Closure, Crisis, and Counterrevolutionary Times
This chapter recounts the circumstances surrounding John Johnson’s decision to discontinue Black World and terminate Hoyt Fuller. It recalls the broad national outcry and subsequent efforts by the Black intellectual community to replace the magazine with the short-lived journal First World. More than just an attempt to chronicle the life and death of a seminal Black periodical and its short-lived replacement, the chapter elucidates how these magazines’ respective trajectories embodied larger shifts and rifts among Black intellectuals and within the Black Arts movement. In recalling this history, the chapter explores the very meanings of Black intellectual community in the 1970s while paying close attention to intraracial class politics. In essence, it argues that the slow demise of Jim Crow exacerbated preexisting class (and ideological) divisions within the Black intellectual community, and these divisions, once inflamed, had a tremendous impact on Black institutions and the shape of Black intellectual praxis.
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