The Other Blacklist: The African American Literary and Cultural Left of the 1950s

Mary Helen Washington


The Other Blacklist: The African American Literary and Cultural Left of the 1950s

The Other Blacklist: The African American Literary and Cultural Left of the 1950s

  • Title: The Other Blacklist: The African American Literary and Cultural Left of the 1950s
  • Author: Mary Helen Washington
  • ISBN: 9780231152709
  • Page: 168
  • Format: Hardcover

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Mary Helen Washington recovers the vital role of 1950s leftist politics in the works and lives of modern African American writers and artists While most histories of McCarthyism focus on the devastation of the blacklist and the intersection of leftist politics and American culture, few include the activities of radical writers and artists from the Black Popular Front WasMary Helen Washington recovers the vital role of 1950s leftist politics in the works and lives of modern African American writers and artists While most histories of McCarthyism focus on the devastation of the blacklist and the intersection of leftist politics and American culture, few include the activities of radical writers and artists from the Black Popular Front Washington s work incorporates these black intellectuals back into our understanding of mid twentieth century African American literature and art and expands our understanding of the creative ferment energizing all of America during this period.Mary Helen Washington reads four representative writers Lloyd Brown, Frank London Brown, Alice Childress, and Gwendolyn Brooks and surveys the work of the visual artist Charles White She traces resonances of leftist ideas and activism in their artistic achievements and follows their balanced critique of the mainstream liberal and conservative political and literary spheres Her study recounts the targeting of African American as well as white writers during the McCarthy era, reconstructs the events of the 1959 Black Writers Conference in New York, and argues for the ongoing influence of the Black Popular Front decades after it folded Defining the contours of a distinctly black modernism and its far ranging radicalization of American politics and culture, Washington fundamentally reorients scholarship on African American and Cold War literature and life.


Recent Comments "The Other Blacklist: The African American Literary and Cultural Left of the 1950s"

I'm reading The Other Blacklist: The African American Literary and Cultural Left of the 1950s, by Mary Helen Washington with special interest because of the work I did back in the early 1980s on a study of the artist, Charles White, who gets a significant chapter in the book. Mine was a two-year project, supported by a grant from the Rockefeller Foundation, and it whirled me right out of my comfort zone into a world about which I had known absolutely nothing until that time. I had always thought [...]

The Other Blacklist has an academic feel to it, with lots of citations and thesis statements. It is not a speedy read. But it made my brain explode. Until Professor Washington explicitly linked Cold War anti-communist political philosophy (self-reliance, salvation by individual works, and refusal to recognize systemic bias or systems of oppression as anything other than individual psychological aberrations) with the FBI’s well-known surveillance and harassment of civil rights activists,* it ne [...]

Another book, a well-researched and fascinating read, that forces us to face that the United States government's anticommunist efforts ruined and manipulated the careers of talented writers, artist-intellectuals and other cultural workers in the 1950s. This book focuses on African Americans who should be household names. WowCIA operations on US soil to try and control black writers and the dissemination of their ideas and literary approaches

Absolutely loved this book. Must go out and buy my own copy.


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    Published :2018-07-21T13:33:11+00:00

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