston Hughes: Essays on art, race, politics, and world affairs”,”publisher”:”University of Missouri Press”,”number-of-pages”:”660″,”source”:”Google Books”,”abstract”:”The sixteen volumes are published with the goal that Hughes pursued throughout his lifetime: making his books available to the people.

Each volume will include a biographical and literary chronology by Arnold Rampersad, as well as an introduction by a Hughes scholar lume introductions will provide contextual and historical information on the particular work.”,”ISBN”:”978-0-8262-1394-5″,”note”:”Google-Books-ID: 9JPL7qNp20wC”,”shortTitle”:”The Collected Works of Langston Hughes”,”language”:”en”,”author”:{“family”:”Hughes”,”given”:”Langston”},”issued”:{“date-parts”:”2001″}},”locator”:”25″,”label”:”page”,”suppress-author”:true},”schema”:”https://github.com/citation-style-language/schema/raw/master/csl-citation.

json”} (25)Hughes understood Negro soul to be “not a subject, but a complex of feelings” ADDIN ZOTERO_ITEM CSL_CITATION {“citationID”:”lFgqi61c”,”properties”:{“formattedCitation”:”(Napier 33)”,”plainCitation”:”(Napier 33)”,”noteIndex”:0},”citationItems”:{“id”:4,”uris”:”http://zotero.org/users/local/REiAA8n7/items/75L4JRQC”,”uri”:”http://zotero.org/users/local/REiAA8n7/items/75L4JRQC”,”itemData”:{“id”:4,”type”:”book”,”title”:”African American Literary Theory: A Reader”,”publisher”:”NYU Press”,”number-of-pages”:”745″,”source”:”Google Books”,”abstract”:””African American Literary Theory is an extraordinary gift to literary studies.

It is necessary, authoritative and thorough. The timing of this book is superb!” —Karla F.C. Holloway, Duke University”The influence of African American literature can be attributed, in no small part, to the literary theorists gathered in this collection. This is a superb anthology that represents a diversity of voices and points of view, and a much needed historical retrospective of how African American literary theory has developed.” —Marlon B.

Ross, University of Michigan”A volume of great conceptual significance and originality in its focus on the development of African American literary theory.” —Farah Jasmine Griffin, University of PennsylvaniaAfrican American Literary Theory: A Reader is the first volume to document the central texts and arguments in African American literary theory from the 1920s through the present. As the volume progresses chronologically from the rise of a black aesthetic criticism, through the Blacks Arts Movement, feminism, structuralism and poststructuralism, and the rise of queer theory, it focuses on the key arguments, themes, and debates in each period.By constantly bringing attention to the larger political and cultural issues at stake in the interpretation of literary texts, the critics gathered here have contributed mightily to the prominence and popularity of African American literature in this country and abroad. African American Literary Theory provides a unique historical analysis of how these thinkers have shaped literary theory, and literature at large, and will be a indispensable text for the study of African American intellectual culture.Contributors include Sandra Adell, Michael Awkward, Houston A.

Baker, Jr., Hazel V. Carby, Barbara Christian, W.E.

B. DuBois, Ann duCille, Ralph Ellison, Henry Louis Gates, Jr., Addison Gayle Jr., Carolyn F. Gerald, Evelynn Hammonds, Phillip Brian Harper, Mae Gwendolyn Henderson, Stephen E. Henderson, Karla F.

C. Holloway, Langston Hughes, Zora Neale Hurston, LeRoi Jones (Amiri Baraka), Joyce A. Joyce, Alain Locke, Wahneema Lubiano, Deborah E. McDowell, Harryette Mullen, Larry Neal, Charles I.

Nero, Robert F. Reid-Pharr, Marlon B. Ross, George S. Schuyler, Barbara Smith, Valerie Smith, Hortense J. Spillers, Sherley Anne Williams, and Richard Wright.”,”ISBN”:”978-0-8147-5809-0″,”note”:”Google-Books-ID: xgsUCgAAQBAJ”,”shortTitle”:”African American Literary Theory”,”language”:”en”,”author”:{“family”:”Napier”,”given”:”Winston”},”issued”:{“date-parts”:”2000″,7}},”locator”:”33″,”label”:”page”},”schema”:”https://github.

com/citation-style-language/schema/raw/master/csl-citation.json”} (Napier 33), said critic and scholar James Emanuel. He was literally the poet of “the souls of Black folks” ADDIN ZOTERO_ITEM CSL_CITATION {“citationID”:”OMpwNyr7″,”properties”:{“formattedCitation”:”(32)”,”plainCitation”:”(32)”,”noteIndex”:0},”citationItems”:{“id”:4,”uris”:”http://zotero.

org/users/local/REiAA8n7/items/75L4JRQC”,”uri”:”http://zotero.org/users/local/REiAA8n7/items/75L4JRQC”,”itemData”:{“id”:4,”type”:”book”,”title”:”African American Literary Theory: A Reader”,”publisher”:”NYU Press”,”number-of-pages”:”745″,”source”:”Google Books”,”abstract”:””African American Literary Theory is an extraordinary gift to literary studies. It is necessary, authoritative and thorough. The timing of this book is superb!” —Karla F.C. Holloway, Duke University”The influence of African American literature can be attributed, in no small part, to the literary theorists gathered in this collection. This is a superb anthology that represents a diversity of voices and points of view, and a much needed historical retrospective of how African American literary theory has developed.

” —Marlon B. Ross, University of Michigan”A volume of great conceptual significance and originality in its focus on the development of African American literary theory.” —Farah Jasmine Griffin, University of PennsylvaniaAfrican American Literary Theory: A Reader is the first volume to document the central texts and arguments in African American literary theory from the 1920s through the present. As the volume progresses chronologically from the rise of a black aesthetic criticism, through the Blacks Arts Movement, feminism, structuralism and poststructuralism, and the rise of queer theory, it focuses on the key arguments, themes, and debates in each period.

By constantly bringing attention to the larger political and cultural issues at stake in the interpretation of literary texts, the critics gathered here have contributed mightily to the prominence and popularity of African American literature in this country and abroad. African American Literary Theory provides a unique historical analysis of how these thinkers have shaped literary theory, and literature at large, and will be a indispensable text for the study of African American intellectual culture.Contributors include Sandra Adell, Michael Awkward, Houston A. Baker, Jr., Hazel V. Carby, Barbara Christian, W.

E.B. DuBois, Ann duCille, Ralph Ellison, Henry Louis Gates, Jr.

, Addison Gayle Jr., Carolyn F. Gerald, Evelynn Hammonds, Phillip Brian Harper, Mae Gwendolyn Henderson, Stephen E.

Henderson, Karla F.C. Holloway, Langston Hughes, Zora Neale Hurston, LeRoi Jones (Amiri Baraka), Joyce A.

Joyce, Alain Locke, Wahneema Lubiano, Deborah E. McDowell, Harryette Mullen, Larry Neal, Charles I. Nero, Robert F.

Reid-Pharr, Marlon B. Ross, George S. Schuyler, Barbara Smith, Valerie Smith, Hortense J. Spillers, Sherley Anne Williams, and Richard Wright.”,”ISBN”:”978-0-8147-5809-0″,”note”:”Google-Books-ID: xgsUCgAAQBAJ”,”shortTitle”:”African American Literary Theory”,”language”:”en”,”author”:{“family”:”Napier”,”given”:”Winston”},”issued”:{“date-parts”:”2000″,7}},”locator”:”32″,”label”:”page”,”suppress-author”:true},”schema”:”https://github.

com/citation-style-language/schema/raw/master/csl-citation.json”} (32); in their lives he observed and communicated the wealth of their poverty, a long and rich folk tradition, and the freedom of their oppression, self-affirmation while facing the contradictions of experience. He depicted the relationships of an individual’s body and soul and the universe in a new way; he attempted to emancipate poetry from contemporary conventions. To put it succinctly, he had adequate universality to be viewed as one of the greatest American poets.When speaking of the responsibilities of an artist, Hughes evaded the traditional truisrn, to delight and instruct, for he believed that the function and capacity of the genuine artist was to portary “his personal facet of the wheel of truth, a wheel with many spokes” ADDIN ZOTERO_ITEM CSL_CITATION {“citationID”:”G0oKf9WT”,”properties”:{“formattedCitation”:”(44)”,”plainCitation”:”(44)”,”noteIndex”:0},”citationItems”:{“id”:6,”uris”:”http://zotero.org/users/local/REiAA8n7/items/T24VQ9T6″,”uri”:”http://zotero.org/users/local/REiAA8n7/items/T24VQ9T6″,”itemData”:{“id”:6,”type”:”book”,”title”:”The Collected Works of Langston Hughes: Essays on art, race, politics, and world affairs”,”publisher”:”University of Missouri Press”,”number-of-pages”:”660″,”source”:”Google Books”,”abstract”:”The sixteen volumes are published with the goal that Hughes pursued throughout his lifetime: making his books available to the people.

Each volume will include a biographical and literary chronology by Arnold Rampersad, as well as an introduction by a Hughes scholar lume introductions will provide contextual and historical information on the particular work.”,”ISBN”:”978-0-8262-1394-5″,”note”:”Google-Books-ID: 9JPL7qNp20wC”,”shortTitle”:”The Collected Works of Langston Hughes”,”language”:”en”,”author”:{“family”:”Hughes”,”given”:”Langston”},”issued”:{“date-parts”:”2001″}},”locator”:”44″,”label”:”page”,”suppress-author”:true},”schema”:”https://github.com/citation-style-language/schema/raw/master/csl-citation.json”} (44).

He believed that the trend in modern poetry was towards obscurity and subjectivity. Although he was a ‘socially conscious’ poet, using his poetry as a means of provoking thought and action on social issues; he believed that the beautiful could be as valuable as the useful. In other words, the combination was desirable. He commented: “Each of us has a social obligation to something larger than ourselves” ADDIN ZOTERO_ITEM CSL_CITATION {“citationID”:”dLWEZaGV”,”properties”:{“formattedCitation”:”(62)”,”plainCitation”:”(62)”,”noteIndex”:0},”citationItems”:{“id”:6,”uris”:”http://zotero.org/users/local/REiAA8n7/items/T24VQ9T6″,”uri”:”http://zotero.org/users/local/REiAA8n7/items/T24VQ9T6″,”itemData”:{“id”:6,”type”:”book”,”title”:”The Collected Works of Langston Hughes: Essays on art, race, politics, and world affairs”,”publisher”:”University of Missouri Press”,”number-of-pages”:”660″,”source”:”Google Books”,”abstract”:”The sixteen volumes are published with the goal that Hughes pursued throughout his lifetime: making his books available to the people. Each volume will include a biographical and literary chronology by Arnold Rampersad, as well as an introduction by a Hughes scholar lume introductions will provide contextual and historical information on the particular work.

“,”ISBN”:”978-0-8262-1394-5″,”note”:”Google-Books-ID: 9JPL7qNp20wC”,”shortTitle”:”The Collected Works of Langston Hughes”,”language”:”en”,”author”:{“family”:”Hughes”,”given”:”Langston”},”issued”:{“date-parts”:”2001″}},”locator”:”62″,”label”:”page”,”suppress-author”:true},”schema”:”https://github.com/citation-style-language/schema/raw/master/csl-citation.json”} (62).

Consequently, the truth incorporated the objective world and man’s subjective awareness of that world, but the objective world was essential from which rose the subjective awareness. For Hughes, personal expression could not be separated from racial expression, as he made evident in his criticism of a young unnamed poet: “…no great poet has ever been afraid of being himself…with his desire to run away spiritually from his race” ADDIN ZOTERO_ITEM CSL_CITATION {“citationID”:”4qN3H4nT”,”properties”:{“formattedCitation”:”(7)”,”plainCitation”:”(7)”,”noteIndex”:0},”citationItems”:{“id”:6,”uris”:”http://zotero.org/users/local/REiAA8n7/items/T24VQ9T6″,”uri”:”http://zotero.

org/users/local/REiAA8n7/items/T24VQ9T6″,”itemData”:{“id”:6,”type”:”book”,”title”:”The Collected Works of Langston Hughes: Essays on art, race, politics, and world affairs”,”publisher”:”University of Missouri Press”,”number-of-pages”:”660″,”source”:”Google Books”,”abstract”:”The sixteen volumes are published with the goal that Hughes pursued throughout his lifetime: making his books available to the people. Each volume will include a biographical and literary chronology by Arnold Rampersad, as well as an introduction by a Hughes scholar lume introductions will provide contextual and historical information on the particular work.”,”ISBN”:”978-0-8262-1394-5″,”note”:”Google-Books-ID: 9JPL7qNp20wC”,”shortTitle”:”The Collected Works of Langston Hughes”,”language”:”en”,”author”:{“family”:”Hughes”,”given”:”Langston”},”issued”:{“date-parts”:”2001″}},”locator”:”7″,”label”:”page”,”suppress-author”:true},”schema”:”https://github.com/citation-style-language/schema/raw/master/csl-citation.

