Black Asthetics and Toni Morrison

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The black arts, or the black aesthetic, movement was born among the black artist as a response to the ideologies of the black power in the 1960’s. The movement was a continuation of the 1920’s and 1930’s Harlem Renaissance that had begun the tradititon of rediscovering the roots os black culture and heritage,dating back to slavery. Some of the major literary figures of the Harlem era included authors James Weldon Johnson, Langston Hughes and Nella Larsen. The Black arts emerged to promote art that illustrated African-American music, languages, heritage, and beauty. In order to be substantial, art had to have a proudly black subject matter and style; be it sculpture, a piece of music, a novel or a poem. Empowered by the concepts of the black power, the movement inspired the emergence of the black theatre groups, magazines, and printing presses. Literature influenced by the black arts concepts struggled to abandon W.E.B. Du Bois’ idea of double consciousness, which meant blacks were constantly struggling towards the white culture’s ideals, even though the dominant society disabled them for reaching the Eurocentric goals. Mirroring themselves against the value structure of the oppressive white society was depriving the blacks of their empowerment. Black writers wanted to concentrate on solving the problems of the African-American community from the inside, developing awareness of the rich black heritage and gearing the community to realize it worth. The Black Arts movement brought the time for blacks to stop internalizing the image of being the inferior in the society as a whole. The black population had to find strength, beauty and self esteem within the black community. The black arts, characterized by acute awareness, produced writers like Toni Morrison, Ishmael Reed, and Alice Walker. Toni Morrison undeniably is an author who internalizes the main concerns of the black aesthetic. She writes about black oppression, consciousness and tradition. Her major...
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