The Black Arts Movement : literary nationalism in the 1960s and 1970s /

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Main Author: Smethurst, James Edward.
Format: Book
Published:Chapel Hill : University of North Carolina Press, 2005.
Series:John Hope Franklin series in African American history and culture
Online Access:Table of contents 
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Review by Choice Review

After a period of relative neglect, the Black Arts Movement, which includes such important writers as Amiri Baraka, Sonia Sanchez, Nikki Giovanni, and Haki Madhubuti, has lately received increasing critical attention. Important works on the movement include specialized writings--e.g., Ready for Revolution (2003), the autobiography of Kwame Ture (Stokely Carmichael), and Scot Brown's Fighting for US (CH, Mar'04, 41-4218)--and such general studies as Rod Bush's We Are Not What We Seem (CH, Jun'99, 36-5997). Also author of The New Red Negro (CH, Dec'99, 37-2042), Smethurst (Univ. of Massachusetts, Amherst) begins the present provocative book by carefully laying out the interconnections between politics and culture in the Black Power and Black Arts movements. He establishes the roots of the Black Arts Movement in the Cold War and the Civil Rights Movement and relates it to other literary movements, e.g., Beat and Black Mountain poetry. Smethurst also discusses how regionalism impacted the movement in New York City, Chicago, the South, and elsewhere. The book's greatest strength is its clear political and cultural contextualization. This sophisticated study is not for the casual reader, but it will be seminal for those who want an in-depth analysis of this important movement. ^BSumming Up: Essential. Upper-division undergraduates through faculty. L. J. Parascandola Long Island University

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