This essay illustrated the Black Arts Movement’s “manifesto” or plan. Neal wrote: “The Black Arts Movement is radically opposed to any concept of the artist that alienates him from his community” (Smith). Meaning, all black people must reorganize the creativity of the Western culture because of their “desire for self-determination and nationhood “(Smith). Neal hoped that when the black community collectively join to create an new art form they would become powerful and strengthened in their society.
Neal was just one of the important writers of the Black Arts Movement era. Other writers, poets, and essayists illustrated a new beginning for the black community to overcome their hardships and to rise up artistically. The concept of Black power stemmed from the Black Arts Movement. Black Power was a political NC. ‘moment that arose to express a new racial consciousness among Blacks in the United States. Black Power represented a racial dignity leading to freedom from white authority in economic and political grounds.
In this era, African Americans went back to learn from old cultural history and traditions (Gladden). Major goals for Black Power were for all Black people to fine the world in their own terms and to reject racism such as black on black violence and police brutality. As Black Power began to grow, it received both strong disapproval from Whites and several African American organizations such as the NAACP. They probably disapproved of them because Black Power followers harshly bashed Whites as well as a black community Who watched and waited for changed instead of making it.
The Black Panther Para became the largest Black organization advocating Black Power (Gladden). Scholars of African American art and politics still see the idea of Black Power as a strong effect on the unconsciousness of Black America today, though it had died out in mid asses (Smith). Black Power writers largely redefined and reshaped the expectations of Black literature to their own standards much alike modern day rappers. The ability of a particular group of artists to he able to define their own work is crucial to the development of an aesthetic (Gladden).
One of the most influential writers of this era was Mira Barack, Brake’s plays, poetry, essays, screenplays, and short fiction express his fury ATA narrow- minded society encouraging racism. Gladden describes that Barack, also known s, Leroy Jones was born in Newark, NJ, in 1934. He attended Rutgers University and served in the military for three years before settling in Greenwich Village at the heart of the creative scene. Barack opened the Black Arts Repertory Theatre/ School in 1964.
The school became one of the most influential theaters within the Black Arts Movement and brought music, art, poetry and drama to the street corners Of Harlem for the first time after the Harlem Renaissance (Gladden). After Malcolm X was assassinated in 1965, the artistic school closed. He later opened Spirit House in Newark, NJ (Bade). Barack was involved in almost every aspect of the beginning of the Black Arts Movement and in many other Black political and cultural movements, including participation With the Black Panther Party for Self Defense.
Barack was instrumental in the defining of the artistic principles of the Black Arts movement (Gladden). In his poem “Black Art,” he wrote, We want “poems that kill. ” Assassin poems, Poems that shoot guns. Poems that wrestle cops into alleys and take their weapons leaving them dead with tongues pulled out and sent to Ireland (Norton 1943) In this piece, Barack establishes the relationship between black social aggravation among police and black freedom in literature, The poem went on to read, Poems are bullwhip unless they are teeth or trees or lemons piled on a step.
Or black ladies dying of men leaving nickel hearts beating them down. Buck poems and they are useful, bud they shoot come at you, love what you are, breathe like wrestlers, or shudder strangely after pissing. We want live words Of the hip world live flesh & coursing blood. Hearts Brains Souls splintering fire. We want poems like fists beating naggers out of Socks or dagger poems in the slimy bellies of the owner-Jews. ” (Norton 1943)” All agreed the words Barack used were harsh, but that is the essence of writing in this era. Any words, illustrations, and depictions can be used to describe the feelings of Black Power.
His words, “Buck poems that are useful” summed up that the black community was not looking for false hopes but for reality. This poem had a very powerful effect on the black community who related to the desire of Black Art (Bade). His poems contained an unconventional syntaxes, different poetic rhythms, and dark urban dialect creating interesting poems that illustrated the movement he helped create. Barack was the first to illustrate this movement in such a vulgar but amazing way. He described the type of writing that Black people wanted to read, They did not want to read about love or religion, but on the brutal reality, that was them.
He knew after they read stories and poems like his, they would rise up against the racist views of America and make a change for their community. His poems convey the type of darkness a lot of poetry had during this era. Most poems created more pessimistic details of a dark, struggling world. These poems helped the growth of the Black community o deal with their hardships and work together to make a more creative outlook Another key innovator of this era continued the idea the Black community did not want to hear about religion and love, but revolting and growing.
That innovator was Malcolm X. Malcolm X was one of the most influential black leaders Of his time. Sadly, he was assassinated before his goals for the Black community could be reached. Although, his writing continues to be relevant as a strong influence in Black community today. Malcolm Ax’s thinking drastically changed over his lifetime. During the Black Arts Movement, he was a member of he Nation of Islam, the “Black Muslim” religion founded by Elijah Muhammad. This religion preached held that white Christians are inherently evil and black people must separate.
He is very important to study to understand the Black Arts Movement, He held the voice for the Black community, In his most powerful speech “The Ballot or the Bullet” X preached, “awing born here in America doesn’t make you an American, I am one of the 22 million black people who are the victims to Americanism. See America through the eyes of the victim. Do not see any American dream; see an American nightmare. Therefore, it is time in 964 to wake up. It’s got to be the ballot or the bullet. And this time they’re not going like they went last year, They’re not going singing “We Shall Overcome. They are not going with white friends” (Norton) In this fury-filled speech X describes a new way for the Black community to look at America, not as Americans but as victims making the best of a bad situation. In his speech, he attacks DRP. Martin Luther King Jar. For being too passive in his approach and calls out for the Black community to rise up and fight against their struggle and make their situation better for themselves, not for America. Alike Barack, he uses a harsh language attacking every person on their blackness.