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p. 222. Inventing new selveslocked

  • Cheryl A. Wall

Abstract

‘Inventing new selves’ considers the New Negroes and their efforts to rescue the race and themselves from the stereotypes and caricatures that represented black Americans in the first decades of the twentieth century. It discusses works such as Alain Locke’s The New Negro: An Interpretation (1925), which declared black Americans “spiritually emancipated;” Du Bois’s The Souls of Black Folk (1903) which became a touchstone for New Negro thought; the iconic photographs of James Van Der Zee that document the invention of modern black identity; and Nella Larsen’s Passing (1929) , a novel with characters that move back and forth across the “color line,” thereby challenging definitions of race.

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