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v2.1 Reference

Black Bostonians and the Politics of Culture, 1920-1940

In the 1920s and 1930s Boston became a rich and distinctive site of African American artistic production, unfolding at the same time as the Harlem Renaissance and encompassing literature, theater, music, and visual art. Owing to the ephemeral nature of much of this work, many of the era's primary sources have been lost.

In this book, Lorraine Elena Roses employs archival sources and personal interviews to recover this artistic output, examining the work of celebrated figures such as Dorothy West, Helene Johnson, Meta Warrick Fuller, and Allan Rohan Crite, as well as lesser-known artists including Eugene Gordon, Ralf Coleman, Gertrude "Toki" Schalk, and Alvira Hazzard. Black Bostonians and the Politics of Culture, 1920–1940 demonstrates how this creative community militated against the color line not solely through powerful acts of civil disobedience but also by way of a strong repertoire of artistic projects.

About the Author

Lorraine Elena Roses is professor emerita of Spanish at Wellesley College. She is coeditor of Harlem's Glory: Black Women Writing, 1900–1950 and Harlem Renaissance and Beyond: Literary Biographies of One Hundred Black Women Writers, 1900–1945.


"Few scholars have so diligently and coherently brought together information about the productivity of African Americans in Boston and New England. Learning about this specific history is exciting and rewarding."—Gene Andrew Jarrett, author of Representing the Race: A New Political History of African American Literature

"The scholarly need for this well-researched and intensive analysis cannot be overstated, as scholars working on African American Bostonians and/or New England–affiliated writers have had to haphazardly cobble together material, histories, and interviews located in disparate and often inaccessible archives."—Cherene Sherrard-Johnson, author of Dorothy West's Paradise: A Biography of Class and Color

"Engaging and highly readable, Black Bostonians and the Politics of Culture, 1920-1940, is well-suited for general audiences as well as scholars interested in learning more about the history of African American contributions to the culture of Boston and New England. Roses provides a welcome and much-needed foundation for further study by documenting the important cultural leaders and artists who created an independent arts movement aimed at elevating and publicizing black cultural creativity while working to dismantle the color line."—The New England Quarterly
University of Massachusetts Press

9781625342423 : black-bostonians-and-the-politics-of-culture-1920-1940-roses
Paperback / softback
240 Pages
$28.95 USD

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