Synopses & Reviews
Standard narratives of early twentieth-century African American history credit the Great Migration of southern blacks to northern metropolises for the emergence of the New Negro, an educated, upwardly mobile sophisticate very different from his forebears. Yet this conventional history overlooks the cultural accomplishments of an earlier generation, in the black communities that flourished within southern cities immediately after Reconstruction. and#160;
In this groundbreaking historical study, Gabriel A. Briggs makes the compelling case that the New Negro first emerged long before the Great Migration to the North. The New Negro in the Old South reconstructs the vibrant black community that developed in Nashville after the Civil War, demonstrating how it played a pivotal role in shaping the economic, intellectual, social, and political lives of African Americans in subsequent decades. Drawing from extensive archival research, Briggs investigates what made Nashville so unique and reveals how it served as a formative environment for major black intellectuals like Sutton Griggs and W.E.B. Du Bois.
The New Negro in the Old South makes the past come alive as it vividly recounts little-remembered episodes in black history, from the migration of Colored Infantry veterans in the late 1860s to the Fisk University protests of 1925. Along the way, it gives readers a new appreciation for the sophistication, determination, and bravery of African Americans in the decades between the Civil War and the Harlem Renaissance.and#160;
One of the most important voices of the Harlem Renaissance, Claude McKay is largely recognized for his work during the 1920s, which includes a major collection of poems, Harlem Shadows, as well as a critically acclaimed novel, Home to Harlem. But McKay was never completely comfortable with his literary reputation during this period. Throughout his world travels, he saw himself as an English lyricist.
In this compelling examination of the life and works of this complex poet, novelist, journalist, and short story writer, Josh Gosciak sheds light on McKay’s literary contributions beyond his interactions with Harlem Renaissance artists and writers. Working within English literary traditions, McKay crafted a verse out of hybridity and diaspora. Gosciak shows how he reinvigorated a modern pastoral through his encounters with some of the major aesthetic and political movements of the late Victorian and early modern periods.
Exploring new archival material as well as many of McKay’s lesser known poetic works, The Shadowed Country provides a unique interpretation of the writings of this major author.
This groundbreaking historical study makes the compelling case that the culturally sophisticated and upwardly mobile figure of the New Negro first emerged long before the Harlem Renaissance or the twentieth-century Great Migration to the North. Drawing from extensive archival research, Gabriel A. Briggs reconstructs the vibrant black community that developed in Nashville after the Civil War, showing how it played a pivotal role in shaping the economic, intellectual, social, and political lives of African Americans in subsequent decades.and#160;
About the Author
GABRIEL A. BRIGGS is a senior lecturer in the English department at Vanderbilt University,and#160;Nashville, Tennessee.and#160;