The leaders and followers of the Harlem Renaissance were every bit as intent on using Black culture to help make the United States a more functional democracy as they were on employing Black culture to 'vindicate' Black people.
Not one thought entered my head that did not seem disloyal. I was ashamed, seeing their pride close up, as if for the first time, at how little I had accomplished, how much I had failed to do at St. Paul's. Somewhere in the last two years I had forgotten my mission. What had I done, I kept thinking, that was worthy of their faith? How had I helped my race? How had I prepared myself for a meaningful future? ... They were right: only a handful of us got this break. I wanted to shout at them that I had squandered it. Now that it's all over, hey, I'm not your girl! I couldn't do it.
There are hundreds of political prisoners right now in America’s jails who were so taken by Malcolm [X’s} spirit that they became warriors and the powers that be understood them as warriors. They knew that a lot of these other middle-class [black] leaders were not warriors; they were professionals; they were careerists. But these warriors had callings, and they have paid an incalculable and immeasurable price in those cells.
What these thinkers, chroniclers, and interpreters have written about, how they have theorized their scholarly endeavors, and their approaches and methodologies have inevitably been informed and shaped by the times in which they existed.
It [the Harlem Renaissance] was a time of black individualism, a time marked by a vast array of characters whose uniqueness challenged the traditional inability of white Americans to differentiate between blacks.
The slaves who were ourselves had known terror intimately, confused sunrise with pain, & accepted indifference as kindness.
In every aspect and among almost every demographic, how American society digested and processed the long, dark chapter between the end of the Civil War and the beginning of the civil rights movement has been delusion.
Sandra L. West and Aberjhani have compiled an encyclopedia that makes an important contribution to our need to know more about one of modern America’s truly significant artistic and cultural movements. It helps us to acknowledge the complexity of African American life at a time when the nation’s culture was taking on a recognizable shape, when race was becoming less of a crushing burden and more of a challenge to progressive people and their ideals, and when cities and their inhabitants symbolized the end of the past and the seductiveness of the new.
Making wine and drinking wine is not new to African Americans and others in the Diaspora. South Africa has a three-century history in growing, harvesting and distilling grapes as wine. The entire continent of Africa has a history in wine-making. In this country, slaves cultivated the vineyards owned by Thomas Jefferson and other vintners.