Black Arts Movement

1634 words 7 pages
BAM! The Black Arts Movement

The amazing era of the Black Arts Movement developed the concept of an influential and artistic blackness that created controversial but significant organizations such as the Black Panther Party. The Black Arts Movement called for "an explicit connection between art and politics" (Smith). This movement created the most prevalent era in black art history by taking stereotypes and racism and turning it into artistic value.
This connection between black art and politics was first made clear in a great essay written by Larry Neal in the summer of 1968. This essay illustrated the Black Arts Movement's "manifesto" or plan. Neal wrote: "The Black Arts Movement is radically opposed to any concept of the artist
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He knew after they read stories and poems like his, they would rise up against the racist views of America and make a change for their community. His poems convey the type of darkness a lot of poetry had during this era. Most poems created more pessimistic details of a dark, struggling world. These poems helped the growth of the Black community to deal with their hardships and work together to make a more creative outlook. Another key innovator of this era continued the idea the Black community did not want to hear about religion and love, but revolting and growing. That innovator was Malcolm X. Malcolm X was one of the most influential black leaders of his time. Sadly, he was assassinated before his goals for the Black community could be reached. Although, his writing continues to be relevant as a strong influence in Black community today. Malcolm X's thinking drastically changed over his lifetime. During the Black Arts Movement, he was a member of the Nation of Islam, the "Black Muslim" religion founded by Elijah Muhammad. This religion preached held that white Christians are inherently evil and black people must separate. He is very important to study to understand the Black Arts Movement. He held the voice for the Black community. In his most powerful speech "The Ballot or the Bullet" X preached,
"Being born here in America doesn't make you an American. I am one of the 22 million black people who are the victims of Americanism. I see America through the eyes


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