cover of book

Popular Fronts: Chicago and African-American Cultural Politics, 1935-46
by Bill V Mullen
University of Illinois Press, 2015
Paper: 978-0-252-08107-1 | eISBN: 978-0-252-09801-7
Library of Congress Classification PS285.C47M85 2015
Dewey Decimal Classification 810.989607307731

The Communist International's Popular Front campaign of the 1930s brought to the fore ideas that resonated in Chicago's African American community. Indeed, the Popular Front not only connected to the black experience of the era, but outlasted its Communist Party affiliation to serve as both model and inspiration for a postwar cultural insurrection led by African Americans.

With a new preface Bill V. Mullen updates his dynamic reappraisal of a critical moment in American cultural history. Mullen's study includes reassessments of the politics of Richard Wright's critical reputation and a provocative reading of class struggle in Gwendolyn Brooks' A Street in Bronzeville. He also takes an in-depth look at the institutions that comprised Chicago's black popular front: the Chicago Defender, the period's leading black newspaper; Negro Story, the first magazine devoted to publishing short stories by and about African Americans; and the WPA-sponsored South Side Community Art Center.

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