Afromodernisms: Paris, Harlem, Haiti and the Avant-garde
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“This collection of ten essays makes a persuasive case for a black Atlantic literary renaissance and its impact on modernist studies. The chapters stretch and challenge current canonical configurations of modernism in two ways: by considering the centrality of black artists, writers and intellectuals as key actors and core presences in the development of a modernist avant-garde; and by interrogating ‘blackness’ as an aesthetic and political category at critical moments during the twentieth century. This is the first book-length publication to explore the term ‘Afromodernisms’ and the first study to address together the cognate fields of modernism and the black Atlantic.”
12. Romare Bearden and Harry Henderson, A History of African American Artists from 1792 to the Present (New York: Pantheon Books, 1993), p. 346. Selden Rodman, Horace Pippin, A Negro Painter in America (New York: Quadrangle Press, 1947), p. 10. Reprinted in Stein, I Tell My Heart, pp. 118–19. Bearden and Henderson, A History, pp. 360–1. Pippin, ‘Handwritten and Illustrated Notebook’, p. 19. Ibid. p. 21. Ibid. p. 26. Ibid. p. 43. Selden Rodman and Carole Cleaver, Horace Pippin: The Artist as a
hopefully play a role in, the peace conference and its plans to remake the world.29 Once in Paris, Du Bois set to work organising the Congress. There was certainly no lack of interest in the project back home: the black American press reported extensively and favourably on Du Bois’s trip to France and his plans for the meeting. The NAACP made it clear that freedom for blacks in Africa was a major concern, and on 9 January sponsored a mass meeting to demand self-determination for the peoples of
jazz as second-rate music, at the same time devaluing the talent and commitment of those who performed it. Finally, the widespread link between jazz and sexuality both arose from and confirmed the classic stereotype of blacks as oversexed and correspondingly intellectually inferior. Josephine Baker’s sultry performance in the Revue nègre only confirmed the image that many Parisians had of jazz and black culture in general. In short, jazz was exotic, erotic and exciting, but hardly serious.53 By
interrogated blackness and modernism. The peculiar understanding of ‘negro dances and negro music’, collectively termed ‘jazz’, showed the interest of Futurists in African American culture, which in the 1920s became an important cultural phenomenon in the United States in the form of the New Negro Movement.11 Its participants and promoters shared in their desire to shed the image of the stereotypical ‘Old Negro’ and achieve a new image of a self-conscious African American as, for example, in
Humanities Research Council for a fellowship that has made the completion of this project possible. Please kindly note that my book-length project consisting of a full-length monograph as well as edited transcripts of his unpublished autobiographies – ‘Suffering and Sunset:’ Horace Pippin’s World War I Manuscripts and Paintings – is forthcoming with the University Press of Virginia (2014). Notes 1. Walter White, The Fire in the Flint (Athens, GA: University of Georgia Press,  1996), p. 19.