json”} (7).Since Hughes believed that white America’s cultural and aesthetic systems of values and attitudes were inflexibly opposed to the expression of black racial and personal identity; there was “a very high mountain indeed for the would-be racial artist to climb in order to discover himself and his people” ADDIN ZOTERO_ITEM CSL_CITATION {“citationID”:”MGzln5gf”,”properties”:{“formattedCitation”:”(73)”,”plainCitation”:”(73)”,”noteIndex”:0},”citationItems”:{“id”:6,”uris”:”http://zotero.org/users/local/REiAA8n7/items/T24VQ9T6″,”uri”:”http://zotero.org/users/local/REiAA8n7/items/T24VQ9T6″,”itemData”:{“id”:6,”type”:”book”,”title”:”The Collected Works of Langston Hughes: Essays on art, race, politics, and world affairs”,”publisher”:”University of Missouri Press”,”number-of-pages”:”660″,”source”:”Google Books”,”abstract”:”The sixteen volumes are published with the goal that Hughes pursued throughout his lifetime: making his books available to the people.

Each volume will include a biographical and literary chronology by Arnold Rampersad, as well as an introduction by a Hughes scholar lume introductions will provide contextual and historical information on the particular work.”,”ISBN”:”978-0-8262-1394-5″,”note”:”Google-Books-ID: 9JPL7qNp20wC”,”shortTitle”:”The Collected Works of Langston Hughes”,”language”:”en”,”author”:{“family”:”Hughes”,”given”:”Langston”},”issued”:{“date-parts”:”2001″}},”locator”:”73″,”label”:”page”,”suppress-author”:true},”schema”:”https://github.com/citation-style-language/schema/raw/master/csl-citation.

json”} (73). Incipiently, Hughes centered his composition for a black urban audience; later, he changed his concentration to middle-class blacks, and then to the men and women of Harlem as “black masses” (2). He ended up addressing his works to both whites and blacks of all classes.

His poems situate themselves in connection to literary, vernacular, and musical traditions in African-American culture. Therefore, he made literary note of the musical ability of his race, and fused together high and low art from his own folk tradition to create his own distinct form of art, Jazz poetry. Jazz to him was one of the inherent expressions of Negro life in America. To put it bluntly, it marked the first stage in a worldwide literary revolt of non-whites against whites ADDIN ZOTERO_ITEM CSL_CITATION {“citationID”:”SnErLa7i”,”properties”:{“formattedCitation”:”(Krasner 33)”,”plainCitation”:”(Krasner 33)”,”noteIndex”:0},”citationItems”:{“id”:52,”uris”:”http://zotero.

org/users/local/REiAA8n7/items/PE6Q9MNR”,”uri”:”http://zotero.org/users/local/REiAA8n7/items/PE6Q9MNR”,”itemData”:{“id”:52,”type”:”chapter”,”title”:”Men in Black and White: Race and Masculinity in the Heavyweight Title Fight of 1910″,”container-title”:”A Beautiful Pageant”,”publisher”:”Palgrave Macmillan, New York”,”page”:”17-54″,”source”:”link.springer.com”,”abstract”:”On Independence Day, 1910, Jack Johnson fought “white hope” Jim Jeffries for the heavyweight title. The title fight was a major event, attracting twenty thousand spectators and a press corps of six hundred. Thousands waited outside press buildings in cities across the country to hear round-by-round reports of the fight from the wire service.

3 More was at stake than the heavyweight title. Johnson’s victory would inflame white sentiment, and provoked the first nationwide race riot in United States history. According to the New York Times ,riots “occurred in all parts of the country”; it added that “scores of negroes were injured seriously, and eight negroes were killed outright.” The Chicago Tribune reported: There were battles in the streets of practically every large city in the country.

