Propaganda & Mass Persuasion: From The Black Perspective

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

From The Black Perspective

Most individuals are aware that literature and works of art created by African Americans was not recognized until the early 19th Century. During the Harlem Renaissance, African Americans such as Langston Hughes and Zora Neale Hurston would showcase their works on a wide-scale which has left a lasting legacy that can be seen today.

One of the avenues in which Blacks would display their literature during the Renaissance was through this publication called The Brownies Book. It was published by
The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) under the leadership of W.E.B. DuBois. An example of the literature displayed in the publication can be found in the following:

"Tonight they occupied an obscure seat in a dark corner of the city auditorium. The band began to play "My country" and everybody stood up and sang. "Sam" said Billy Boy, "when I hear that song, I wonder if it is meant for me" (Barfield, Brownies, 195).

The snippet is from an essay which discusses a black male's dilemma which starts when he hears the song, My Country. Given the time period, blacks in America felt excluded in places such as the south in which segregation laws were in effect. The black character, Billy Boy is being encouraged by his caucasian friend named Sam to embrace being a proud American and to have a desire to join the U.S. Army.

Publications such as The Brownies Book helped to inspire a generation of black writers (James Baldwin, Toni Morrison, Maya Angelou etc.) to write thought provoking novels and poems in which they are discussed in today's classrooms across the United States and the world.


Blogger A. Mattson said...

A good post.

The Brownie's Book was intended to shape the opinions of children. This particular patriotic essay written by a school girl for this NAACP sponsored contest describes the ideal of an integrated society where two young Americans can show their loyalty country and rise above the race prejudice of the day. It is a fascinating mix of partiotism and the NAACP ideal of equal rights and integration.

3/11/2009 8:39 PM  

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