Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Escape from New YorkThe New Negro Renaissance beyond Harlem$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

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

Show Summary Details
Page of

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

“A Small Man in Big Spaces”: The New Negro, the Mestizo, andJean Toomer’s Southwest

“A Small Man in Big Spaces”: The New Negro, the Mestizo, andJean Toomer’s Southwest

(p.157) 6 “A Small Man in Big Spaces”: The New Negro, the Mestizo, andJean Toomer’s Southwest
Escape from New York

Emily Lutenski

University of Minnesota Press

This chapter reads Jean Toomer, an American writer and an important figure of the Harlem Renaissance and modernism, in the mestizo context of Greater Mexico and places him within the Harlem milieu and the wider New Negro movement. Toomer’s opus, Cane (1923), is considered the harbinger of New Negro literature. After Cane, Toomer is said to have left the New York literary scene behind and moved to the Southwest. In his essay “New Mexico after India,” Toomer describes an attachment to place—a feeling of home—that remains unsatisfied in Cane, where both the North and the South cannot accommodate the racially ambiguous. India is consistently mentioned in Toomer’s biography and southwestern writing, a reminder that the Southwest is engaged in the processes of modernization and racialization that exist not only in the place Toomer inhabits as “a small man in big spaces...between Taos and Santa Fe” but also in Harlem, Mexico, India, and other complex routes revealed in his southwestern archive.

Keywords:   modernism, mestizo, Jean Toomer, New Negro movement, Cane, New York, Southwest, New Mexico, India, racialization

Minnesota Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs, and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us.