Describe the “new Negro” of the 1920s

Discussion on Required Material for Week 4

Do not research on the Internet.

Choose one of the below for your main post. Respond to at least one student who answered a different question from you. The answers should come from your textbook, the book of primary source documents, the assigned website, the lecture, videos, and the research you conducted in the APUS Library. Respond as many times as you wish but TWO must be submitted.

1.) What explains the different shifts in ideology among some leading black political figures in the early twentieth century? Why did some become more nationalist and others more socialist? Were these two currents incompatible? Why was progressivism largely “for whites only”? How did the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) respond to the conditions during this era?

2.) Describe the “new Negro” of the 1920s. How were they new? How successful were African Americans in achieving independence and equality in the 1920s?

3.) To what extent do you think that the Ku Klux Klan’s philosophy was consistent with other American ideas and principles of the era?

4.) How did African Americans express their freedom through the Harlem Renaissance?5.) The “New Negro” of the Harlem Renaissance was many things. W. E. B. Du Bois attempts to express it one way as a “double consciousness” — where the black man wants white America to appreciate his African roots, and where he wants to be American. Langston Hughes expresses it in poetry with his 1925 poem, “I, Too, Sing America,” in which he reminds his readers that while darker, he too is America. How did the Renaissance celebrate being black and American?

Kelley, Robin D. G., and Earl Lewis. To Make Our World Anew. Vol. 2. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2005. Available in the APUS Library at

DuBois, W. E. B. The Souls of Black Folk. New York: Penguin, 1996. This book is available at

Let Nobody Turn Us Around – Section 5

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