Rethinking Social Realism
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BeschreibungLiterature and art as agents of social change for poor and working-class Americans. The social realist movement, with its focus on proletarian themes and its strong ties to New Deal programs and leftist politics, has long been considered a Depression-era phenomenon that ended with the start of World War II. This study explores how and why African American writers and visual artists sustained an engagement with the themes and aesthetics of social realism into the early cold war era--far longer than a majority of their white counterparts. Stacy I. Morgan first recalls the social realist atmosphere in which certain African American artists and writers were immersed--the political philosophies and works of cultural criticism as well as the community-based institutions, exhibition venues, and publications in locales ranging from Chicago to Mexico City to New York. Rethinking Social Realism then looks closely at the media that proved to be the most appealing and effective to African American social realists: murals, graphic arts, poetry, and novels. Covering both well- and lesser-known artists and writers, Morgan shows how black social realism served alternately to question the existing order, instill race pride, and build interracial, working-class coalitions. Discussed are such figures as Charles White, John Wilson, Frank Marshall Davis, Willard Motley, Langston Hughes, Sterling Brown, Elizabeth Catlett, and Hale Woodruff. Though condemnation of leftist artists and writers had become pervasive by the late 1940s, many African Americans working in these media remained undeterred. By exploring the nature, and sources, of their extended commitment, this study gives fuller shape to both AfricanAmerican arts and letters and social realism in the United States.
Untertitel: New. Sprache: Englisch.
Verlag: UNIV OF GEORGIA PR
Erscheinungsdatum: November 2004
Seitenanzahl: 356 Seiten