In This Issue
…..The Harlem Renaissance, the intellectual and artistic movement of the 1920’s that helped create the climate for the success of the orchestras of, among others, Duke Ellington, Louis Armstrong and Fletcher Henderson, was originally known as “The New Negro Movement,” named after a 1925 anthology of “Negro” literary arts edited by Alain Locke.
…..Now known as the father of the Harlem Renaissance, Locke’s philosophy was that art and literature could “uplift the race,” and, in the words of Jeffrey Stewart, National Book Award and Pulitzer Prize-winning author of The New Negro: The Life of Alain Locke, “shift the discussion of race from politics and economics to the arts,” and to “establish the idea that Black urban communities could be crucibles of creativity.” In the process, great artists emerged from Locke’s vision and mentorship – artists like, for example, the poets Langston Hughes, Claude McKay and Countee Cullen, and the writers Zora Neale Hurston and Jean Toomer.
…..Locke was a complex, brilliant man. Harvard educated and the first African American recipient of a Rhodes Scholarship, Locke faced obstacles not only due to his race, but also because of his lifelong search for love as a gay man. Despite (and in some cases because of) these challenges, Stewart writes that Locke succeeded at promoting “the flowering of Black culture in Jazz Age America and the literary and artistic work of African Americans as the quintessential creations of American modernism.”
…..Stewart’s The New Negro is a great achievement, a book renowned biographer Arnold Rampersad, author of books on Langston Hughes and Ralph Ellison, called “one of the finest literary biographies to appear in recent years.” Stewart joins us in a March 25, 2019 interview about his book and Locke, the guiding spirit of the Harlem Renaissance.
…..Also in this issue…A new collection of jazz poetry, this time dedicated to mothers and fathers; “On the Turntable,” a new playlist of 19 recently released jazz recordings, including those by Branford Marsalis, Joe Martin, Scott Robinson, Allison Au and Warren Vache; three new podcasts by Bob Hecht; a new “Jazz History Quiz”; a new “Great Encounters”; a collection of short fiction; a new photo narrative by Charles Ingham; and the photography of Veryl Oakland, featuring Stan Getz, Sun Ra and Carla Bley; and…lots more.