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New Negro: An Interpretation

The Survey

‘the locke american johnson

the title of an anthology of African-American writing and art edited by Alain Locke, published in 1925. It was Paul U. Kelly, the editor of The Survey, a journal devoted to social problems, who initially made the book-length anthology possible as a special ‘Harlem Number’ with Locke as guest editor. Most of the contributors were writers associated with the Harlem Renaissance. Locke's foreword speaks of ‘a fresh spiritual and cultural focusing’. Among poets, Langston Hughes, Jean Toomer, Countee Cullen, James Weldon Johnson, and Claude McKay all contributed important work. Jessie Fauset contributed a dramatic vignette, ‘The Gift of Laughter’. Essays which illuminate the state of African-American arts, culture, and society at the time include ‘The New Negro’ by Alain Locke, ‘The Negro in American Literature’ by W. S. Braithwaite, ‘Harlem: The Cultural Capital’ by James Weldon Johnson, and ‘The Negro Mind Reaches Out’ by W. E. B. Du Bois.

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