The Making of the New Negro

Black Authorship, Masculinity, and Sexuality in the Harlem Renaissance

Anna Pochmara

The Making of the New Negro

Anna Pochmara

Distributed for Amsterdam University Press

280 pages | 18 halftones | 6 x 9 | © 2011
Paper $39.95 ISBN: 9789089643193 Published November 2011 For sale only in the United States, its dependencies, the Philippines, and Canada

The Making of the New Negro examines black masculinity in the period of the Harlem Renaissance, a cultural movement that spanned the 1920s and 1930s in America and was marked by an outpouring of African American art, music, theater and literature. The Harlem Renaissance, or New Negro Movement, began attracting extensive academic attention in the 1990s as scholars discovered how complex, significant, and fascinating it was.

Drawing on African American texts, archives, unpublished writings, and contemporaneous European discourses, this book highlights both the canonical figures of the New Negro Movement and African American culture such as W. E. B. Dubois, Booker T. Washington, Alain Locke, and Richard Wright, and other writers such as Wallace Thurman, who have not received as much scholarly attention despite their significant contributions to the movement.
Anna Pochmara offers a striking combination of thorough literary analysis and historicist investigation in order to provide novel insights into one of the most important periods of black history in the United States.

Introduction: Chapter One: Prologue: The Question of Manhood in the Booker T. Washington-W. E. B. Du Bois Debate
Part 1: Alain Locke and the New Negro
Chapter Two: Midwifery and Camaraderie: Alain Locke’s Tropes of Gender and Sexuality
Chapter Three: Arts, War, and the Brave New Negro: Gendering the Black Aesthetic
Part 2: Wallace Thurman and Niggerati Manor
Chapter Four: Gangsters and Bootblacks, Rent Parties and Railroad Flats: Wallace Thurman’s Guide to the Black Bourgeoisie
Chapter Five: Discontents of the Black Dandy
Chapter Six: Epilogue: Richard Wright’s Interrogations of the New Negro
Conclusion: Black Male Authorship, Sexuality, and the Transatlantic Connection

Curriculum Vitae
Review Quotes
Hazel V. Carby, Yale University

The Making of the New Negro breaks completely new ground in our understanding of the male writers and intellectuals of the Harlem Renaissance. Conceptually rich and theoretically sophisticated this is a powerful and compelling portrait of the racialized politics of masculinity and non-normative sexualities of the New Negro. Anna Pochmara has written an utterly persuasive and very important book.”

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