Spectres of 1919
Class and Nation in the Making of the New Negro
Publication Year: 2003
Published by: University of Illinois Press
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...for me. John Dos Passos, about whom I long ago wrote a Ph.D. disserta-tion, named the second volume of his extraordinary U.S.A. trilogy afterthis critical juncture. As both a leftist who came of age in the late 1960sand a scholar who increasingly focused on African American literature,I became aware that the so-called Red Summer of 1919—signifying at...
1. The New Negro and the Left
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...edly describing a self-evident state of affairs when he proclaimed that the“deep feeling of race” currently being manifested as the “mainspring ofNegro life” is “radical in tone, but not in purpose” and that “only themost stupid forms of opposition, misunderstanding or persecution couldmake it otherwise.” Although, Locke conceded, “the thinking Negro has...
2. Nation, Class, and the Limits of the Left
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In the crucible of 1919, a class-based analysis of racism enjoyedwidespread currency among liberals, progressives, and leftists; the strug-gle against racial inequality was frequently linked with the necessity totransform or abolish capitalist social relations. But if this was the case,why was this trend reversed? How did the New Negro devolve into The...
3. The Rhetoric of Racist Antiradicalism
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...political radicalism of the wartime and immediate postwar years andvarious contradictions internal to the theory and practice of the Left thatwould contribute to the supersession of class struggle by culturalism havebeen analyzed. In future chapters of Spectres of 1919, the attempts byradicals and progressives to fashion counterdiscourses to the rhetoric of...
4. Metonymic Nationalism, Culture Wars, and the Politics of Counterdiscourse
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...icalism, the dominant ideology informing political discourse and ratio-nalizing state and business repression amidst the social upheavals of1919 and its Thermidorian aftermath, I now examine various attemptsby progressives and leftists to construct counterdiscourses that woulduse the master’s tool of pluralist democracy to dismantle the master’s...
5. From the New Negro to The New Negro
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...how did the arms-bearing, anticapitalist New Negro of 1919 get trans-muted into the culture hero of The New Negro (1925)? While the causalthreads are many, Alain Locke’s guiding role is clearly of central impor-tance. In this chapter, I investigate the bodies of theory Locke broughtto the making of his anthology; examine his pragmatist theory of “sec-...
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Page Count: 328
Publication Year: 2003