cover of book

Spectres of 1919: Class and Nation in the Making of the New Negro
by Barbara Foley
University of Illinois Press, 2002
eISBN: 978-0-252-09124-7 | Cloth: 978-0-252-02846-5 | Paper: 978-0-252-07585-8
Library of Congress Classification E185.6.F65 2003
Dewey Decimal Classification 973.0496073

With the New Negro movement and the Harlem Renaissance, the 1920s was a landmark decade in African American political and cultural history, characterized by an upsurge in racial awareness and artistic creativity. In Spectres of 1919 Barbara Foley traces the origins of this revolutionary era to the turbulent year 1919, identifying the events and trends in American society that spurred the black community to action and examining the forms that action took as it evolved.
Unlike prior studies of the Harlem Renaissance, which see 1919 as significant mostly because of the geographic migrations of blacks to the North, Spectres of 1919 looks at that year as the political crucible from which the radicalism of the 1920s emerged. Foley draws from a wealth of primary sources, taking a bold new approach to the origins of African American radicalism and adding nuance and complexity to the understanding of a fascinating and vibrant era.
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