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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, 2019. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in MNSO for personal use.date: 18 September 2019

Not Just a World Problem: Segregation, Police Brutality, and New Negro Politics in New York City

Not Just a World Problem: Segregation, Police Brutality, and New Negro Politics in New York City

Chapter:
(p.381) 16 Not Just a World Problem: Segregation, Police Brutality, and New Negro Politics in New York City
Source:
Escape from New York
Author(s):

Shannon King

Publisher:
University of Minnesota Press
DOI:10.5749/minnesota/9780816677382.003.0017

This chapter examines racism, segregation, and police brutality that engulfed New York City at the height of the New Negro era. It argues that black self-protection activity in Harlem operated as a rejection of “white definitions of black rights, opportunities, and sociability” in residential and public places during the period, with New Negroes actively asserting their “claims to citizenship and equal civil and political rights with whites.” It juxtaposes the trope of Harlem as the “Negro mecca” with the lived experiences of Harlemites waging physical battle over urban space in the first three decades of the twentieth century. By analyzing the combined forces of racial violence and black self-protection practices, the chapter highlights the still prevalent conceptualization of interwar Harlem as primarily a site of New Negro cultural and intellectual production and even as a model of racial comity. It insists that the political radicalism of New Negro politics persisted throughout the 1920s and 1930s, as opposed to most scholars’ claim that the New Negro of Harlem marked a moment of black political decline, with an increased focus on culture.

Keywords:   racism, segregation, police brutality, New York City, New Negro, self-protection, Harlem, racial violence, political radicalism, politics

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