By Bernard W. Bell
Library magazine writes: "Civil rights advances within the final 25 years have integrated an wisdom that the conventional canon of yank literature excluded very important minority authors. This examine is a sturdy addition to the growing to be physique of scholarly research studying the Afro-American contribution. continuing chronologically from William Wells Brown's Clotel (1853) to experimental novels of the Eighties, Bell reviews on greater than one hundred fifty works, with shut readings of forty-one novelists. His feedback are framed through an inquiry into the detailed parts of Afro-American fiction. Bell's conclusions may possibly impress different dialogue, for the e-book is widely available and may attract common readers and undergraduates in addition to to literary students. Recommended."
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The latter chapter Page xviii examines the poetic realism of Nathan Eugene Toomer, the genteel realism of Jessie Redmon Fauset and Nella Larsen, the folk romances of Zora Neale Hurston and Claude McKay, the folk realism of Langston Hughes and Countee Cullen, the satiric realism of Rudolph Fisher, George Schuyler, and Wallace Thurman, and the historical romance of Arna Bontemps. Chapter 5 takes a close look at Richard Wright's naturalism during the Depression and his influence on novelists of the forties (193652): William Attaway, Chester Himes, William Smith, and Ann Petry.
In any event, when Frazier, whose primary interest was in the social structures rather than in the cultural forms, concludes that "Negroes acquired new habits and modes of thought, and whatever elements of African culture were retained lost their original meaning in becoming fused with their experiences in the New World," he is on firm ground; but when he jumps from the premise of an early fusion of African culture with New World experiences to the hasty conclusion that in the "process of adjusting themselves to American civilization, the majority of the Negroes have sloughed off completely the African heritage," he misses the mark.
After the Atlanta Cotton Exposition speech of 1895 in which Washington compromised the civil rights of blacks to facilitate their economic growth through industrial training, he, the Page 13 favorite of white industrial magnates and philanthropists, became the chief black architect of social accommodationism during the rise of industrialism in the New South. Opposition to Washington's policies and iron-fisted control was led by Du Bois, the principal spokesman of that band of militant middle-class blacks who in 1905 founded the Niagara Movement, the forerunner of the predominantly white-founded National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP).