Black Social Movements Past and Present: A Comparative Analysis of the Black Arts Movement and the Hip Hop Movement.
During the 20th century in the United States of America (USA), Black people developed a host of social movements to address social problems they faced. In the first 25 years of the century, Black people developed the Pan-African Movement, Niagara Movement, National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), Moorish Science Temple of America, New Negro Movement, Universal Negro Improvement Association (UNIA), African Blood Brotherhood for African Liberation and Redemption, and Harlem Renaissance as social movements. Between 1926 and 1950, Black people developed the Nation of Islam, Congress of Racial Equality (CORE), Council on African Affairs, and Peace Information Center as social movements. The period between 1951 and 1975 saw Black people develop social movements such as the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC), Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC), Alabama Human Rights Movement (AHRM), Revolutionary Action Movement (RAM), Lowndes County Freedom Democratic Party, Black Arts Movement, Black Power Movement, US, Black Panther Party, House of Umoja, and the Hip Hop Movement (Du Bois, 1968; Garvey, 1923, 1986; Newton, 1973; Carmichael and Thelwell, 2003; Ahmad, 2008; Rogers, 2009; Aldridge, 2002, 2005; Wobogo, 2011).
This paper will focus on Black social movements past and present with special reference to the Black Arts Movement and the Hip Hop Movement. It will examine the Black Arts Movement as a social movement that emerged during the mid-1960s and lasted until the mid-1970s. It will also examine the Hip Hop Movement as a social movement which emerged during the early 1970s and has lasted to the present. This paper will present a comparative analysis of both social movements and identify their goals, ideologies, organization and status systems, and tactics. The comparative analysis will include an examination of both movements' internal development in the form of the incipient phase, organizational phase, and stable phase. Likewise, the comparative analysis will include an examination of both movements' external development in the form of innovation, selection, and integration. In addition, this paper will address some implications of the Black Arts Movement and the Hip Hop Movement as social movements. The methodology employed in this study consisted of a mixed methods approach, including the case study, participant observation, and a qualitative survey. Research techniques included direct observation, interviews with people involved in the two movements, and content analysis of primary and secondary source documents. (1)
As used here, the term "social movement" refers to an organized collective effort by a group of people to address a social problem. This definition of a social movement draws on the insight of Theodorson and Theodorson (1969) and Jary and Jary (2006). Theodorson and Theodorson have said that a social movement involves an "important form of collective behavior in which large numbers of people are organized or alerted to support and bring about or to resist social change" (p. 390). Jary and Jary have stated that a social movement is "any broad social alliance of people who are associated in seeking to effect or to block an aspect of social change within a society" (p. 575).
The term "social problem," as used here, refers to a social condition that (1) affects large number of people; (2) threatens the values of an influential group of people; and (3) can be solved through collective action. The definition of a social problem draws on the insight of Theodorson and Theodorson (1969), Jary and Jary (2006), Ladner (1973), Lauer (1976), Glynn, Hohm, and Stewart (1996), Loseke (2003), and Spector and Kitsuse (2000). Theodorson and Theodorson have related that a social problem is any "undesirable condition or situation that is judged by an influential number of persons within a community to be intolerable and to require group action toward constructive reform" (p. 392). Jary and Jary have noted that a social problem involves "aspects of social life seen to warrant concern and intervention" (p. 577).
All social movements have an ideology. As used here, the term "ideology" refers to a set of ideas and norms that can be used as the guiding philosophy of a group of people. This definition of an ideology draws on the insight of Theodorson and Theodorson (1969), Jary and Jary (2006), Pinckney (1976), and Alkalimat (1973). Theodorson and Theodorson have defined an ideology in the following manner: "A system of interdependent ideas (beliefs, traditions, principles, and myths) held by a social group or society, which reflects, rationalizes, and defends its particular social, moral, religious, political, and economic institutional interests and commitments" (p. 195). Jary and Jary have defined an ideology as "any system of ideas underlying and informing social and political action" (p. 289). Pinckney informed us that the "ideology of black nationalism is widespread among a significant segment of America's black community" (p. 1).
Review of the Literature
In the discipline of sociology, social movements have long been the subject of scholarly discussion. Since 1973, the American Sociological Association has maintained a section on social movements. Thus, social movements have been a key topic of discussion at American Sociological Association conferences. It has also been a key topic of discussion at Pacific Sociological Association conferences, California Sociological Association conferences, and those of other organizations.
During the middle of the 20th century and the turn of the 21st century, several classic books were published on the systematic study of social movements. Heberle (1951) sought to present a general theory of social movements. In the case of Heberle, he informed us that, "The main criterion of a social movement... is that it aims to bring about fundamental changes in the social order, especially in the basic institutions of property and labor relationships" (p. 6). Heberle posed that "it may be claimed that the study of social movements was one of the origins of sociology" (p. 3). In a similar fashion, King (1956) argued that social movements "constitute a significant subject for sociology" (p. v). He proceeded to identify some elements of a social movement, including goals, ideology, organization and status systems, and tactics.
King also identified social movements' internal development in the form of the incipient phase, organizational phase, and stable phase and the external development in the form of innovation, selection, and integration. Cameron (1966) informed us that: "A social movement occurs when a fairly large number of people band together in order to alter or supplant some portion of the existing culture or social order" (p. 7). Cameron emphasized that it is important to understand the background of a given society as well as the purposes and actions of a social movement in it. As examples in his book, Cameron looked at the Nation of Islam as a social movement and the Civil Rights Movement as a social movement.
Between the year 2000 and the year 2013, the literature on social movements in the USA continued to grow. That literature covered social movements among the Black population, including the Black Arts Movement and the Hip Hop Movement. Some of the important primary source books related to the Black Arts Movement were written by Karenga (2007), Ahmad (2008), Salaam (2009), Perkins (2009), and Marvin X (2009). (2) Some of the important secondary source books, which appeared between 2000 and 2013, were those written or edited by Gabbin (2004), Clarke (2005), Sell (2005), Smethhurst (2005), Collins and Crawford (2006), Reeves (2008), Robson (2008), and Phelps (2013).
In terms of the Hip Hop Movement, some of the important primary source books released between 2000 and 2013 were authored by Fricke and Ahearn (2002), Kitwana (2002), Paniccioli (2002), Nelson (2005), Dean (2008), Jay-Z (2010), and Comissiong (2012). Some of the important secondary sources on the Hip Hop Movement have been authored and/or edited by Toop (2000), Krims (2000), T. Mitchell (2001), Westbrook (2002), Boyd (2002, 2003), Bozza (2003), Pinn (2003), Wang (2003) Bogdanov, Woodstra, and Erlewine (2003), Spence (2003), Maxwell (2003), Forman and Neal (2004), Bynoe (2004), Perry (2004), Keyes (2004), Pough (2004), Chang (2005), Cheney (2005a), Cooke and Lawrence (2005), Watkins (2005), Alim (2006), Collins (2006), Cobb (2007), Donalson (2007), Hess (2007), Knight (2007), Ogbar (2007), Douglas (2008), Hodge (2010), Rabaka (2011, 2012, 2013), and Price (2012).
Because of their in-depth studies of the Hip Hop Movement under guest editors, two special issues of the Journal of African American Studies and the Journal of Hip Hop Studies have been selected for a relatively more detailed examination. During the summer of 2005, the Journal of African American History released a special issue on "The History of Hip Hop." In a thoughtful introduction to the special issue, Aldridge and Stewart (2005) unabashedly state that Hip Hop has been "commodified by what Frankfurt School theorists Max Horkheimer and Theodor Adorno called 'the culture industry,' which has distributed Hip Hop to the masses in ways that reinforce historical stereotypes about African Americans by highlighting sexist, misogynistic, and nihilistic lyrics and images" (p. 193). Aldridge and Stewart also assert that the five essays in the special issue "offer complex interpretations of Hip Hop that often defy and challenge the negative images promulgated by mainstream commercial media" (p. 193). Authors of the five essays include J. B. Stewart (2005), Aldridge (2005), Phillips, Reddick-Morgan, and Stephens (2005), Cheney (2005a), and Dagbovie (2005). On the upside, Aldridge and Stewart set the tone for the special issue by delineating four fundamental elements of Hip Hop, namely disc jockeying (DJing), break dancing, graffiti art, and rapping (emceeing). On the downside, they made one reference to the infamous term "Hip Hop culture." (3)
J. B. Stewart (2005) led off the special issue with a comparative analysis of political commentary in R & B (rhythm and blues) and Hip Hop songs. He developed a typology of political commentary types to examine R & B songs. The political commentary types included (1) Documentary; (2) Jeremiad; (3) All God's Children Declaration; (4) Defiant Challenge; (5) Awareness Raising Self-Criticism; (6) Collective Self-Help Solution; (7) Confrontational Declaration; (8) Revolutionary Manifesto; and (9) Spiritual Transcendence Exploration. During his analysis of the political commentary of R & B songs, Stewart looked at the lyrics of Curtis Mayfield, Sam Cooke, Stevie Wonder, Roberta Flack, Donny Hathaway, Marvin Gaye, James Brown, Bobby Womack, Sly Stone, Maurice White, George Clinton, and Gil Scott-Heron.
For J. B. Stewart (2005), the social conditions in the USA during the 1980s forced R & B artists and the emerging Hip Hop artists to grapple with "worsening social problems, including high unemployment, police brutality, incarceration, inadequate public schools, political apathy, and dysfunctional behaviors that perpetuate oppression" (p. 218). Stewart credited the early Hip Hop of Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five, especially their song "The Message," with being a link between the past and the future. He explained, "While the lyrics are articulated in a classic Hip Hop spoken word cadence, the background music infuses both traditional R & B and Funk elements" (p. 219). Stewart added: "The song contains the type of graphic description of oppressive conditions found in the best Blues and R & B commentaries, and issues the type of subtle warnings to external audiences found in some of the more assertive R & B commentaries" (p. 219). He reminded us that Hip Hop originated as "a form of mass expression, largely unfettered by corporate attachments, fueled by the harsh realities of inner-city life" (p. 219). However, Stewart admits that Hip Hop changed with the times and has regaled in the "rebirth of dysfunctional and denigrating imagery propagated through blaxploitation in both films and music videos" (p. 220). Stewart closes on a hopeful note by expressing that there is "the liberatory potential of Hip Hop" (p. 221). He pointed to the Stop the Violence initiative, Get Out the Vote initiative, and the development of foundations by Hip Hop artists.
Aldridge (2005) has presented the argument that Hip Hop has three types of rap artists. One type is the socially and politically conscious rap that focuses on the social, economic, and political situation of oppressed people (e.g., Black people). A second type is party rap that focuses on providing a dance groove. A third type is gangster rap (aka gangsta rap) that focuses on illegal activity including the promotion of killing people, drug dealing, prostitution, and gang banging. In the view of Aldridge, the outlook of scholars like Martin Kilson and others has been clouded by socially and politically conscious rap receiving less airplay in mainstream media outlets than party rap and gangster rap. Aldridge states that socially and politically conscious rap has been created by Public Enemy, Sister Souljah, KRS-One, MeShell Ndegecello, Goodie Mob, The Coup, Blackalicious, Jurassic 5, Kanye West, dead prez, Mr. Lif, Mos Def, Immortal Technique, Hieroglyphic, and Ms. Dynamite. He has credited those artists with offering "cogent analyses and commentary on race, poverty, and discrimination" (p. 227). For Aldridge, these artists have built on the ideas and ideology of the Civil Rights Movement and what he has termed the Black Freedom Struggle. Aldridge also informs us that socially and politically conscious rap artists, like the other two types, have delivered their messages by using imaging, sampling, and scratching.
