Skip to content. | Skip to navigation

Personal tools

Navigation

Escape from New York

The New Negro Renaissance beyond Harlem

2013

Davarian L. Baldwin and Minkah Makalani, Editors

Escape from New York

Resituating the Harlem Renaissance—and the New Negro movement—in broader global political and cultural currents

In this volume, the Harlem Renaissance “escapes from New York” into its proper global context, recovering the broader New Negro experience as social movements, popular cultures, and public behavior spanned the globe. Highlighting how New Negroes and their allies already lived, the book stresses the need for scholarship to catch up with the historical reality of the New Negro experience.

This anthology succeeds in liberating New Negro studies from Harlem and its traditional temporal, gender, and class confines.

Journal of African American History

In the midst of vast cultural and political shifts in the early twentieth century, politicians and cultural observers variously hailed and decried the rise of the “New Negro.” This phenomenon was most clearly manifest in the United States through the outpouring of Black arts and letters and social commentary known as the Harlem Renaissance. What is less known is how far afield of Harlem that renaissance flourished—how much the New Negro movement was actually just one part of a collective explosion of political protest, cultural expression, and intellectual debate all over the world.

In this volume, the Harlem Renaissance “escapes from New York” into its proper global context. These essays recover the broader New Negro experience as social movements, popular cultures, and public behavior spanned the globe from New York to New Orleans, from Paris to the Philippines and beyond. Escape from New York does not so much map the many sites of this early twentieth-century Black internationalism as it draws attention to how New Negroes and their global allies already lived. Resituating the Harlem Renaissance, the book stresses the need for scholarship to catch up with the historical reality of the New Negro experience. This more comprehensive vision serves as a lens through which to better understand capitalist developments, imperial expansions, and the formation of brave new worlds in the early twentieth century.

Contributors: Anastasia Curwood, Vanderbilt U; Frank A. Guridy, U of Texas at Austin; Claudrena Harold, U of Virginia; Jeannette Eileen Jones, U of Nebraska–Lincoln; Andrew W. Kahrl, Marquette U; Shannon King, College of Wooster; Charlie Lester; Thabiti Lewis, Washington State U, Vancouver; Treva Lindsey, U of Missouri–Columbia; David Luis-Brown, Claremont Graduate U; Emily Lutenski, Saint Louis U; Mark Anthony Neal, Duke U; Yuichiro Onishi, U of Minnesota, Twin Cities; Theresa Runstedtler, U at Buffalo (SUNY); T. Denean Sharpley-Whiting, Vanderbilt U; Michelle Stephens, Rutgers U, New Brunswick; Jennifer M. Wilks, U of Texas at Austin; Chad Williams, Brandeis U.

Escape from New York

Davarian L. Baldwin is the Paul E. Raether Distinguished Professor of American Studies at Trinity College. He is the author of Chicago’s New Negroes: Modernity, the Great Migration, and Black Urban Life.

Minkah Makalani is assistant professor of African and African diaspora studies at the University of Texas at Austin. He is the author of In the Cause of Freedom: Radical Black Internationalism from Harlem to London, 1917–1939.

Robin D. G. Kelley is the Gary B. Nash Professor of American History at UCLA and the author of several books, including Thelonious Monk: The Life and Times of an American Original.

Escape from New York

This anthology succeeds in liberating New Negro studies from Harlem and its traditional temporal, gender, and class confines.

Journal of African American History

Escape from New York

Contents

Foreword
Robin D.G. Kelley
Introduction: New Negroes Forging a New World
Davarian L. Baldwin

I. The Diasporic Outlook
1. “Brightest Africa” in the New Negro Imagination
Jeannette Eileen Jones
2. Cuban Negrismo, Mexican Indigenismo: Contesting Neocolonialism in the New Negro Movement
David Luis-Brown
3. An International African Opinion: Amy Ashwood Garvey and C. L. R. James in Black Radical London
Minkah Makalani

II. New (Negro) Frontiers
4. The New Negro’s Brown Brother: Black American and Filipino Boxers and the “Rising Tide of Color”
Theresa Runstedtler
5. The New Negro of the Pacific: How African Americans Forged Solidarity with Japan
Yuichiro Onishi
6. “A Small Man in Big Spaces”: The New Negro, the Mestizo, and Jean Toomer’s Southwest
Emily Lutenski

III. The Garvey Movement
7. Making New Negroes in Cuba: Garveyism as a Transcultural Movement
Frank Guridy
8. Reconfiguring the Roots and Routes of New Negro Activism: The Garvey Movement in New Orleans
Claudrena Harold

IV. Engendering the Experience
9. Black Modernist Women at the Parisian Crossroads
Jennifer Wilks
10. A Mobilized Diaspora: The First World War and Black Soldiers as New Negroes
Chad Williams
11. Climbing the Hilltop: In Search of a New Negro Womanhood at Howard University
Treva Lindsey
12. New Negro Marriages and the Everyday Challenges of Upward Mobility
Anastasia Curwood

V. Consumer Culture
13. “You Just Can’t Keep the Music Unless You Move With It”: The Great Migration and the Black Cultural Politics of Jazz in New Orleans and Chicago
Charles Lester
14. New Negroes at the Beach: At Work and Play Outside the Black Metropolis
Andrew Kahrl

VI. Home to Harlem
15. “Home to Harlem” Again: Claude McKay and the Masculine Imaginary of Black Community
Thabiti Lewis
16. Not Just a World Problem: Segregation, Police Brutality, and New Negro Politics in New York City
Shannon King

VIII. Speakeasy: Reflecting on the New New Negro Studies
17. The Conjunctural Field of New Negro Studies
Michelle Ann Stephens
18. Underground to Harlem: Rumblings and Clickety-Clacks of Diaspora
Mark Anthony Neal
19. The Gendering of Place in the Great Escape
Tracy Sharpley-Whiting

Acknowledgments
Contributors
Index