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Radical Aesthetics and Modern Black Nationalism$
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GerShun Avilez

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780252040122

Published to Illinois Scholarship Online: April 2017

DOI: 10.5406/illinois/9780252040122.001.0001

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The Art of Revolution

(p.1) Introduction
Radical Aesthetics and Modern Black Nationalism

GerShun Avilez

University of Illinois Press

This introductory chapter provides a background of Black Nationalism. Black Nationalism is a political philosophy that has played an integral part in African American social thought from the nineteenth century forward. There are two main threads of this philosophical tradition: classical and modern. Classical Black Nationalism is a political framework guided primarily by concerns with the creation of a sovereign Black state and uplifting and “civilizing” the race. With regards to Black Nationalist thought in the twentieth century, two moments loom large: Marcus Garvey's Universal Negro Improvement Association (UNIA) in the 1910s/1920s and the Black Power Movement in the 1960s/1970s. Modern Black Nationalism is characterized by two specific shifts away from the foundational ideas that governed the classical form. It departs from its predecessor in the general lack of an explicit emphasis on an independent Black nation-state. It also shifts attention to mass culture and Black working-class life.

Keywords:   Black Nationalism, Classical Black Nationalism, Black Nationalist thought, Black Power Movement, Modern Black Nationalism, Black nation-state, Black working-class, Universal Negro Improvement Association

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