According to Aldridge (2005), Hip Hop has taken these four main ideas from the Civil Rights Movement and the Black Freedom Struggle: (1) self-determination; (2) liberatory education and pedagogy; (3) economic solidarity and entrepreneurship; and (4) Pan-African Connection. Aldridge associates self-determination as an idea with Mos Def and others. He connects liberatory education and pedagogy as an idea with KRS-One, Sister Souljah, and others. Aldridge associates economic solidarity and entrepreneurship as an idea with dead prez, KRS-One, The Coup, Hieroglyphic, Public Enemy, Mos Def, and others. He connects the Pan-African connection as an idea with Michael Franti, KRS-One, Ms. Dynamite, and others. On the one hand, Aldridge has surmised that "the civil rights generation must seek out and connect to the Hip Hop generation and recognize their similar and divergent views" (p. 248). On the other hand, Aldridge has written that: "The Hip Hop generation, in turn, must continue to seek knowledge and information about their social circumstances within the context of the larger BFS. Members must also critique their actions by promoting positive messages to youth and helping ameliorate the problems of their generation" (p. 248).
Following Bakari Kitwana, Aldridge (2005) states that the term Hip Hop generation refers to those people who were born between 1965 and 1984 and who identify with the movement. He believes that when the civil rights generation and the Hip Hop generation heed the aforementioned concerns they will have the collective strength to take on the discrimination, racism, and poverty faced by the Black population in the USA. A key problem Aldridge left out for the Hip Hop generation is the commodification problem and cooptation problem its members face from Wall Street and Madison Avenue. For better or worse, socially and politically conscious rappers may feel compelled to use the N-word and B-word to sell records for Wall Street and Madison Avenue. For example, very few of the rappers he listed in the socially and politically conscious have had a record listed on the Billboard Charts between 2009 and 2013. To his credit, Aldridge refrained from referring to Hip Hop as a culture in and of itself. Instead, Aldridge (2002) is on record for calling Hip Hop a social movement as he well should have.
Phillips, Reddick-Morgan, and Stephens (2005) posed that women have had a dually oppositional stance in Hip Hop. They took the position that the dually oppositional stance has (1) enabled Black women and Latino women to critique the sexism of men in their racial and/or ethnic group; (2) permitted Black women and Latino women to have solidarity with the men in their racial and/or ethnic group when it came to critiquing and struggling against the racism, classism, and sexism flowing from the dominant group and mainstream society; and (3) permitted Black women and Latino women to critique and challenge the feminism of White females from the dominant group and mainstream society, including academic feminism. As might be expected, they eschewed what they termed misogyny found in the lyrics of many rappers. A case in point is the ostentatious use of the B-word. However, Phillips et al., seemed to ignore the fact that the B-word has been used as a term of endearment by girls and women in the Hip Hop Movement.
Women, according to Phillips et al. (2005), have been involved with the Hip Hop from the outset. They pointed to Sharon Jackson, also known as Sha-Rock, as one of the first female rappers. She was dated as having appeared with Kool Herc as early as 1976. Jackson later joined the Funky 4 + 1 More and was present when the group became the first rap act to be featured on the television show Saturday Night Live. Phillips et al. report that the first females to release a rap record were Paulette Tee and Sweet Tee. Their single, Vicious Rap, was released in 1978. Other females involved with Hip Hop during the early days and identified by Phillips et al. were Lady B, Sylvia Robinson, Sylvia Rhone, Cheryl the Pearl, Blondie, MC Angie B (Angie Stone), Queen Lisa Lee, Teena Marie (Lady Tee), Debbie Harris, Monica Lynch, Brenda K. Starr (Real Roxanne), Sparky D, Salt, Pepper, MC Lyte, and Roxanne Shante. They were later joined by Sister Souljah, Ms. Melodie, Yo-Yo, Mary J. Blige, TLC, Da Brat, Mia X, Lady of Rage, Lil' Kim, Foxy Brown, Trina, Eve, Queen Latifah, Lauryn Hill, Erykah Badu, and Missy Elliott. Phillips et al. have credited such women in Hip Hop with talking back to men in defense of women and demanding respect for women; advocating women's empowerment, self-help, and solidarity; and advocating the defense of Black men against the larger society. They seemed to ignore the fact that those women, at times, have also disrespected other women and advocated nihilism and criminal behavior. In addition, Phillips et al. also made the mistake of referring to Hip Hop as a culture in and of itself instead of a social movement.
Cheney (2005a) focused on what she calls the "Golden Age of Rap Nationalism," which she dates from 1988 to 1993. She took the position that the period started in 1988 with Public Enemy's It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back and came to a close in 1993 with Ice Cube's Lethal Injection. During that period, according to Cheney, rap artists used their songs to articulate Black nationalist ideas. Cheney identified Black nationalism as a social force that involves emigration and internal statism as well as anti- and non-emigration. She posited that her position on Black nationalism follows scholarship that has the phenomenon going "beyond the nation-state configuration to be comprehensive enough to include its cultural manifestations" (p. 280). Whereas Cheney praised some aspects of the Black nationalist pronouncements among rappers, she took them to task for using what she deemed sexist language or anti-homosexual language. Cheney closed her article by urging heterosexual Black men in the Hip Hop to "address their own gendered oppression, redefine the masculine ideal, and learn to love themselves and their communities without fear or anxiety" (p. 295).
Dagbovie (2005) addressed the relationship between what he termed the Hip Hop generation and Black history. He also self-identified as a Hip Hop generation historian. Dagbovie posed that Hip Hop generation historians need to make a mark in the history discipline, produce scholarship, and get involved in the debates that pertain to the functions of Black history. He stated that discussion of the relationship between the Hip Hop generation and Black history is guided by a premise that "Hip Hop culture is the single most widespread preoccupation among today's African American and African diasporan youth" (p. 300). Dagbovie also posed that Hip Hop has "the potential to play an important role in rejuvenating the modern black history movement" as well as the "generation's cultural and historical consciousness" (p. 300).
Whereas Aldridge (2005) focused on the relation between the Hip Hop generation and the Civil Rights Movement generation, Dagbovie (2005) looked at the relation between the Hip Hop generation and the Black Power Movement generation. Following Bakari Kitwana, Dagbovie wrote that he agrees with the view that "one of the greatest problems facing the Hip Hop generation is the fact that we have abandoned the positive cultural values held by our parents, elders, and ancestors" (p. 303). Dagbovie continued: "We have exchanged what Elijah Anderson has called 'old head' values for ideals promoted by a capitalistic, individualistic, and racist society" (p. 303). He was right on point about that matter, but wrong in calling Hip Hop a culture.
In 2014, the Journal of Hip Hop Studies was launched under the auspices of North Park University. The initial issue featured five articles by Harris (2014), Livingston (2014), Engels (2014), Long (2014), and Chaney and Mincey (2014). In their introduction for the issue, as the editors, Miller, Hodge, Coleman, and Chaney (2014) spent considerable space referring to Hip Hop as a culture. However, of the five featured articles, only two refer to Hip Hop as a culture.
Harris (2014) focused on a Christian rapper by the name of Lecrae Moore, who goes simply by his first name Lecrae. He argued that Lecrae, a rapper who publicly identifies as a Christian, has unfairly been overlooked. Harris posited that Lecrae has sought to create a bridge between the sacred sphere and the secular sphere. For his analysis of Lecrae, Harris reported that he utilized the lyrics of Lecrae, interviews of Lecrae on a number of mainstream Hip Hop websites, social media, and videos of Lecrae on YouTube. In his discussion, Harris referred to Hip Hop as a culture.
Livingston (2014) traced the African oral tradition from ancient Egypt to inner-city New York and Los Angeles. He posed that the modern sounds of Hip Hop artists like Kendrick Lamar can be traced back to the legendary muses of ancient Egypt. In his own case, Harris informs us that he was standing on the shoulders of Harriette Mullen, Elaine Richardson, Mark Gottdiener in his attempt to link Hip Hop to ancient Egypt through what he calls an "African-centered semeiotic context" (p. 39). Surprisingly, he contends that Hip Hop artists are the continuation of a cultural ethos that rose thousands of years ago. If that is the case, Lamar and his fellow rappers represent a regression not a progression. Given that rappers like Kendrick Lamar revel in calling themselves the N-word and their women the B-word, it is highly unlikely that they will ever reach the level of ancient poets like Ahkenaton. Livingston, in his discussion, referred to the Hip Hop Movement as a culture.
Engels (2014) explored cultural and economic circumstances that gave birth to the Hip Hop Movement's gangster rap phenomenon and Hollywood's Blaxploitation Cinema phenomenon. He argues that there were inherent similarities between the two phenomena. In the view of Engels, the two phenomena both relied on place, setting, myth, and folklore. These aspects of the Black experience were then used to create cultural relevance for Black audiences in the USA. For Engels, the reactions of Black people to the two phenomena have played a crucial role in the establishment of a mainstream cultural identity for Black people. To a certain extent, Engels overlooks how the two phenomena have created and maintained stereotypes of Black people. He also overlooks another crucial fact. Whereas the Blaxpolitation Cinema phenomenon glorified Black people killing White people, the gangster rap phenomenon of the Hip Hop Movement has glorified Black people killing Black people. In his discussion, Engels did not refer to the Hip Hop Movement as a culture.
Long (2014) presented an analysis of two urban artists, namely Tyler the Creator and BANKSY. According to Long, Tyler the Creator is a Black rapper "born and raised in Ladera Heights, a middle-class Los Angeles neighborhood" and BANKSY is a "white European graffiti artist." Whereas Tyler the Creator hails from the USA, BANKSY comes from Bristol, England. Long asserted that the works of those two urban artists reflect disillusionment and nihilism that are spreading from the inner cities to new frontiers. He believes that the implications of the nihilistic mindset need to be understood. Long warned that the nihilistic mindset is based on the rejection of higher values (e.g., the rejection of law and religion), devaluation of life and property, and a loss of hope in one's surroundings. He has also explained that Tyler the Creator and BANKSY have a large audience after gaining fame and recognition through websites. Long, in his discussion, did not refer to the Hip Hop Movement as a culture. However, Long did refer to it as a subculture.
