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The Black Chicago Renaissance$
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Darlene Clark Hine and John McCluskey Jr.

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780252037023

Published to Illinois Scholarship Online: April 2017

DOI: 10.5406/illinois/9780252037023.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM ILLINOIS SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.illinois.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Illinois University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in ISO for personal use.date: 22 September 2021

African American Cultural Expression in Chicago before the Renaissance

African American Cultural Expression in Chicago before the Renaissance

The Performing, Visual, and Literary Arts, 1893–1933

(p.3) Chapter 1 African American Cultural Expression in Chicago before the Renaissance
The Black Chicago Renaissance

Christopher Robert Reed

University of Illinois Press

This chapter examines the local historical context of the Black Chicago Renaissance. It discusses the existence of a layered class structure within the black community, and underscores the importance and the complicated tradition of support of the arts by elite black and later members of the black entrepreneurial and professional middle class. Black patronage, for both aesthetic and exploitative reasons, served an important function in providing space for creative expression and the means for its distribution and commoditization. Furthermore, the chapter is a response to the claims made by social scientists Charles S. Johnson and E. Franklin Frazier. In 1923, Johnson declared that Chicago's intellectual life had numerous excuses for not existing. In 1929, Fraser echoed Johnson's assertion, insisting that Chicago had no intelligentsia.

Keywords:   Black Chicago Renaissance, black community, elite black, black professional, middle class, black patronage, Charles S. Johnson, E. Franklin Frazier

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