Negroes formed the greater number of those who were victims of the outbreaks. They were set upon by whites and killed or wounded because of cheers for Johnson’s victory.4″,”URL”:”https://link.

springer.com/chapter/10.1007/978-1-137-06625-1_2″,”ISBN”:”978-1-4039-6541-7″,”note”:”DOI: 10.

1007/978-1-137-06625-1_2″,”shortTitle”:”Men in Black and White”,”language”:”en”,”author”:{“family”:”Krasner”,”given”:”David”},”issued”:{“date-parts”:”2002″},”accessed”:{“date-parts”:”2018″,3,10}},”locator”:”33″,”label”:”page”},”schema”:”https://github.com/citation-style-language/schema/raw/master/csl-citation.json”} (Krasner 33). Hughes’s more distinct contribution to poetics lies in his revolutionary form and manner.

By making sure the use of vernacular in his poetry, Hughes bolstered his cultural identity embedded in his verses. He commented: “Every artist is bestowed with a special sense of beauty, particularly for sound and color, which characterizes his race” (35). Hence, his poetry emphasized the use of “cultural material” to create the distinct art form. The Black folk music contained much primitive poetry and the folklore provided ample support to forge his “New Negro Identity” (Ponce 3). It suggests that these common people are capable to provide for the world its truly great poet; the one who is not afraid of “being himself.” In the same way, the utilization of local color would break the grasp of oppressive images unfamiliar to the culture of the artist.

Similarly, the characterizing and identifying quality of poetry for Langston Hughes was rhythm: “Poetry is rhythm…and, through rhythm…has its roots deep in the nature of the universe; the rhythms of the stars, the rhythm of the earth moving around the sun, of day, of night, of the seasons, of the sowing and the harvest, of fecundity and birth. The rhythms of poetry give continuity and pattern to words, to thoughts, strengthening them, adding the qualities of permanence, and relating the written word to the vast rhythms of life.” ADDIN ZOTERO_ITEM CSL_CITATION {“citationID”:”Kzt8hGZB”,”properties”:{“formattedCitation”:”(Hughes 129)”,”plainCitation”:”(Hughes 129)”,”noteIndex”:0},”citationItems”:{“id”:6,”uris”:”http://zotero.org/users/local/REiAA8n7/items/T24VQ9T6″,”uri”:”http://zotero.org/users/local/REiAA8n7/items/T24VQ9T6″,”itemData”:{“id”:6,”type”:”book”,”title”:”The Collected Works of Langston Hughes: Essays on art, race, politics, and world affairs”,”publisher”:”University of Missouri Press”,”number-of-pages”:”660″,”source”:”Google Books”,”abstract”:”The sixteen volumes are published with the goal that Hughes pursued throughout his lifetime: making his books available to the people.

Each volume will include a biographical and literary chronology by Arnold Rampersad, as well as an introduction by a Hughes scholar lume introductions will provide contextual and historical information on the particular work.”,”ISBN”:”978-0-8262-1394-5″,”note”:”Google-Books-ID: 9JPL7qNp20wC”,”shortTitle”:”The Collected Works of Langston Hughes”,”language”:”en”,”author”:{“family”:”Hughes”,”given”:”Langston”},”issued”:{“date-parts”:”2001″}},”locator”:”129″,”label”:”page”},”schema”:”https://github.com/citation-style-language/schema/raw/master/csl-citation.

json”} (129)Moreover, of the words that rhythm organizes, he said: “Words are the paper and string to package experience, to wrap up from the inside out the poet’s concentric waves of contact with the living world. Each poet makes use of words in his own highly individualized wrappings for life’s segments he wishes to present.” (136)Thus, it can be claimed that revealed at the bosom of the matter is the self of the creator, the poet. Rhythm organizes things and words, words arrange the experiences of the living world, and rhythmically arranged verbal experiences uncover the creating self. The poet himself in his manner, his vision, his self-criticism and self-promotion, and especially through his verse, can cultivate the image of himself.

Hughes was able to uncompromisingly express his own identity in poetic form. Consequently, an artist can develop and unveil himself through his art. He is free to embrace his cultural identity to render his work a unique and distinct hue of its own. Along these lines, he can avoid all sorts of constraints of uniformity and sameness in art, and can turn down the standardization of art.In addition to this, Hughes invigorated language; he could be strong yet sentimental, and he possessed scope and inventiveness. Moreover, he directed his conscious thrust towards society: “The best ways of word-weaving, of course, are those that combine music, meaning and clarity in a pattern of social force. One’s own creative talents must supply the music of the words, one’s background and experience, the meaning, and one’s ability to study and understand, the clarity…to understand being the chief of these qualities toward clarity.