Chaney and Mincey (2014) conducted a qualitative content analysis of R&B and Hip Hop songs. Using phenomenology as a theoretical foundation, Chaney and Mincey looked at lyrics of 79 R&B and Hip Hop songs. The songs were drawn from the years 1956-2013 and each appeared on the Billboard chart. Chaney and Mincey stated that they used Billboard Chart Research Services to select the songs for their analysis. In their study, Chaney and Mincey sought to examine the ways some Black male artists expressed sensitivity. Their analysis of the lyrics showed that Black male sensitivity in R&B and Hip Hop fell into a typology based on the following four dimensions: Private Sensitivity; Partnered Sensitivity; Perceptive Sensitivity; and Public Sensitivity. Chaney and Mincey explained that Private Sensitivity reflects "when the Black male is alone; feels lonely; disguises or hides his tears from his romantic partner or others; and expresses a determination to not cry and/or continue crying" (p. 121). They said that Partnered Sensitivity happens "when the Black male encourages and/or connects with his romantic partner, other men, and/or members of the Black community through crying" (p. 121). Chaney and Mincey stated that Perceptive Sensitivity say takes place "when Black men acknowledge the tears shed by others, and shed tears themselves while being conscious of society's expectation that men suppress emotion and/or refrain from crying" (p. 121). They asserted that Public Sensitivity reflects "when the Black male cries publicly and verbally expresses that he does not care what others think of him" (p. 121). Chaney and Mincey reported that, "Private Sensitivity was demonstrated in 44 songs (56%), Partnered Sensitivity was demonstrated in 11 songs (14%), Perceptive Sensitivity was demonstrated in 12 songs (15%), Public Sensitivity was demonstrated in 11 songs (14%); and one song (1%) represented the partnered, perceptive, and Public Sensitivity theme" (p. 121). Chaney and Mincey, in their discussion, did not refer to the Hip Hop Movement as a culture.
Black Arts Movement as a Social Movement
King (1956) has informed us that the goals of social movements are the objectives toward which the activities are directed. As a whole, the Black Arts Movement developed some key four goals. One goal was to promote social change at the macro, middle, and micro levels of analysis. A second goal was to provide a forum for people to engage in the production of poetry, essays, plays, art, music, etc. A third goal was to develop institutions for the benefit of the masses. A fourth goal was to function as a revolutionary social force in the belly of the beast.
As a set of ideas and norms, the ideology of the Black Arts Movement reflected two major aspects. The Black Arts Movement was a bastion and citadel of Black nationalism and changing the existing social stratification system. It was also a threat to Wall Street and Madison Avenue. Some of the leaders of the organizations providing energy to the Black Arts Movement had their ideas about Black nationalism, social change, and various arts examined in the pages of the Life, San Francisco Chronicle, San Francisco Examiner, Sacramento Bee, Oakland Tribune, Wall Street Journal, Newsweek, and other mainstream periodicals. This occurred early in the history of some organizations as media outlets sought to assess a perceived threat.
On the one hand, Maulana Karenga and his US organization were featured in front page articles in Life and the Wall Street Journal. On the other hand, Huey P. Newton, Bobby Seale, and their organization were featured in front page articles in the San Francisco Chronicle, San Francisco Examiner, Sacramento Bee, Oakland Tribune, and Newsweek. Some of the those articles related to the Black Panther Party focused on the armed protest demonstration in Sacramento during 1967 and the shootout in Oakland during 1968 ("Watts Today," 1966; Belcher, 1967; "Capitol is Invaded: State Police," 1967; "Capitol is Invaded: Press Corps," 1967; "'Panther,'" 1967; "Guns," 1967; Smith, 1967; "Bail Set," 1967; Behrens, 1967; "One Killed, 1968; "8 Panthers Held," 1968; Calame, 1968; "The Panthers," 1970).
During the height of the Black Arts Movement, many Black writers made a conscious attempt to avoid establishing contracts with White publishing houses. Instead, they sought to develop Black-controlled periodicals and publishing houses that were independent of White capitalists. This attitude was exemplified in an important essay by Toure (1968a) titled "The Crises of Black Culture," which was published in The Journal of Black Poetry. Within that essay, Toure made the following statement:
... we Black writers must produce more literary journals. It's a shame that our main journals--Soulbook, Black Dialogue, Journal of Black Poetry--are all located on the West Coast! There should be some kind of regular literary publication representing each area--East Coast, Mid-west, South, and West Coast--as well as publications geared for national and international circulation. The writers in each region should make it their responsibility to organize workshops to train young thinkers and writers in Black Consciousness and New Black writing. Presently we are organizing this for Black Dialogue. (More than likely, we'll become more organized and develop these things as our movement matures and as we gain more confidence in deciding just what we're really proposing to accomplish.) All magazines having to do with Rhythm and Blues, Country Blues, etc., are in white hands. (p. 5)
For Toure, it was imperative that Black people establish Black-controlled periodicals and publishing houses across the USA. (4)
A second important statement occurred as a result of the Third Annual Black Power Conference. The conference was coordinated by Amiri Baraka, then LeRoi Jones, and held in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. After a creativity workshop at the conference, the participants issued a "report and resolution." Among other things, the participants of the creativity workshop called for the creation of a National Publishing House to be subsidized by "existing negro publishing and Black Front foundation finances, until it is established as a National Educational Cooperative" ("The 3rd Annual Black Power Conference," 1968, p. 7).
A third important statement appeared in Black Theatre #5 some three years later. That statement warned Black writers to be leery of White-controlled publishing firms--especially 3M. It read:
The 3M Company, a corporation of totally unscrupulous beasts is on a "Black Is Profitable (and dumb)" rampage. They have just written Black Theatre magazine along with several other artists and writers from the Black community for unconditional all-encompassing rights to our writings, paintings, etc., while offering us payment which must have come out of their petty cash box. They have recently distributed several new books which are really photo copies of old books by now dead Black authors. (We don't know how much money these dead Black folks' families made off the deal but if 3M holds true to form we're sure they didn't treat these dead Brothers any better than they are treating the lives ones.) Several years ago they tried all kinds of maneuvers to get to copy all of the material kept at the Schomberg (Library) Collection in Harlem (one of the most thorough and beautiful and totally BLACK libraries in the world). But Harlem people refused to let them in. O.K. Let's stay together, Black people. ("Hatari," 1971, p. 10).
Of course, there were some Black writers who did seek out and receive contracts from White controlled publishing houses connected with White capitalists. Nevertheless, even after the demise of the Black Arts Movement, a critical mass of Black writers has retained the notion that Black people should develop Black controlled publishing houses and periodicals.
Organization and Status System
The organization and status system of the Black Arts Movement were driven by its members and the social conditions they faced. The two types of members involved with the Black Arts Movement included personnel and functionaries. Personnel consisted of those members with sporadic participation and who did not have specialized roles. Functionaries were composed of those members with persistent participation and who did have specialized roles. The three types of functionaries that emerged in the Black Arts Movement were (1) the leader, (2) the bureaucrat; and (3) the agitator. (5)
The leader played the role of founder or successor to the founders. The people serving as leaders appeared to outsiders and personnel as being the catalysts behind the Black Arts Movement's distinctive policies and objectives. The bureaucrat had predominately administrative activities with either high or low status. Those people serving as bureaucrats with high status were policy-makers. They had the responsibility of efficiently operating the internal machinery. In contrast, those people serving as bureaucrats with low status had the responsibility of handling routine paperwork and implementing policy and major decisions that came from above. The agitator played the role of the liaison between the Black Arts Movement and the outside world. Those people serving as agitators had the chief function of being involved with promotion or proselytizing. As promoters, they furthered the goals of the Black Arts Movement with publicity tactics, propaganda tactics, lobbying tactics, legal sanctions tactics, etc. In the role of proselytizers, they functioned as missionaries with the objective of converting outsiders into members. (6)
King (1956) has defined tactics as "activities and policies of a movement which are directed at the 'outside world'" (p. 36). They pertain to "the means by which attainment of goals is directly attempted and by which new members are ultimately brought into the fold" (p. 37). The Black Arts Movement sought to bring as many members into the fold as possible. It sought to transform itself as a mass movement. However, it had a formidable enemy in the COINTELPRO (Counterintelligence Program) developed by the FBI (Federal Bureau of Intelligence). A key tactical blunder of the Black Arts Movement was its inability to control the flow of undercover FBI agents, agent provocateurs, and informants into various organizations. The undercover FBI agents, agent provocateurs, and informants were directed by COINTELPRO to spy on members and to disrupt the normal flow of operations (Cromartie, 2013c).
In terms of internal development, King (1956) has reported that social movements have careers that are developed in response to social conditions. Within that context, social conditions "stimulate personal discontent which may become manifest as social unrest" (p. 40). Some of those social conditions identified by King include heterogeneity, cultural confusion, and mass communication. In the case of Black people in the United States of America, those social conditions also include social and economic inequality based on police brutality, racial discrimination in hiring practices, racial discrimination in the criminal justice system, and health disparities. As it sought to respond to those conditions with different types of artistic modes, the Black Arts Movement passed through three major phases, namely the incipient phase, organizational phase, and stable phase.
King (1956) has pointed out that the incipient phase "is one which is only recognized and defined in retrospect" (p. 42). He has noted that the incipient phase "begins when the individual or individuals chiefly responsible for the inception of a movement become conscious of this possibility" (p. 42). The Black Arts Movement emerged in 1964 with beachfronts in two main areas: the New York City area and the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Area. (7) The New York City area was the location where Amiri Baraka and others developed the Black Arts Repertory Theater/School. Neal (1968) has informed us that:
In the spring of 1964, LeRoi Jones, Charles Patterson, William Patterson, Clarence Reed, Johnny Moore, and a number of other Black artists opened the Black Arts Repertoire Theatre School. They produced a number of plays including Jones' Experimental Death Unit # One, Black Mass, Jello, and Dutchman. They also initiated a series of poetry readings and concerts. These activities represented the most advanced tendencies in the movement and were of excellent artistic quality. (p. 32)
In his statement regarding the founding of the Black Arts Repertory Theater/School, Neal may have made an error in writing 1964 instead of 1965. Both Salaam (1997) and Smethurst (2005) list the Black Arts Repertory Theater/School as being founded in 1965 and not 1964. The name of that institution has also been spelled in a variety of ways. Baraka (1984) has spelled it as the "Black Arts Repertory Theater/School." In his spelling, Neal (1968) used "Black Arts Repertoire Theatre School." Salaam (1997) has spelled is as the "Black Arts Repertory Theatre/School." Smethurst (2005) has spelled it as the "Black Arts Repertory Theater/School." Although their spellings have varied, it is very clear that they are referring to the same institution. As used here, the spelling will follow Baraka.
