Afro-American Poetics: Revisions of Harlem and the Black Aesthetic

Houston A. Baker, Jr., Author University of Wisconsin Press $21.95 (201p) ISBN 978-0-299-11500-5
Baker envisages the mission of black culture since the 1920s as ``Afro-American spirit work.'' In the blues, the postmodernist ``chant poem,'' the oratory of Malcolm X and the political plays of Amiri Baraka, he notes the unfolding creation of a ``racial epic'' in which black Americans may discover their place in U.S. society and find their ancestral roots. These six challenging essays by the director of the University of Pennsylvania's black studies center build upon the themes of his 1987 book, Modernism and the Harlem Renaissance. Professor Baker analyzes Jean Toomer's stream-of-consciousness protest novel Cane , ponders why apolitical poet Countee Cullen became a voice of the people and pays tribute to critic-poet Larry Neal and to Hoyt Fuller, the editor of Negro Digest who allied himself with the Black Arts movement. He also traces his own shift from ``guerrilla theater revolutionary'' to embattled theoretician. (September)
Reviewed on: 12/01/1988
Release date: 12/01/1988
Paperback - 212 pages - 978-0-299-11504-3
Open Ebook - 204 pages - 978-0-585-13617-2
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