The Golden Age of Black Nationalism, 1850-1925
Oxford University Press, 1988 - History - 345 pages
The "golden age" of black nationalism began in response to the passage of the Fugitive Slave Act of 1850 and extended to the time of Marcus Garvey's imprisonment in 1925. During these seventy-five years, an upsurge of back-to-Africa schemes stimulated a burst of literary output and nurtured the growth of a tradition that flourished until the end of the century. This tradition then underwent a powerful revitalization with the rise of Marcus Garvey and the ideological Pan-Africanism of W.E.B. Du Bois.
In this controversial volume, The Golden Age of Black Nationalism, Wilson Jeremiah Moses argues that by adopting European and American nationalist and separatist doctrines, black nationalism became, ironically, a vehicle for the assimilationist values among black American intellectuals. First providing the historical background to black nationalism and Pan-Africanism, he then explores the specific manifestations of the tradition in the intellectual and institutional history of black Americans. He describes the work of Alexander Crummell, W.E.B. Du Bois, Frederick Douglass, Booker T. Washington--specifically challenging the traditional interpretation of Washington as a betrayer of Douglass' vision--and the National Association of Colored Women.
Moses also examines the tradition of genteel black nationalism in literature, concentrating on the novels of Martin Delany and Sutton Griggs, as well as the early poetry of W.E.B. Du Bois. Using literary history instead of literary criticism, he identifies the particularly Anglo-African qualities in these works. He concludes with a description of those trends that led to the decline of classical black nationalism at the time of the Harlem Renaissance and the "New Negro Movement," which attempted to redefine the cultural and spiritual goals of Afro-Americans. Offering both a critical and sympathetic treatment of the black nationalist movement in the United States, Moses' study will stimulate further debate concerning the nature of the assimilationist tendencies dominating black nationalist ideology in the "golden age."
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Preface to the Paperback Edition
Chapter One Introduction
Chapter Two Black Nationalism on the Eve of
Chapter Three Alexander Crummell
Chapter Four From Frederick Douglass to Booker
Chapter Five Black Bourgeois Feminism versus
Chapter Six W E B Du Bois and Traditional
Chapter Seven The Roots of Literary Black
Chapter Eight The Poetics of Ethiopianism
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Common terms and phrases
African Afro-American Alexander American American Negro Association Atlanta attempt authority become believed black nationalism black nationalist Bois Bois's Booker Books Boston called Chapter Chicago Christian Church civilization clubs Colonization Colored concern Crisis Crummell culture Delany described Douglass early efforts Ethiopian European expressed felt force Frederick Douglass Garvey Garveyism German Griggs hand Henry History hoped human idea important industrial influence institutions intellectual interest issue John labor later leaders letter literary living Magazine masses means moral movement native Negro never nineteenth century novel observed organization Pan-Africanism political present Press problems progress published question race racial represented Reprint respect rhetoric rise seemed slave slavery social Society South spirit term thought tion tradition United University values Washington West woman women writing York
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