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Escape from New YorkThe New Negro Renaissance beyond Harlem$
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Davarian L. Baldwin and Minkah Makalani

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780816677382

Published to Minnesota Scholarship Online: August 2015

DOI: 10.5749/minnesota/9780816677382.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM MINNESOTA SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.minnesota.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of Minnesota Press, 2022. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in MNSO for personal use.date: 22 May 2022

“Home to Harlem” Again: Claude McKay and the Masculine Imaginary of Black Community

“Home to Harlem” Again: Claude McKay and the Masculine Imaginary of Black Community

(p.361) 15 “Home to Harlem” Again: Claude McKay and the Masculine Imaginary of Black Community
Escape from New York

Thabiti Lewis

University of Minnesota Press

This chapter offers a reading of Claude McKay’s 1928 novel Home to Harlem, focusing on the predominately masculine lens through which he explores the variety and scope of black urban diasporic life—its global and multiregional perspectives. It considers Home to Harlem as a literary depiction of the reality of an expansive African diaspora in the early twentieth century. In depicting black life and notions of community in 1920s black America, McKay examines the wonder, excitement, and limits of Harlem through recognition of alternative locations where black community thrived. His complicated and primarily masculinist presentation of modern industrial life utilizes proletarian characters that highlight the divergent diasporic routes of the New Negro reality and the Harlem Renaissance.

Keywords:   novel, Claude McKay, Home to Harlem, African diaspora, black life, Harlem, black community, New Negro, Harlem Renaissance, masculinity

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