” (85)This could be taken as a “manifesto” to be followed by a would-be artist. The relationship between the rhythms of the poem and the rhythms of life is foremost to his verses. Langston Hughes was explicit about whose rhythm and whose emotions should make up poetry: “What makes any culture interesting is the individuality of the regional or tribal background. It is the duty of the artist, writer, musician or sculptor, to strive to use much local color in his works” (115). Hughes’s many poems in the Blues form are examples of his use of local color.

Consequently, it can be deduced that the artist is responsible to not merely the aesthetic heritage and psychological contour of his people but also their historical development and current condition. Hughes stated: “To these themes the Negro artist can give his racial individuality, his heritage of rhythm and warmth, and his incongruous humor that so often as in the Blues, becomes ironic laughter mixed with tears” (36). Thus, it is conceivable that he emphasized a vital, symbiotic relationship between the poet and his society.Furthermore, Hughes believed that he did not write in “highly conventional” (65) form; he was against the idea of poetry written about “ivory towers, to your head in the clouds, feet floating off the earth” (66).

Milton Meltzer made a cursory analysis of what Hughes meant by “conventional”. He commented: “The conventional poet’s beauty and lyricism were not for him. They were really related to another world; Hughes’s argument against ivory tower worlds speaks chiefly against the attitude of retreat characterized by a preoccupation with lofty, remote, or intellectual thoughts and language.” ADDIN ZOTERO_ITEM CSL_CITATION {“citationID”:”o1cfjkMN”,”properties”:{“formattedCitation”:”(Peck and Howard 323)”,”plainCitation”:”(Peck and Howard 323)”,”noteIndex”:0},”citationItems”:{“id”:36,”uris”:”http://zotero.org/users/local/REiAA8n7/items/ZXLSHKZM”,”uri”:”http://zotero.

org/users/local/REiAA8n7/items/ZXLSHKZM”,”itemData”:{“id”:36,”type”:”book”,”title”:”Identities and issues in literature”,”publisher”:”Salem Press”,”publisher-place”:”Pasadena, Calif”,”number-of-pages”:”3″,”source”:”Library of Congress ISBN”,”event-place”:”Pasadena, Calif”,”ISBN”:”978-0-89356-920-4″,”call-number”:”PS153.M56 I34 1997″,”editor”:{“family”:”Peck”,”given”:”David R.”},{“family”:”Howard”,”given”:”Eric”},”issued”:{“date-parts”:”1997″}},”locator”:”323″,”label”:”page”},”schema”:”https://github.com/citation-style-language/schema/raw/master/csl-citation.json”} (Peck and Howard 323) It can be insisted that Hughes intended to heighten human awareness and expand sensibility with verse that affirmed life, which dissented social injustices and that which exposed the thematic contradictions and inconsistencies within the experiences of his audience; he held no romantic and sentimental illusions concerning the breadth of that audience. In fact, he explained himself: “Poetry can both delight and disturb. It can interest folks.

It can upset folks. Poetry can convey both pleasure and pain. And poetry can make people think. If poetry makes people think, it might make them think constructive thoughts, even thoughts about how to change themselves, their town and their state for the better.

Some poems, like many of the great verses in the Bible, can make people think about changing all mankind, even the whole world. Poems, like prayers, possess power.” (86)It can be observed that he felt that poetry could be used to stimulate readers to initiate a psychological inquiry. Poetry read for its sheer sensuous excellence could be used to acquaint people with the musical and aesthetic value of words utilized carefully and precisely. Moreover, Hughes believed that creativity that would reach his people must be grounded in the techniques of concreteness and not those of vagueness, abstractions, or generalizations: “An artist must be true to his own integrity. He may hope that the public would like what he has written but if they don’t then he has the satisfaction of having said what he wanted to say” (91).

