african americans





In this American world, the Negro has been seen as lost and forgotten. For this

reason, the world yields him no true self-consciousness, but only lets him see himself

through the revelation of the other world. The two ideals of the Negro is that of his color

and the struggle of attaining his self-conscious manhood. He simply wants to be seen by

society as an individual and not judged by race. Thus, throughout history since

Emancipation, the black man=s progression has been weak due to white society shaping his

every move.

Nevertheless, the success of the Negro has driven many important and intellectual

figures. For example, Booker T. Washington, Marcus Garvey, Alain Locke, and others

have provided a clear path for the success of African-Americans in a society of prejudice,

ignorance, and narrow-mindedness. Booker T. Washington bestowed a definite programme

of industrial education, conciliation of the South, and submission to civil and political

rights for Negroes. He founded Tuskegee, which also provided support for Negroes to a

substantial education that southern whites would not allow them to have. However,

criticism came from both the North and the South, in relation to Washington=s counsels

of submission which overtook certain elements of true manhood, and that his educational

programme was unneccessarily narrow. The influence of this opinion did not prevent the

achievement of Negroes in education, civil rights, and political power.

Another example, was Marcus Garvey, a black activist who encouraged American

blacks and others of African heritage to unify for the common good. He established the

United Negro Improvement Association (UNIA) in 1918-1919, in order to influence the

movement of race solidarity. For this reason, Garvey=s philosophy marked a radical


departure from the traditionally acceptable Civil Rights posture of political and financial

equality with other races, especially whites; while outlining the social structure of freedom.

To conclude, both Booker T. Washington and Marcus Garvey provided Negroes with an

undaunting aim to be a part of the society which so viciously rejected them and created a

political and social change.

The call for political and social strategies were apparent through civil rights

activists, like Malcom X, Martin Luther King Jr., and Stokely Carmichael. They

represented to the Negro the concepts of black manhood and freedom from social

inequality. In Carmichael=s speech on ABlack Power,@ he credited for changing the

direction of the Civil Rights Movement from nonviolence and social integration to self-

defense and black nationalism.The question blacks had during this time was whether or not

they could be a part of the white community. However, the development of the black

community challenged the white activist who has failed miserably to develop the movement

inside of his community.Therefore, the Negro seeks to be cleared away from the obstacles of

white society, which prevents him living like a human being.

In the criteria of Negro art, the question is whether the colored artist is capable of

demonstrating the truth behind the black struggle. The singular unanimity of judgement

has been between black and white people on the inferiority of each others= works of art.

In other words, the white public demands from its artists, literary and pictorial racial

pre-judgement which deliberately distorts truth and justice, as far as colored races are

concerned. For this reason, blacks have considered their own propaganda which tells their

side of the story and possesses the cry for freedom in dealing with racial indignities.


According to Alain Locke, a preeminent scholar of the New Negro Movement, believed

the best way to achieve human community is to transcend the differences that separate

people, for acknowledgement of the kind breeds conflict and intolerance, possibly even

racial hatred. He witnessed the transformation of the Negro from the tyranny of social

intimidation to the rejection of imitation and implied inferiority. The Negro today is

inevitably moving forward under the control largely of his own objectives. These objectives

are an attempt to repair his damaged group psychology and reshape his social perspective.

In terms of the race question, the Negro has opened the doors to speak out against it, while

being able to realize the consciousness of his own identity. To conclude, the Negro mind

has transcended from American ideas and interests to the formation of his own racial

values in society.

The idea of the Negro artist in America has exemplified the urge within the race

toward whiteness, the desire to pur racial individuality into the mold of American

standardization, and to be as a little Negro and as