May 28, 2005
Harold Cruse: The Cultural Revolutionary
Essay by Rachel Donadio in the New York Times:
When it came out in 1967, ''The Crisis of the Negro Intellectual,'' by Harold Cruse, crystallized a moment. The moment passed, but Cruse, a black cultural nationalist, was not just a footnote to history.
''The Crisis'' was at once an anti-integrationist manifesto and a critical history of 20th-century African-American culture and politics, and it arrived like a thunderclap just as the civil rights era was shifting into the black power era. ''Throughout the late 60's and the early 70's one could see the signal bright red cover almost everywhere that young people were gathered,'' Stanley Crouch writes in the introduction to a new edition of the book, to be released on June 10 by New York Review Books.
In ''The Crisis,'' Cruse urged black intellectuals and artists to establish their own institutions and reclaim black American culture from those who sought to appropriate it.
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