By A. Kent
This publication examines literature via African, local, and Jewish American novelists firstly of the 20th century, a interval of radical dislocation from homelands for those 3 ethnic teams in addition to the interval while such voices confirmed themselves as critical figures within the American literary canon.
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Additional info for African, Native, and Jewish American Literature and the Reshaping of Modernism
1 “Evolution of the Watermelon,” cartoon from Judge, 1892. Photo by University of Michigan Photo Services. AFRICAN AMERICANS: MOVING FROM CARICATURES TO CREATORS 31 a black man evolving into a watermelon, simultaneously perpetuating the stereotype that African Americans love watermelon and implying that African Americans were subhuman, even below plant life. Such carefully constructed acceptance of racial difference helped post-Civil War American legal and social systems maintain white supremacy.
In the final sixteen years of the nineteenth century, there were more than 2,500 lynchings AFRICAN AMERICANS: MOVING FROM CARICATURES TO CREATORS 33 (most victims were African American); before the outbreak of World War I, there had been 1,100 more (Franklin and Moss 312). During this period, racial riots increased to the level of an “epidemic” (Franklin and Moss 313). 5 Scholars have called this turn-of-the-century period the “Great War” for African Americans because of the violence they faced (Rampersad).
As a result of the Great Migration, African Americans became a predominantly urban population, with 80 percent of African Americans living in cities by the 1970s (Trotter, “Migration/Population”). The great literary achievements of the Harlem Renaissance are due in part to the migration of many African Americans to Harlem and other urban centers, but the related rise of the ghetto can also be traced to the Great Migration. While the Great Migration fundamentally changed the nation, migration out of the South failed to provide African Americans with the integration into American society that many sought.
African, Native, and Jewish American Literature and the Reshaping of Modernism by A. Kent