During 1965, there were two crucial events in the New York area. Malcolm X was assassinated on February 21, 1965 in Harlem, and Amiri Baraka left his White wife and moved to Harlem, in March 1965, to start the Black Arts Repertory Theater/School. In his memoir, Baraka (1984) has shed light on some of the Black people who joined him in this important endeavor. He wrote:
A basic core was the Hackensacks (Shammy definite, Tong most of the time), Jimmy Lesser, Dave, McLucas, a friend of Tong's who came along, Tub, a largish, sourly succinct dude; and after work, Corny and Clarence, plus Leroy McLucas and, a little later, Clarence Reed, the poet, who was hanging around on Lennox Avenue at the Progressive Labor Party offices, due in large part to his friendship with their black organizer, Bill Epton. (p. 368)
Some of the other people Baraka identified as being involved with the Black Arts Repertory Theater/School were Larry P. Neal; Askia Muhummad Toure (Roland Snellings); Max Stanford; Vashti Lowns; Sun Ra; Albert Ayler; Jim Campbell; Yusef Iman; Milford Graves; Andrew Hill; Joe Overstreet; Harold Cruse; Sam Anderson; Ed Spriggs; Sonia Sanchez; Barbara Ann Teer; Olabumi; and Vashti Lowns. (8)
When the Black Arts Movement first emerged many of the key people had not changed their names. For example, after the emergence of the Black Arts Movement, LeRoi Jones became known variously as Ameer Baraka, Imamu Ameer Baraka, Imamu Amiri Baraka, and Amiri Baraka. (9) Many other people involved with the Black Arts Repertory Theater/School also adopted African or Arabic names. In addition to the Black Arts Repertory Theater/School, the Revolutionary Action Movement was a key organization involved with the Black Arts Movement. Max Stanford was one of the leaders of RAM, and he was also involved with the Black Arts Repertory Theater/School. Such participation quickly made Stanford an important target of COINTELPRO. After the FBI intensified that program in 1967, Stanford's name was at the head of the list to be neutralized (Ahmad, 2008; Baraka, 1984; Cromartie, 2013c).
Basically, the Black Arts Repertory Theater/School broke up when Baraka left Harlem and moved back to Newark, his hometown in December 1965. Baraka (1984) has identified a number of interpersonal conflicts that developed and caused major problems at the Black Arts Repertory Theater/School. Without a doubt, the organization had a number of strong personalities with competing agendas at times. The organization had also been infiltrated by at least two undercover FBI agents. Baraka has recalled:
Harold Cruse was our history teacher and at one time he had two FBI agents in his classes. One, Donald Duncan, was later implicated in framing Max Stanford and Herman Ferguson for some bullshit attempt to assassinate Roy Wilkins and Whitney Young. Another one of these agents had also penetrated Malcolm's OAAU. One guy was tall and light-skinned with red freckles. I'd see him going back and forth to Harold's class. Later we put out flyers and circulated them to many cities with these dudes' pictures and one of their lady friends, alerting people to these agents' presence. (p. 380)
It very well may be the case that the two undercover FBI agents helped to foster interpersonal conflicts within the Black Arts Repertory Theatre/School.
Another important development on the East Coast was Harlem's New Lafayette Theatre. Between 1968 and 1973, Ed Bullins served as the associate director for this institution. While working at the New Lafayette Theatre, Bullins produced many of the plays he wrote dealing with the Black experience. Bullins also developed a Black Theatre Workshop and the periodical Black Theatre. The first issue of Black Theatre, which was released 1968 and also known as Black Theatre #1, listed the following names and positions on its editorial board: Ed Bullins, editor; Roscoe Orman, associate editor; Marvin X, assistant editor--foreign; George Ford, art director; and Beverly Collins, secretary. The contents included a news item titled "A Report from San Francisco" by Adam David Miller; a news item titled "The Afro-Americans Thespians of Philadelphia" by Barry Shuck; a news item titled "The Free Southern Theatre" by Tom Dent; an essay titled "Black Theatre Notes" by Ed Bullins; a poem titled "The Actress," which was written by Joe "Dingane" Goncalves and dedicated to Dorothy Dandridge; an essay titled "Cultural Nationalism and Black Theatre" by Larry Neal; an essay titled "The Crises in Black Culture" by Askia Muhammad Toure; an interview with Amiri Baraka titled "Everything's Cool: An Interview with LeRoi Jones" by Marvin X; an interview with Clifford Mason titled "The Electronic Ni**er Meets the Gold Dust Twins" by Robert Macbeth and Ed Bullins; a theatre review titled "Errol John's Moon on a Rainbow Shawl" by Marvin X; and a theatre review titled "Richard Wright's Daddy Goodness" by Peter Bailey.
The second issue of Black Theatre was released in 1969. It was also known as Black Theatre #2 and had the following names and positions on its editorial board: Ed Bullins, editor; Marvin X, associate editor; Roscoe Orman, associate editor; George Ford, art director; Sam Wright, business manager; Hattie Gossett, copy editor; Trixie Bullins, editorial assistant; and Stephen B. Taylor, distribution. The contents consisted of a news item titled "The Southside Center of ther Performing Arts, Inc." by Bruce Milman; a news item titled "PASLA" by Vantile E. Whitfield; a news item titled "The New Lafayette Theatre" by Roscoe Orman; a news item titled "The Free Southern Theatre" by Thomas Dent; a news item titled "New Orleans" by Theodore E. Gilliam; a news item titled "Spirit House" by Larry Miller; a news item titled "Philadelphia's Black Drama Season '67-'68" by Barry Schuck; an anonymous "Third Annual Black Power Conference: Creativity Workshop Report;" a play titled A Black Ritual by Robert Macbeth; an interview with Amiri Baraka titled "God is Black! Islam and Black Art: An Interview with LeRoi Jones" by Marvin X and Faruk; an essay titled "Foreword" by Askia Muhammad Toure; a poem by Ameer Baraka titled "Study Peace;" an essay titled "Afterword" by Marvin X; a play titled Growin' into Blackness by Salimu; an essay titled "The Mysterious Disappearance of Black Arts West" by Joe Goncalves; a statement "To All Black Actors and Other Interested Parties Re: 'The Confessions of Nat Turner' by William Styron to be Produced by David Wolper and Norman Jewison" distributed by the Association to End Defamation of Black People and signed or endorsed by many people including Ossie Davis, John Henrik Clarke, and Ron Karenga; a March 26, 1968 letter written to David Wolper and Norman Jewison by the Steering Committee of the Association to End Defamation of Black People regarding a motion picture based on the book The Confessions of Nat Turner by William Styron; a review of a performance of The Last Poets by Bill Simmons; and a review by Bill Simmons of James Baldwin's play The Amen Corner under the direction of Ernie McClintock.
The third issue of Black Theatre appeared in 1969 and was also known as Black Theatre #3. The editorial board was composed of the following names and positions: Ed Bullins, editor; Marvin X, associate editor; Roscoe Orman, associate editor; Lynn Capehart, art director; Hattie Gossett, copy editor; and Trixie Bullins, editorial assistant. As for the contents, they included a news item titled "Newark" that was unsigned; a news item titled "The Dashiki Project Theatre: New Orleans" that was unsigned; a news item titled "We are the Theater: The Free Southern Theater's Community Workshop Program" by Val Ferdinand; a poem titled '"Entertaining' Troops!" by Askia Muhammad Toure; a play In the Wine Time by Ed Bullins; an essay titled "Could He have been Born From the Start to be So Near titled to Our Hearts?: On Langston Hughes" by Woodie King; a scenario for a short film titled The Box Office by Ed Bullins as related by Robert Macbeth; an interview with Robert Macbeth titled "The Black Ritual Theatre: An Interview with Robert Macbeth" by Marvin X; a poem titled "Praise Be the Resurrection of the Dead" by Duncan X; a play titled "The Resurrection of the Dead" by Marvin X; a play titled The King of Soul or the Devil and Otis Redding by Ben Caldwell; a review by Charles Gordon of Langston Hughes's play Black Nativity under the direction of Ernie McClintock along with Andrew Cooper as the musical director; and a review by Bill Simmons of Joseph Dolan Tuotti's play Big Time Buck White under the direction of Dick Williams. That issue of Black Theatre also featured an advertisement from Amiri Baraka's Jihad Productions indicating that it had released books, plays, a film, and a record.
In 1968, an influential journal known as The Drama Review selected Bullins to serve as the guest editor for a special issue. Among the writings in that important issue are a comment on the death of Martin Luther King, Jr. by Ed Bullins; a description in the form of an outline of the San Francisco State Black Communications Project by LeRoi Jones (Amiri Baraka); a play titled The Uncle Toms by Herbert Stokes; a play titled And We Own the Night by Jimmy Garrett; an essay titled "Motion in the Ocean: Some Political Dimensions of the Free Southern Theater" by John O'Neal; a play titled The Bronx Is Next by Sonia Sanchez; a play titled Take Care of Business by Marvin X; an essay titled "A Short Statement on Street Theatre" by Ed Bullins; a play titled The Monster: A One-Act Play by Ron Milner; a play titled Home on the Range and another play titled Police by LeRoi Jones (Amiri Baraka); an essay titled "Black Theatre: Present Condition" by Woodie King; a play titled Johnnas by Bill Gunn; a play titled Papa's Daughter by Dorothy Ahmad; an essay titled "It's a Long Way to St. Louis: Notes on the Audience for Black Drama" by Adam David Miller; a play titled Old Judge Mose Is Dead by Joseph White; an essay titled "Building a Black Theatre" by Henrietta Harris; a play titled Clara's Ole Man by Ed Bullins; and a report titled "Select Bibliography: Black Plays, Books and Articles Related to Black Theatre Published from 1/1960 to 2/1968" by Ola Jurges. The special issue also included a directory of Black theatres in the USA by Ed Bullins and the following four plays by Ben Caldwell: Riot Sale or Dollar Psyche Fake Out; The Job; Top Secret or a Few Million after B.C.; and Mission Accomplished.
With his article in the Drama Review, Neal (1968) accomplished several things. First, Neal became one of the first, if not the first to use the term "Black Arts Movement" to identify this forward motion of a critical mass of Black people around cultural matters. Second, Neal informed us that Amiri Baraka (LeRoi Jones) was one first people to use the term "Black Arts" in a positive sense. Third, Neal identified the following people as having made significant contributions to the development of the Black Arts Movement: Don L. Lee (Haki Madubuti), Etheridge Knight, Charles Patterson, William Patterson, Clarence Reed, Johnny Moore, Maulana Karenga, Ron Milner, Ed Bullins, Ben Caldwell, Jimmy Stewart, Joe White, Charles Fuller, Aisha Hughes, Carol Freeman, and Jimmy Garrett. In his view, those were some of the people who proceeded to "express the general mood of the Black Arts ideology" (p. 37). Instead of protesting and issuing an appeal to the morality of White people as did Black people in the New Negro Movement, Neal said that the Black people in the Black Arts Movement were primarily concerned about speaking to the psyche of Black people. Neal began his essay by stating that:
The Black Arts Movement is radically opposed to any concept of the artist that alienates him from his community. This movement is the aesthetic and spiritual sister of the Black Power concept. As such, it envisions an art that speaks directly to the needs and aspirations of Black America. In order to perform this task, the Black Arts Movement proposes a radical reordering of the western cultural aesthetic. It proposes a separate symbolism, mythology, critique, and iconology. The Black Arts and the Black Power concept both relate broadly to the Afro-American's desire for self-determination and nationhood. Both concepts are nationalistic. One is concerned with the relationship between art and politics; the other with the art of politics. (p. 29)
For Neal, it was imperative for Black people in the Black Arts Movement to develop a Black aesthetic. He also argued that: "The Black Arts Movement believes that your ethics and your aesthetics are one" (p. 31). (10)
The second beachfront location for the Black Arts Movement in 1964 was the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Area (hereafter Bay Area). The people in the Bay Area's Black Arts Movement doubled as avowed political activists as well as cultural workers. Some were involved with RAM as members. Others were involved with CORE or SNCC. Some of the people in RAM included Kenneth Freeman (Mamadou Lumumba), Issac Moore, Zolli Ndele, Bobby Seale (future co-founder of the Black Panther Party), Ernie Allen, and Douglas Allen. They created a base at Merritt College through a student organization known as the Soul Students Advisory Council. Looking back on the Bay Area RAM members, Ahmad (2008) has recalled:
Allen, Freeman, and others founded a journal called Soulbook that published prose and poetry that is best described as left black nationalist in orientation. Freeman, in particular, was highly respected among RAM activists and widely read. He constantly pushed his members to think about black struggle in a global context. The editors of Soulbook also developed ties with old African-American radicals; the most famous was former communist Harry Haywood whose work they published in an early issue. (p. 139)
Ahmad further explained that RAM sought to propagate anti-imperialist ideology through several periodicals.
