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Tuesday, April 20, 2021

A Beautiful Awakening for Young Black Writers in New York

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This essay was co-authored by Erving Goffman, 84, professor of psychology and African-American studies at University of California at Los Angeles; and Dr. Phyllis Mason of New York, author of The Young Black Writers and Artists Project, 1972.

The diversity of artistic talent unearthed by the New York Times among this generation of young black poets and artists is a clarion call that almost unnoticed, is reverberating across cultural centers in the United States.

For the Times to present the names and biographies of these artists, several observers commented, sets a tone, particularly in this period of blackly feminist poetry. In other words, the greater diversity of voices, they pointed out, underlines the broader urgent need to reject hierarchies that reinforce inequity.

On the evidence of the poetry and nonfiction works included in this project, these pundits are right. Many of the younger black poets, especially, reflect on Black music and society, in a manner that underlines that these art forms are intertwined — “fusing Black cultures in one sense, and non-Black cultures in another.”

Read the rest of the essay on Curbed.

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