In this illuminating history, Leslie M. Alexander chronicles the development of Black activism in New York from the formation of the first Black organization, the African Society, in 1784 to the eve of the Civil War in 1861. In this critical period, Black activists sought to formulate an effective response to their unequal freedom. Examining Black newspapers, speeches, and organizational records, this study documents the creation of mutual relief, religious, and political associations, which Black men and women infused with African cultural traditions and values. In the end, the Black leadership resolved to assert an American identity and to expand their mission for full equality and citizenship, signaling a new phase in the quest for racial advancement and fostering the creation of a nascent Black Nationalism.
Anzia Yezierska Duke University Press, 1996 Library of Congress PS3547.E95A89 1996 | Dewey Decimal 813.52
The target of intense critical comment when it was first published in 1927, Arrogant Beggar’s scathing attack on charity-run boardinghouses remains one of Anzia Yezierska’s most devastating works of social criticism. The novel follows the fortunes of its young Jewish narrator, Adele Lindner, as she leaves the impoverished conditions of New York’s Lower East Side and tries to rise in the world. Portraying Adele’s experiences at the Hellman Home for Working Girls, the first half of the novel exposes the “sickening farce” of institutionalized charity while portraying the class tensions that divided affluent German American Jews from more recently arrived Russian American Jews. The second half of the novel takes Adele back to her ghetto origins as she explores an alternative model of philanthropy by opening a restaurant that combines the communitarian ideals of Old World shtetl tradition with the contingencies of New World capitalism. Within the context of this radical message, Yezierska revisits the themes that have made her work famous, confronting complex questions of ethnic identity, assimilation, and female self-realization. Katherine Stubbs’s introduction provides a comprehensive and compelling historical, social, and literary context for this extraordinary novel and discusses the critical reaction to its publication in light of Yezierska’s biography and the once much-publicized and mythologized version of her life story. Unavailable for over sixty years, Arrogant Beggar will be enjoyed by general readers of fiction and be of crucial importance for feminist critics, students of ethnic literature. It will also prove an exciting and richly rewarding text for students and scholars of Jewish studies, immigrant literature, women’s writing, American history, and working-class fiction.
The New York City subway, considered an engineering feat and a work of art, has kindled the imagination of millions. Art and the Subway explores artistic production surrounding the world's most famous public transportation system, from just before its opening in 1904 to the present day. Using a stunning array of images, Tracy Fitzpatrick offers perspectives on ways in which the subway has been used as a subject about which to make art, as a site within which to make art, and as a canvas upon which to make art.
Fitzpatrick captures the emotions of artists and riders alike, as she explores paintings, photographs, performance art, graffiti, and public art by artists such as Walker Evans, Bruce Davidson, DONDI, Keith Haring, Yayoi Kusama, Jacob Lawrence, Reginald Marsh, Elizabeth Murray, and many others. She also considers representations of the subway in film, on song sheet covers, and in illustration. By examining the cultural, technological, and social contexts for these creative interpretations, Fitzpatrick illuminates in fresh ways the contradictions and harmonies between public and private space.
Featuring 17 color plates and 80 black-and-white images, Art and the Subway takes readers on a fascinating ride through the visual history of one of the twentieth century's greatest urban planning endeavors as it grew, changed form, and reinvented itself with passion and vitality.