Essay The Black Arts Movement

Essay The Black Arts Movement-75
It proposes a separate symbolism, mythology, critique and iconology.The Black Arts and Black Power concept both relate broadly to the Afro-American’s desire for self-determination and nationhood. One is politics; the other with the art of politics.And implicit in the act of protest is the belief that a change will be forthcoming once the masters are aware of the protestors grievance (the very word connotes begging, supplications to the gods).

Unless the Black artist establishes a Black aesthetic he will have no future at all.

To accept the white aesthetic is to accept and validate a society that will not allow him to live.

As such, it envisions an art that speaks directly to the needs and aspirations of Black America.

In order to perform this task, the Black Arts Movement proposes a radical reordering of the Western cultural aesthetic.

The Black Arts Movement is radically opposed to any concept of the artists that alienates him from his community.

Black Art is the aesthetic and spiritual sister of the Black Power concept.The Black artist takes this to mean that his primary duty is to speak to the spiritual and cultural needs of Black people.Therefore, the main thrust of this new breed of contemporary writers is to confront the contradictions arising out of the Black mans experience in the racist West.Its time for Du Bois, Nat turner, and Kwame Nkrumah.As Frantz Fanon points out: destroy the culture and you destroy the people. Black artists are culture stabilizers; bringing back old values, and introducing new ones.The Black artist must create new forms and new values, sing new songs (or purify old ones); and along with other Black authorities, he must create a new history, new symbols, myths, and legends (and purify old ones by fire).And the Black artist, in creating his own aesthetic, must be accountable for it only to the Black people.Black Art will talk to the people and with the will of the people stop impending protective custody.The Black Arts Movement eschews protest literature. Implicit in the concept of protest literature, as brother Knight has made clear, is an appeal to white morality: Now any Black man who masters the technique of his particular art form, who adheres to the white aesthetic, and who directs his work toward a white audience is, in one sense, protesting.The cultural values inherent in Western history must either be radicalized or destroyed, and we will probably find that even radicalization is impossible.In fact, what is needed is a whole new system of ideas. Lee expresses it: We must destroy Faulkner, dick, jane, and other perpetrators of evil.


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