Two of RAM's periodicals included Soulbook and Black America. On the one hand, the Bay Area's RAM produced Soulbook. With a post office box as its mailing address in Berkeley, California, Soulbook made its debut in 1964. On the other hand, East Coast and Midwest RAM members produced a quarterly titled Black America. Ahmad (2008) has reported that his mentor Malcolm X would refer to Black America as "my publication" when he gave speeches during his last trip to Africa in l964. RAM members also contributed to a monthly titled Liberator. Ahmad has informed us that, "RAM also popularized its writings through feature writers Roland Snellings and me in the popular nationalist monthly Liberator magazine edited by Daniel Watts in New York" (p. 137). (11) According to Ahmad, "RAM was also active in helping LeRoi Jones develop the Black Arts Movement. The Black Arts Movement was originally to be the cultural wing of RAM" (p. 141).
When the first issue of Soulbook appeared during the winter of 1964, it was known as Soulbook 1 as well as volume one and number one. The masthead reported that the editorial board consisted of Donald Freeman, Issac Moore, Ernest Allen, Jr. (Ernie Allen), Carroll Holmes, Kenn M. Freeman, and Bobb Hamilton. Bob Hamilton was also listed as the East Coast representative for the periodical. The subtitle of the periodical said that it was "the quarterly journal of revolutionary afroamerica." The masthead disclosed that the focus of the periodical was jazz, economics, poetry, and anti-imperialism. The contents of the Winter 1964 issue of Soulbook were composed of an essay titled "Black Nationalism on the Right" by Ernie Allen; an essay titled "The Real Reasons Tanganyika and Zanzibar United and became Tanzania" by Kenn M. Freeman; a review titled "On Methods and Leadership" by Mamadou Lumumba; a study of Mark Twain's anti-"Negro" attitudes titled "Puddn' Head and the Negro" by Bobb Hamilton; an "Annotated Bibliography on the South African Situation" by Kenn M. Freeman; a review of "The Masters and the Slaves" by Donald Freeman; a review of Short History of Africa by Kenn M. Freeman; and an essay titled "Delicate Child" by Marvin E. Jackmon. It also included an untitled poem by George Murray (George Murray Murray); five untitled poems by Carol Freeman; a poem titled "Pure Soul" by W. Best; a poem titled "Message to Brothers" and a poem titled "Sam's Moment" by Wm. Patterson.
The second issue of Soulbook made its appearance in Spring 1965. It was also known as Soulbook 2 as well volume one and number two. The masthead stated that the editorial board was composed of Donald Freeman, Issac Moore, Ernest Allen, Jr., Carroll Holmes, Kenn M. Freeman, and Bobb Hamilton. It also listed Bobb Hamilton as the New York representative and Bobby Seale as the distribution manager. As was the case with the first issue, the subtitle of the periodical said that it was "the quarterly journal of revolutionary afroamerica." Once again the masthead related that the focus of the periodical was jazz, economics, poetry, and anti-imperialism. In terms of the contents, the Spring 1965 issue of Soulbook included an essay titled "El Hajji Malik Shabazz: Leader, Prophet, Martyr" by Bobb Hamilton; a poem titled "For Malcolm" by Ernie Allen; an essay titled "Did the United Nations Benefit the Congo?" by Kenn M. Freeman; an essay titled "American Savagery and the Future" by Elizabeth Ann Rhodes; an essay titled "That Boy LeRoi" by Langston Hughes; an open letter to the editors of the New York Post regarding Langston Hughes titled "A Reply" by Bobb Hamilton; an essay titled "To All the Freedom Loving People of the World" by Charles Simmons; a poem titled "All My Yesterdays" by Sherley A. Williams; a poem titled "Malcolm Exsiccated" by T. R. Horne; a poem titled "Consolidated Edison Blues" by Bobb Hamilton; an untitled poem by Carol Freeman; a poem titled "Restitution" by Wm. Patterson; a poem titled "Soul is" by Marvin E. Jackmon; a poem titled "Tranetracks" by Ernie Allen; an untitled poem by Ronald Stone; a poem titled "Earth" by Roland Snellings; a "Letter to Draft Board 100 Wayne County, Detroit, Michigan" by General G. Baker, Jr.; an essay titled "W. E. B. Du Bois: Black Militant or Negro Leader?" by Ted Vincent; and an essay titled "The Negro Image in Western Art" by Bobb Hamilton.
The issue of Soulbook for Fall 1965 was also known as Soulbook 3 as well volume one and number three. For that issue, the masthead noted that the editorial board consisted of Donald Freeman, Issac Moore, Ernest Allen, Carroll Holmes, Kenn M. Freeman, and Bobb Hamilton. Bobb Hamilton was also listed as the New York representative. The masthead disclosed that it was "the quarterly journal of revolutionary afromamerica." It also stated that the focus of the periodical was on jazz, economics, poetry, and anti-imperialism. The contents of the Fall 1965 issue of Soulbook were composed of an essay titled "That's Watts Happenin'" by Bobb Hamilton; a poem titled "Burn, Baby, Burn" by Marvin Jackmon; an essay titled "Africa, China, & the U.S." by Cheikh Anta Diop; an editorial titled "Robert Williams: A New Figure on Stage and Screen;" an essay titled "The Man from F.L.N.: Brother Frantz Fanon" by Kenn M. Freeman; an excerpt from a novel titled Do Jesus? by Carol Freeman; an essay titled "The Facade of Bourgeois Democracy" by Donald Freeman; a poem titled "State of the Union Message" by Aime Cesaire; a poem titled "Emmet Till" by Aime Cesaire; a poem titled "Backwages" by Harold Foster; an untitled poem by Ronald Stone; a poem titled "Carbon Copy Whiteman" by K. William Kgositsile; a poem titled "Notes from Great Society Prison" by Ernie Allen; a poem titled "Bandung War Poem" by Rolland Snellings; a poem titled "The Goose" by Glenn Myles; an untitled poem by Carol Freeman; an essay titled "Partners in White Racism" by K. William Kgositsile; an essay titled "The Crisis of Negro Reformism & the Growth of Nationalism" by Harry Haywood; an essay titled "The Puerto Rican Revolution" by Alfredo Pena; and an essay titled "Notes on James Boggs' American Revolution" by Ernie Allen and Kenn M. Freeman.
The fourth issue of Soulbook made its appearance in Winter 1965-1966. It was also known as Soulbook 4 as well volume one and number four. The masthead stated that the editorial board was composed of Donald Freeman, Issac Moore, Ernie Allen, Alvin Morrel, Kenn M. Freeman, Carroll Holmes, and Bobb Hamilton. Bobb Hamilton was listed as the New York representative and Bobby Seale as the distribution manager. The masthead disclosed that it was "the quarterly journal of revolutionary afromamerica." It also stated that the focus of the periodical was on jazz, economics, poetry, and anti-imperialism. The contents of the Winter 1965-1966 of Soulbook were composed of an editorial on Vietnam, SNCC, Julian Bond, and Richard Gibson; a poem titled "From the Wars" by Patricia Bullins; a communique from Revolution magazine on Richard Gibson; an essay titled "Notes on the Avant-Garde: A Brief Perspective of Black Music in the United States" by Alvin Morrell; an essay titled "A Reply to Mrs. "Instant-Hair" Thompson--Part One of a Sermon to the Black Bourgeoisie" by Jumma Troupe; an essay titled "Psychology and Negritude" by Frantz Fanon; a short story titled " 'Twas the Night Before Christmas" by Douglas Allen; an essay titled "The Two Epochs of Nation-Development: Is Black Nationalism a Form of Classical Nationalism" by Harry Haywood; a poem titled "Revelations" by Carol Turner; a poem titled "Bauble" by Theodore Horne; a poem titled "Hiphiphooray" by Ronald Stone; a poem titled "Man Mating" by John Fischer; a poem titled "Motivation" by Harold Foster; a poem titled "Black Man Blues" by Wm. Patterson; a poem titled "Blues for Bro. Death: Blues for You" by Ernie Allen; a poem titled "From the Ghetto, Darkly" by Gaston Neal; a poem titled "Inherent and Inherited Mistrusts" by K. William Kgositsile; an essay titled "The Puerto Rican Revolution: Part 2" by Alfredo Pena; a quote by Orlando Patterson on James Baldwin; an essay titled "The Need to Develop a Revolutionary Consciousness" by Roland Young; an essay titled "Liberation Movements in the Portuguese Colonies: Towards a Black Liberation Army" by Germain Mba; a quote from a speech by Kwame Nkrumah on Alhaji Sir Abubakar Tafawa Balewa; a one-act play titled The Suicide by Carol Freeman; and an essay titled "It was Election Time in New York--Again" by Bobb Hamilton; an essay titled "The Colonized of North America: A Review-Essay of Fanon's Studies in a Dying Colonialism"" by Kenn M. Freeman.
When the fifth issue of Soulbook appeared during the summer of 1966, it was known as Soulbook 5 as well as volume two and number one. The masthead reported that the editorial board consisted of Donald Freeman, Issac Moore, Ernie Allen, Leo R. Huey, Alvin Morrell, Kenn M. Freeman, Carroll Holmes, and Bobb Hamilton. It also listed Bobb Hamilton as the New York representative and Harold Robinson as the distribution manager. The subtitle of the periodical said that it was "the quarterly journal of revolutionary afroamerica." The masthead disclosed that the focus of the periodical was jazz, economics, poetry, and anti-imperialism. The contents of the Summer 1966 issue of Soulbook were composed of an essay titled "Letter to Soulfolk" by Bobb Hamilton; an essay titled "How the Coup in Ghana will Affect the African Liberation Struggle" by P.K. Laballo; an essay titled "Towards a Real Black Theater;" by Ed Bullins; an essay titled "The Market of the Dead" by Guillermo Hoke; an essay titled "Meditations in Scarlet Hue" by Hassan; a document titled "Resolution on the Rights of Afro Americans in the U.S.A.," which was passed by the First Conference of Solidarity of the African, Asian and Latin American Peoples held in Havana, Cuba January 3 to 12, 1966; a short story titled "Otis Goes Into the Army" by Doug Allen; quotes on leadership by Sekou Toure, Juan Arevalo, Louise Moore, Mao Tse-Tung, Mohammed Abdul Rahman Babu, and Moses Jefferson; a poem titled "Black Criminal" by Clarence Major; a poem by Ernie Allen titled "To Akilimali (Whose Richness is in Reason and in Love);" a poem titled "Man's Oneness with God" by John Fischer; a poem titled "A Voice from Watts" by Patricia Parker; a poem titled "Brother Harlem Bedford Watts Tells Mr. Charlie Where It's At" by Bobb Hamilton; a poem titled "Woody and the Reading Railroad" by Larry Neal; a poem "For Afromerica" by K. Willy Kgositsile; an essay titled "The World is the Black Man's Land! Part 1 : Power in the City" by Willie Green; a short story titled "Things that Go Bump in the Night" by Carol Freeman; an article titled "The Bitter Harvest" by Anita Cornwell; a document titled "Statement on the White Man's Draft by Ernie Allen, Co-Editor of Soulbook (given on April, 1966)" by Ernie Allen; an essay titled "It the Black Bourgeoisie the Leader of the Black Liberation Movement" by Harry Haywood; and an essay titled "Haiti: A Black Revolution will Repeat Itself" by Paul Lantimo.
