Temples for Tomorrow: Looking Back at the Harlem Renaissance
- List Price: $39.95
- Binding: Hardcover
- Publisher: Indiana University Press
- Publish date: 01/01/2005
The Harlem Renaissance is rightly considered a moment of creative exuberance and unprecedented explosion in the African American world of arts and letters. Today, there is a renewed interest in this movement, calling for a reevaluation and a closer scrutiny of the participants. Temples for Tomorrow reconsiders the period -- between two world wars -- which confirmed the intuitions of W. E. B. DuBois on the "color line" and gave birth to the "American dilemma", later evoked by Gunnar Myrdal. Issuing from a generation bearing new hopes and aspirations, a vision formed and developed around the concept of the New Negro, with a goal: to recreate an African American identity and claim its legitimate place in the heart of the nation. In reality, this movement developed into a remarkable institutional network. It remained the vision of an elite, but gave birth to tensions and differences in the African American community.
This collection attempts to assess Harlem's role as a "Black Mecca", as a "site of intimate performance" of African American life, and as a focal point in the creation of a diasporic identity in dialogue with the Caribbean and French-speaking areas. Essays treat the complex interweaving of Primitivism and Modernism and of folk culture and elitist aspirations in different artistic media, with a view to defining the interaction between music, visual arts, and literature.