Hughes unflinchingly believed that the poet was the voice of the people. His own acute sensitivity and affectability gave him a gift for hearing even the silence of his people; he was exceptionally receptive to the silent moments of experience. Hence, the idea of self-integrity is seminal to Hughes’s idea of a great poet. Modern readers can still share his preoccupation with the struggle of preserving the individual’s integrity in the midst of broader social pressures and demands for the standardization of art.To put it another way, Hughes suggested that a great poet must be an optimist; he must strive to liberate his audience from not only racial constraints, but artistic constraints as well. Even disturbing and dangerous words have a correct function to perform in his poetry: “Words have been used too much to make people doubt and fear. Words should be used to make people believe and do.

Writers who have the power to use words in terms of belief and action are responsible to their power not to make people believe in the wrong things. And the wrong things are (surely everyone will agree) death instead of life, suffering instead of joy, oppression instead of freedom, whether it be freedom of the body or of the mind.” (96)Ironically, the very simplicity that made his works comprehensible to and popular with such a large number of different audiences across the world has also created the notion among too-many scholars that Hughes’s writing lacks scholarly intricacy. To most of his contemporaries it appeared to be completely “unpoetic” ADDIN ZOTERO_ITEM CSL_CITATION {“citationID”:”VUZK49Lu”,”properties”:{“formattedCitation”:”(Tracy 44)”,”plainCitation”:”(Tracy 44)”,”noteIndex”:0},”citationItems”:{“id”:64,”uris”:”http://zotero.org/users/local/REiAA8n7/items/7ZY465PX”,”uri”:”http://zotero.

org/users/local/REiAA8n7/items/7ZY465PX”,”itemData”:{“id”:64,”type”:”book”,”title”:”Langston Hughes ; the Blues”,”publisher”:”University of Illinois Press”,”number-of-pages”:”325″,”source”:”Google Books”,”abstract”:”Drawing on a deep understanding of the shades and structures of the blues, Steven C. Tracy elucidates the vital relationship between this musical form and the art of Langston Hughes, preeminent poet of the Harlem Renaissance. Tracy provides a cultural context for the poet’s work and shows how Hughes mined African-American oral and literary traditions to create his blues-inspired poetry. Through a detailed comparison of Hughes’s poems to blues texts, Tracy demonstrates how the poetics, structures, rhythms, and musical techniques of the blues are reflected in Hughes’s experimental forms. The volume also includes a discography of recordings by the blues artists–Bessie Smith, Ma Rainey, Blind Lemon Jefferson, and others–who most influenced Hughes, updated in a new introduction by the author.–Publisher description.

“,”ISBN”:”978-0-252-06985-7″,”language”:”en”,”author”:{“family”:”Tracy”,”given”:”Steven Carl”},”issued”:{“date-parts”:”2001″}},”locator”:”44″,”label”:”page”},”schema”:”https://github.com/citation-style-language/schema/raw/master/csl-citation.json”} (Tracy 44). It can be argued that he learned to handle this simple, enumerative style with great subtlety and extraordinary nuance, and was especially successful in creating empathy of space and movement. He was able to cultivate an intimate relationship with his audience with this simplicity of style. His poetry still reverberates due to the immediacy of experiences that he has captured deftly in his poetry through and through.

Conclusively, everything in his poetry ascends from this commitment to his black world. All aesthetic choices derive from the centering of a black audience and a black artist operating in a black world, from the choice of aesthetic materials to problems of evaluation and judgement to create “authentic art”. The Harlem Renaissance movement poetry, fiction, drama, and criticism all point toward the visionary goal of the reformation of African-American consciousness. It is conceivable that Hughes believed that with the black poet’s fear of “being himself”, there would always be a barrier to become a “great poet”. His emphasis on his communal identity in his works constituted an incentive for other black writers to accept their black identity and produce it in their writings.

The “New Negro Identity” that he presented sets the standards for an artist in the creative world to secure a distinct position. Through the communal color of the verses, an artist can create his own “authentic art”, which is devoid of any intellectual dictation. In order to become a “great poet”, one must create his own “authentic voice”. He believed that the poems were his own personal comments on life and represented him alone. Thus, a great poet always relies on creating his own “voice” amid all demands for “sameness” in art.

This research paper has proposed a new understanding to Hughes’s poetical works by expanding these explicitly identifiable elements of his poetry into a much broader concept of “greatness” of a poet. This research paper has important implications for the broader domain of drawing parallels between other ideas of “greatness” presented by other racial artists in their poetry.

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