Two important CORE members involved with the Black Arts Movement on the West Coast beachfront included Joe Goncalves (Dingane) and Jimmy Garrett (James P. Garrett). After Black Dialogue emerged in 1965, they both contributed to the development of that journal. Before he founded his landmark periodical The Journal of Black Poetry, Goncalves served as the poetry editor of Black Dialogue. Under the leadership of Arthur A. Sheridan, Black Dialogue was first released in the 1965. There is a 1965 copyright notice listed, but there is no month, season, or volume information printed in the issue. The inside cover of the issue states that: "This is the first issue of Black Dialogue; we expect to publish at least once every two months. Black Dialogue is a meeting place for voices of the Black community wherever that community may exist" (Editorial Board, 1966, p. i). (12)
The Special Collections section of the McHenry Library at the University of California, Santa Cruz has a copy of the first issue of Black Dialogue. The computerized card catalog log file of the Special Collections section of the McHenry Library at the University of California, Santa Cruz states that the first issue of Black Dialogue was published in Spring 1965. However, that first issue does not indicate on its cover or internal pages that it was published in Spring 1965. It does indicate that the journal was based in California. For that first issue of Black Dialogue, Arthur A. Sheridan was listed as editor-in-chief and Edward Simms Spriggs as the East Coast editor. The periodical also reported that it had an editorial board consisting of Abdul Kaliem, Joe Howard, Aubrey Labree (Aubrey LaBrie), and Sydney Schiffer. As for the contents of the periodical, the first issue featured an editorial titled "In Honor of the Late Malcolm X" by Arthur A. Sheridan; a poem titled "Dark Pastures" by Winston O'Hara; an essay titled "The Revolutionary Theatre" by LeRoi Jones (Amiri Baraka); a poem titled "Friday June 12 1964" by Al Young; an essay titled "Negritude Americaine" by Edward S. Spriggs; a poem titled "Lament for a March Wind" by Mary Berry; an essay titled "The Picket Line" by Arthur Sheridan; a poem titled "Harlem is and Harlem has" by Edward S. Spriggs; a short story titled "The Pipe Dreamer" by Marvin E. Jackmon (Marvin X); an untitled poem by George Murray (George Mason Murray); an essay titled "The Afro-American and International Politics: Some Implications" by Aubrey LaBrie; an essay titled "The Future of 'Soul' in America" by Joe Howard; four untitled Haiku poems by Jon Lovett; a poem titled "In the Low and Wretched Land" by Duke Williams; an essay titled "The San Francisco Movement for Dignity and Freedom" by Bill Bradley; a short story titled "Elenore Goodstein" by Ed Bullins; and an essay titled "Books-in-Review" by Joe Gonsalves (Joe Goncalves). The latter was actually a review of Daniel Chu and Elliott Skinner's A Glorious Age in Africa and Agnes McCarthy and Lawrence Reddick's Worth Fighting For.
Beginning with its second issue, Black Dialogue began the practice of listing the year and month(s) or season as well as the volume and number. The July-August 1965 issue of Black Dialogue, which was volume one and number two, listed an Editorial Board with the following people and positions: Arthur A. Sheridan, editor; Abdul Karim, managing editor; Edward S. Spriggs, New York editor; Aubrey Labrie, political editor; Marvin Jackmon, fiction editor; Charles Akin, Southern California representative; Duke Williams, Southern California representative; Saadat Ahmad, art director; Glen Miles, art director; Jon Lovett, circulation; and Jim Aliniece, circulation. The contents of the July-August 1965 issue of Black Dialogue consisted of an editorial on the war in Vietnam, police brutality, and other issues; an essay titled "The South in Perspective" by Bob "Moses" Parris; an essay titled "Santo Domingo: U.S. Wins Another Battle" by Abdul Karim; an essay titled "The Fantasy and Its Enforcers" by Joe Gonsalves (Joe Goncalves); an unsigned essay titled "The Duke and the (Pulitzer) Prize" reprinted from a periodical known as The Mallet and published by the Freedom Now Party; an essay titled "Jazz or the Mainstream?" by Charles Akin; an essay titled "Africa: Economic Unity" by Joseph Steward; an essay titled "Negritude--Black Bomb" by Elongo-Sama; an essay titled "European-Latin Myth: An Open Letter from an Indonesian Student" by Gerado Rosal; an essay titled "Amen to the Revolutionary Theatre & Black Arts" by Edward S. Spriggs; an essay titled "To Make a Poet Black and Bid Him Sing" by Arthur A. Sheridan; an essay titled "Black Arts" by LeRoi Jones (Amiri Baraka); a book review titled "Fanon's Wretched Earth" by F. Douglas Lewis; an essay titled "Spiral" by Romare Bearden; a short story titled "Mother's Day" by Marvin Jackmon (Marvin X); graphics by Earl Miller; a poem titled "Soul Street ..." by Ojijiko Oshuntoki; a poem titled "Special Section for the Ni**as on the Lower Eastside or: Invert the Divisor and Multiply" by Welton Smith; a poem titled "Black Mother" by Welton Smith; a poem titled "The Beast Section" by Welton Smith; a poem titled "Washington" by Welton Smith; a poem titled "Second Genesis" by Welton Smith; a poem titled "Marcia" by Jon Lovett; a poem titled "Marie" by Jon Lovett; a poem titled "Formula for Blue Blues Babies" by De Leon Harrison; a poem titled "Saturday Come Sunday" by De Leon Harrison; a poem titled "The Magnificent X" by Duke Williams; an untitled poem by Oswald L. Jones; a poem titled "Raindrops" by McElroy; a poem titled "Toward the End" by McElroy; a poem titled "LXV" by H. Rainey; a poem titled "The Slave" by Larry Neal; an untitled by Larry Neal; a poem titled "Anthem" by Joseph Bailey; a poem titled "Just Look" by Conyus Calhoun; a poem titled "A Woman's Love" by Patricia Bullins; a poem titled "Je Suis Las" by Al Young; a poem titled "Topsy Part 2" by Al Young; a poem titled "Tom-Tom" by Alphonse Florian Ngoma translated from the French by Mary Beach and reprinted from City Lights Journal 2; a play titled How Do You Do: A Nonsense Drama by Ed Bullins; a letter to the editors by Peter Edler; a poem titled "For Eric Dolphy: Feathers" by Bram Dijkstra; a poem titled "Billie" by Bram Dijkstra; a letter to the editors by Seg. Echeverrid; a letter to the editors by George Olshausen; and some drawings by Glen Myles.
The Winter 1966 issue of Black Dialogue was volume one and numbers three and four. The journal reported that its Editorial Board was composed of the following people: Arthur A. Sheridan, editor; Abdul Karim, managing editor; Edward S. Spriggs, New York editor; Joseph Seward, African editor; Aubrey Labrie, political editor; Charles Akin, editorial assistant; De Leon Harrison, editorial assistant; Marvin Jackmon, fiction editor; Joe Goncalves, poetry editor; Duke Williams, Southern California representative; Saadat Ahmad, art director; Jim Aliniece, circulation; and Doug Fox, circulation. The contents of the Winter 1966 issue included an unsigned editorial on the direction of Black literature; an essay titled "Problems of Afro-Americans: An Essay Based on Fanon's Wretched of the Earth" by Lawrence Neal; an essay titled "Vietnam Eyewitness View from Hanoi" by Harold Supriano; an essay titled "Black Nationalism and Black Nationalists" by Donald Hopkins; an essay titled "Revolutionary Nationalism and the Black Artist" by James T. Stewart; an essay titled "My Queen, I Greet You (An Open Letter to Black Women)" by Eldridge Cleaver; a play titled Flowers for the Trashman: A Play in One Act by Marvin Jackmon (Marvin X); photographs of five paintings by Raymond Howell; a poem titled "The Year of the Smoke" by Larry Neal; a poem titled "Professor Whiteside" by Marvin E. Jackmon (Marvin X); a poem titled "hayou the pimp" by E. Spriggs (E. Edward Spriggs); a poem titled "The Ni**a Section" by Welton Smith; a poem titled "Malcolm" by Welton Smith; an untitled poem by Welton Smith; a poem titled "A Folding and Unfolding" by Welton Smith; a poem titled "Longness" by Joe Goncalves; a poem titled "The Instrument" by Joe Goncalves; a poem titled "That To Love Her or Her Eyes" by Joe Goncalves; an untitled poem by Patricia Bullins; a poem titled "The Vultures" by David Diop that was translated by Willy Brown; a poem titled "The Renegade" by David Diop that was translated by Willy Brown; three poems from Africa presented by Joe Goncalves; a poem titled "E. M." by De Leon Harrison; photographs of four sculptures and two paintings by Sargent Johnson; lyrics and music to a song titled "I'm Telling You Brother" by Kaye Dunham; an essay titled "An Open Letter to the Residents of Watts from an Oakland Calif. High School Student" by H. Labrie; a short story titled "Thomas Jefferson Jones III" by Jane Clay; a short story titled "Love Song for Willa Mae" by C. H. Fuller, Jr.; an essay titled "Like It Was" by Ed Bullins; an essay titled "Claude Brown: A Man-Child" by Abdul Karim; and two cartoons by Ollie Harington.
The Autumn 1966 issue of Black Dialogue, which was volume two and number five, reported an Editorial Board with the following names and positions: Abdul Karim, editor; Saadat Ahmad, editorial staff; Jim Aliniece, editorial staff; Charles Akin, editorial staff; Joe Goncalves, editorial staff; Duke Williams, editorial staff; George McNeal, editorial staff; Aubrey LaBrie, editorial staff; Huey LaBrie, editorial staff; Edward S. Spriggs, editorial staff; Marvin Jackmon, editorial staff; T. C. Williams, editorial staff; and E. R. DeMoica, editorial staff; George Holland, circulation; and Ramon Tyson, circulation. The contents of the Autumn 1966 issue of Black Dialogue consisted of an unsigned editorial on the death of Matthew Johnson; an essay titled "Black Black Power in Urban Ghettoes" by Peter LaBrie; an unsigned essay titled "US--Black Nationalism on the Move;" an essay titled "How Dat? Watcha Say? Say it Again, Huh?" by Cheebo Batuta (Earl "Vann" Evans); an essay titled "Will Success Spoil Aretha Franklin?" by Abdul Karim; a play titled Papa's Daughter or People Cry at Weddings, Sometimes: A Drama in One Act by Dorothy Ahmad; a short story titled "The Bus Ride" by Jimmy Garrett; a drawing by Eugene White; photographs of seven Black women in "The 'Fox' Section;" an essay titled "On the Artist as a Black Man" by Marvin Jackmon (Marvin X); a poem titled "The Black Man is Making New Gods" by LeRoi Jones (Amiri Baraka); a poem titled "Part of the Doctrine" by LeRoi Jones; a poem titled "Plenty" by LeRoi Jones; a poem titled "The Occident" by LeRoi Jones; a poem titled "Indians" by LeRoi Jones; a poem titled "A Description of Manhattan Isle" by Norman L. Jacob; a poem titled "The Hermit" by Rudy Bee Graham; a poem titled "we know and still we dance" by E. Simm Spriggs; a poem titled "The Middle Passage and After" by Larry Neal; a poem titled "The Tornado" by Aime Cesaire that was translated by Willie Brown; a poem titled "Burn, Baby, Burn" by Marvin X; a book review of LeRoi Jones's Home by Curley Duke Williams (C. Duke Williams); photographs of eight drawings by Eugene E. White; and a photograph of a drawing by Majed.
By 1969, the editorial offices of Black Dialogue had moved from California to New York. However, it had staff members on both coasts. Members of the New York Editorial Board included Edward Spriggs, Nikki Giovanni, Jaci Early, Elaine Jones, Sam Anderson, and James Hinton. The editorial staff for the San Francisco/West Coast consisted of one person, namely Joe Goncalves (Dingane). For the Mid-West, the editorial staff consisted of Ahmed Alhamisi and Carolyn Rodgers. The editorial staff for the Southern USA was composed of Julia Fields, Akinshiju, and A. B. Spellman. For Africa, the editorial staff was Ted Joans in the West and K. W. Kgositsile at large. The Spring 1969 issue of Black Dialogue, which was volume four and number one, included an editorial by the editors which covered the early history of Black Dialogue and the conflict between the Black Panther Party and US; an interview with Aum titled "Dialogue with Aum" by Edward Spriggs; a poem titled "Dreams" by John Faris; a review titled "And What About Laurie? (A Review of Uptight)" by Nikki Giovanni; a poem titled "All in the Street" by Ameer Baraka; a poem titled "Afro" by Ruth Rambo McClain; a poem titled "dance, like an adjective to you" by Will Halsey; a photograph of a sculpture by Agenor; photographs in "The Fox Section" by Douglas Harris, Rufus Hinton, and Jack Harris (Chaka); a poem titled "Passed on Blues: Homage to a Poet" by Ted Joans; a poem titled "How Long has Trane Been Gone" Jayne Cortez; a poem titled "When Brown is Black" by Keorapetse Kgositsile; a short story titled "And They Will Be Astounded" by Melba Kgositsile; and a play titled Judgment by William Halsey.
During the Spring of 1966, Goncalves published the first issue of The Journal of Black Poetry. Goncalves later changed the name of his journal to Kitabu Cha Jua during the 1970s. In the first issue of The Journal of Black Poetry, Goncalves published the poetry of Marvin Jackmon (Marvin X), W. Thompson, Thomas Johnson, David Diop, Fred Bradford, Aime Cesaire, Brother X, Jacques Romain, and Joe Goncalves. The second issue of The Journal of Black Poetry appeared in the Summer of 1966 as volume one and number two. That issue featured the poetry of Ed Bullins, Thomas Johnson, Hillery Broadus, James Danner, Antara, Marvin Jackmon (Marvin X), Marcus Garvey, Aime Cesaire, and Joe Goncalves. It also contained translations by Willy Brown.
In the Fall-Winter 1966 issue of The Journal of Black Poetry, which was the third number and release, Joe Goncalves published the works of poets such as David Diop, Alexander Puskin, Clarence Major, Jon Eckels, Fred Bradford, Dwight Newby, Ed Bullins, Le Graham, Carl Boissiere, James Danner, Raymond Dandridge, and Antara. It also included a photograph of Malcolm X by Norman Brown. The Spring 1967 issue of The Journal of Black Poetry was published as volume one and number four. It featured the poetry of Clarence Major, LeRoi Jones, Dudley Randall, Le Graham, DeLeon Harrison, and Joe Goncalves. It also contained essays by LeRoi Jones, Clarence Major, and Marvin Jackmon.
Joe Goncalves published the fifth number and release of The Journal of Black Poetry in the Summer 1967. It featured poems by the following poets: Sam Cornish, Dudley Randall, Cy Leslie, Hillary Broadous, Richard Otis Allen, Larry Neal, L. G. Damas, Jacque Roumain, Aime Cesaire, Nicholas Guillen, Jorge de Lima, Marvin X, JMM, George Jacobs, and Don L. Lee. The Fall 1967 issue of The Journal of Black Poetry, which was the sixth number and release, included the works of Ed Bullins, Keorepetse Kgositsile, Ed Spriggs, Sonia Sanchez, L. Goodwin, Roland Snellings, Machari, Gwendolyn Brooks, Clarence Major, Le Graham, Jewel Latimore (Amini Johari), S.E. Anderson, Fred Bradford, and Marvin X. It also consisted of artwork by Tom Feelings and Emory Douglas; a report titled "Black Poets at the on the Black Arts Convention '67 Black Arts Convention" by Le Graham; and some news items by Ed Bullins and Ed Spriggs.
Although the life span of the Black Arts Repertory Theatre/School was relatively short, it sowed the seeds for the flowering of other organizations and formations, especially in the Bay Area. Marvin X and Eldridge Cleaver joined forces with a few more people to create a Black cultural center known as the Black House in San Francisco. At the Black House, they sponsored poetry readings and plays on the first floor of the relatively large house. When Amiri Baraka came to the Bay Area to work at San Francisco State College for a brief stint, he quickly got involved with the Black House activities. Emory Douglas, a future Black Panther, worked with Baraka as a set designer on some of his theater projects at the Black House and elsewhere. (13)
Sadly, the Black House went the route of the Black Arts Repertory Theater/School and only lasted a few months. A crisis emerged at the Black House when Marvin X made a negative comment about Huey P. Newton. The comment led Eldridge Cleaver, Bobby Hutton, and other Black Panthers to evict Marvin X with a few hours notice using the threat of gunplay. Since the Black Panther Party had already been infiltrated by Earl Anthony as an FBI informant, it very well maybe the case that he helped to foster interpersonal conflicts between Marvin X and the other people. The Black House lasted from December 1966 to May 1967. (14)
The Pan-African Cultural Center was another important organization that developed out of the Black Arts Movement in 1967. The two founders of the Pan-African Cultural Center were Dave "Mudavanha" Patterson and Fritz Pointer. A number of the young people who joined the Black Panther Party were recruited by Huey P. Newton and Bobby Seale from the Pan-African Cultural Center. Bobby Hutton was the first person to join the Black Panther Party after Huey P. Newton and Bobby Seale. Joan Tarika Lewis (Matilaba), was one of the first females, if not the first, to join the Black Panther Party. Both Hutton and Lewis were involved with the programs of the Pan-African Center (Cromartie, 2008a, 2008b, 2008c, 2008d, 2013a, 2013b, 2013c). (15)
Chicago and Detroit were also important locations for the activities of the Black Arts Movement. Chicago was the base of operations for the Organization for Black Culture (OBAC). It was founded in May 1967 with the following purposes: (1) To work toward the goal of bringing to the Black community indigenous art forms which reflect and clarify the Black experience in America; (2) to reflect the richness and depth and variety of Black history and culture; and (3) to provide the Black community with a positive image of itself, its history, its achievements, and its possibilities for creativity. When the organization held its first event in Chicago, the Executive Council consisted of Gerald McWorter, Hoyt W. Fuller, Joseph R. Simpson, Ernest "Duke" McNeil, Jeff R. Donaldson, George R. Ricks, Donald H. Smith, Ronald C. Dunham, Bennett J. Johnson, and Conrad Kent Rivers. At one time or another, some of the people who also became involved with organization were Johari Amini, Nora Brooks Blakely, Sam Greenlee, Nikki Giovanni, Brenetta Howell, Angela Jackson, Mae Jackson, Wadsworth Jarrell, Haki Madhubuti (Don L. Lee), David Moore, Sandra Jackson-Opoku, Sterling Plumpp, Carolyn Rodgers, Sonia Sanchez, William Walker, and Val Gray Ward ("Culture Consciousness," 1967; Donaldson, 1991).
From its base on Chicago's South Side, OBAC quickly established a national reputation as a haven for Black people involved with various types of arts and letters. During its first year of existence, OBAC participated in the Festival of Black Arts in Chicago. Before and after the Festival of Black Arts, OBAC developed workshops for writers and visual artists. Hoyt Fuller led a weekly writer's workshop sponsored by OBAC. The writings of various members were also featured in the organization's journal Nommo. A leading figure in the visual artists' workshop was Jeff Donaldson. Members in the visual artists' workshop planned and created the famous Wall of Respect mural ("Culture Consciousness," 1967; C. Parks, 1987; Donaldson, 1991; Miller, 2008).
As for Detroit, it was the base of operations for Broadside Press. Founded by Dudley Randall in 1965, Broadside Press played a major role in disseminating the poetic works of Black poets across the country. Between 1967 and 1970, Broadside Press published small chapbooks by more than 100 Black poets. Randall published the poetic works of the well-known poets and the not so well-known poets. Under the leadership of Randall, Broadside Press proceeded to publish some 55 books and 90 broadsides in the form of posters. The types of works he published included one author chapbooks, one author books of poetry, anthologies, children's books, and literary criticism books as wells as the broadside posters (Randall, 1971; Harter, 2008).
In addition to serving as the base of operations for Broadside Press, Detroit was the location of a Black Arts Convention in 1966 and in 1967. At the Black Arts Convention in 1967, there was a panel titled "Black Nationalism" and a panel titled "Literature, Writing and Poetry." The panelists included Dudley Randall, the publisher of Broadside Press; Francis Ward, a writer for Ebony; and Bobb Hamilton, a poet and editor with Soulbook. The session also featured the reading of some poetry by Amir Rashid and Charles Freeman. The moderator of the session was Robena Nelson. The conference was also attended by Don L. Lee (Haki Madhubuti), David Llorens, Joyce Whitsitt, Harold G. Lawrence, Alfred "Slick" Campbell, Jesse Watts, Elton Hill, Gloria Davis, Le Graham, and Betty Shabazz. Following the panel on Black nationalism, Dudley Randall presented Betty Shabazz with an anthology commemorating Malcolm X. Dudley Randall was also the catalyst behind an effort to form the Black Arts Alliance (Graham, 1967).
Doubtlessly, the monthly periodical Negro Digest, which later changed its name to Black World, played a major role in bringing stability and continuity to the Black Arts Movement. Its wide circulation allowed Black people from around the country to participate on a mass level in this important intellectual social force. Edited by Hoyt Fuller, Negro Digest/Black World helped to stabilize the situation by making people aware of activities around the country and abroad related to the Black Arts Movement. People were able to get information about conferences and other events. They were also able to exchange ideas by submitting their work to Fuller to be considered for publication. Since the periodical was distributed by Johnson Publishing Company, it could be found next to Jet and Ebony at 7-Eleven Stores across the country.
People involved with the Black Arts Movement sought to have continuity by having intergenerational social interaction based on mentoring. A case in point is the OBAC in Chicago. Members of the OBAC like Haki Maduhubuti reached out to people like Gwendolyn Brooks and were showered with love and affection in the form of mentoring. At a talk given at the site of her grave, Madhubuti (2009) expressed that he deeply appreciated the mentoring given to him by Gwendolyn Brooks.
In New York, Muhummad Ahmad (Max Stanford) was showered with love and affection in the form of mentoring from Malcolm X and Queen Mother Audley Moore. Ahmad (2008) has written about his deep appreciation of the mentoring he received from Malcolm X and Queen Mother Audley Moore. On the West Coast, Dave "Mudavanha" Patterson showered Fritz Pointer with love and affection based on mentoring. Pointer has said that he deeply appreciated the manner in which Patterson served as a dear mentor to him. In turn, Fritz Pointer became a mentor to his mentee Joan Tarika Lewis, a childhood friend of his sister Bonnie Pointer. Those social relationships centered on mentoring helped institutions to develop and prosper (Cromartie, 2008a, 2008b, 2011a, 2011b). (16)
For King (1956), external development of a social movement pertains to "what happens to the movement rather than what happens to the society as a consequence of the existence and activities of the movement" (p. 49). When considering external development, King has reminded us to consider the social movement itself and the changes which the social movement strives to bring about. He has also informed us that social movements "have lost ground or even failed to survive while one or more of their goals has been widely looked upon with favor" (p. 50). External development consists of these three phases: innovation, selection, and integration.
According to King (1956), "innovations" involve the acts or processes of introducing new elements into a society. An innovation is also "any thought, behavior, or thing that is new because it is qualitatively different from existing forms" (p. 50). Within the Black Arts Movement, a number of innovations surfaced. One innovation pertained to material culture in the form of clothing. The Black Arts Movement spawned the wearing of African shirts (dashikis) by Black males and African dresses by Black females. Across the country, many people in the Black masses imitated the style of dress they saw worn by people connected to the Black Arts Movement.
A second innovation pertained to nonmaterial culture in the form of ideas and norms. For instance, the US organization, a Black Arts Movement group based in Los Angeles, developed a holiday known as Kwanzaa. The holiday made its first appearance in 1966 and the celebration was restricted to the self-proclaimed cultural nationalists of the US organization Karenga, 2002). By 2013, the holiday had become a widespread phenomenon in homes, churches, schools, and community centers across the country. In 2002, the U.S. Postal Service released a Kwanzaa stamp and there were national and communal activities organized around that event. During December 2007, there was even a Kwanzaa event in Oakland's DeFremery Park (Bobby Hutton Park), which was attended by former members of the US organization and the Black Panther Party. (17)
A third innovation was popularization of poetry readings among Black people. In New York City and elsewhere, a critical mass of Black people began to gather and listen to Black poets read and recite their poetry. Among young Black people, The Last Poets became superstars. When The Last Poets and others like Amiri Baraka would perform, they would draw relatively large audiences. (18)
A fourth innovation was the use of poetry ensembles with music. Langston Hughes recorded his poetry with Charles Mingus on an album titled the Weary Blues. During the Black Arts Movement, the poets Gil Scott-Heron and Wanda Robinson continued the Langston Hughes tradition of being a single poet recording and performing poetry to music. (19) However, the Black Arts Movement also saw a new innovative development when groups of poets began to perform a single poem together to music. Some of the poems were accompanied only by percussion instruments. Others were accompanied by jazz, rhythm and blues, or funk music. Such groups included The Last Poets of the New York area, Watts Prophets of the Los Angeles area, and the Black Voices of the Los Angeles area. (20)
A fifth innovation was the use of conferences to bring together like-minded people to talk about issues of concern. For instance, there was a Black Arts Convention held in Detroit in 1966 and 1967. From June 24, 1966 to June 26, 1966, Black people gathered in Detroit to attend a Black Arts Convention. The event was held at Central United Church of Christ. It featured panel workshops on literature, music, art, drama, education, religion, Black history, and politics. Some 300 people attended the conference over the three days. They came from cities and towns across the country. Among the conferees were Charles P. Howard, Max Stanford, Dudley Randall, Larry P. Neal, Rhobena Nelson, Oliver LaGrone, Bobb Hamilton, Harold Foster, Harold Lawrence, K. William Kgositsile, Jackie Wilson, David Rambeau, Denise Nicholas, Sylvia King, Grace Boggs, John Oliver Killens, Betty Shabazz, and Val Gray. When he gave his presentation at one of the panel workshops, Randall urged the conferees to develop Black controlled media and publishing houses. During another panel workshop, Denise Nicholas, an actress, encouraged Black theatres to come together and pool their resources. Larry P. Neal, the writer echoed her sentiments and called for the formation of a national Black theater initiative that would pool resources in Detroit, New York, and elsewhere (Randall, 1966).
When the second Black Arts Convention took place in Detroit in 1967, there were a number of panel workshops. One was titled "Black Nationalism." A second was titled "Literature, Writing and Poetry." For the panel workshop on literature, writing, and poetry, the panelists included Dudley Randall, the publisher of Broadside Press; Francis Ward, a writer for Ebony; and Bobb Hamilton, a poet and editor with Soulbook. The panel workshop also featured the reading of some poetry by Amir Rashid and Charles Freeman. The moderator of the panel workshop was Robena Nelson.
The conference was also attended by Don L. Lee (Haki R. Madhubuti), David Llorens, Joyce Whitsitt, Harold G. Lawrence, Alfred "Slick" Campbell, Jesse Watts, Elton Hill, Gloria Davis, Le Graham, and Betty Shabazz. Following the panel workshop on Black nationalism, Dudley Randall presented Betty Shabazz with an anthology commemorating Malcolm X. Dudley Randall was also the catalyst behind an effort to form the Black Arts Alliance (Graham, 1967). (21)
King (1956) defined "selection" as the processes of both the social acceptance and the rejection of innovations. As the Black Arts Movement unfolded, there was an issue regarding free speech and the use of language. People in the Black Arts Movement departed from the earlier Harlem Renaissance Movement and New Negro Movement in the use of language. Although members of the Harlem Renaissance and New Negro Movement rarely used the N-word or profanity, things changed with the Black Arts Movement.
One was more likely to see the N-word in a poem during the Black Arts Movement than during the Harlem Renaissance and New Negro Movement. Nevertheless, the N-word was used selectively and to illustrate the status of Black people in the existing social stratification system. For example, The Last Poets rarely used the N-Word in their first seven albums. As a whole, the Black Arts Movement was a paragon of that which Du Bois (1897b, 1903) called true self-consciousness. (22)
Nevertheless, there were major gaps in the merger of theory and practice with regard to language that did not reflect true self-consciousness. Eldridge Cleaver, the aforementioned co-founder of the Black House and a leading member of the Black Panther Party, gave an infamous speech in Harlem wherein he used some rather offensive language towards Fannie Lou Hamer, a titan of the Civil Rights Movement. Marvin X (1998) has recalled the speech with the following account:
Mr. Soul on Ice came to Harlem's Mount Morris Park (now Marcus Garvey Park). He gave a disgusting, degenerate speech in the presence of sister Fannie Lou Hamer, the revolutionary sister from the Mississippi freedom struggle. He rapped that "political power grew out of the lips of a pu**y." Turning to sister Fannie Lou, he said, "I would kiss her pu**y anytime." After hearing that, I didn't wait for him to conclude, but eased my way through the crowd and headed down Lennox Ave. Harlem was famous for its critical acumen and had a tradition of throwing tomatoes at pitiful suckers--I wish I'd had some ripe ones. (pp. 172-173)
According to Marvin X, "I would not see Eldridge again until he returned from exile in 1977" (p. 173).
Huey P. Newton (1971) has explained that Eldridge Cleaver played a major role in the use of profane language in public by Black Panthers. He has explained that:
We went through a free speech movement in the Party, which was unnecessary, and only further isolated us from the Black community. We had all sorts of profanity in our paper and every other word which dropped from our lips was profane. This did not happen before I was jailed because I would not stand for it, but Eldridge's influence brought it about. I do not blame him altogether; I blame the Party because the Party accepted it. (p. 52)
In Newton's view, his organization "defected from the community long before Eldridge defected from the Party" (p. 51). He reasoned that language played a part in alienating the Black Panther Party from the Black community, including Black churches which hosted many of the organization's free breakfast for children programs across the country. (23)
For King (1956), "integration," or the integrative phase, refers to an item or some aspect that is "tied in closely with other cultural elements and contributes to the existence or operation of the society" (p. 56). The Nguzo Saba is an integrated item which is connected to other cultural elements and contributes to the existence or operation of society. It is based upon the following seven principles: Umoja; Kujichagulia; Ujima; Ujamaa; Nia; Kuumba; and Imani. The Nguzo Saba is a part of the US organization's ideology of Kawaida, which has been described by Maulana Karenga as a communitarian African philosophy (Karenga, 2002).
As the founder of Kwanzaa, Karenga (2002) has defined each of the seven principles of the Nguzo Saba. The first principle is Umoja, or unity, and it means to "strive for and maintain unity in the family, community, nation and race" (p. 7). The second principle is Kujichagulia, or self-determination, and it means to "define ourselves, create for ourselves and speak for ourselves" (p. 7). The third principle is Ujima, or collective work and responsibility, and it means to "build and maintain our community together and make our brother's and sister's problems our problems and to solve them together" (p. 7). The fourth principle is Ujamaa, or cooperative economics, and it means to "build and maintain our own stores, shops and other businesses and to profit from them together" (p. 7). The fifth principle is Nia, or purpose, and it means to "make our collective vocation the building and developing of our community in order to restore our people to their traditional greatness" (p. 7). The sixth principle is Kuumba, or creativity, and it means to "do always as much as we can, in the way we can, in order to leave our community more beautiful and beneficial than we inherited it" (p. 8). The seventh principle is Imani, or faith, and it means to "believe with all our hearts in our people, our parents, our teachers, our leaders and the righteousness and victory of our struggle" (p. 8).
As many Black people attempt to rebuild their families in the wake of the crack cocaine epidemic, they have often turned to values and norms spelled out in the Nguzo Saba. Some of them encounter the Nguzo Saba for the first time at a Kwanzaa and come away inspired to use it in their families and community. According to Karenga (2002), that is exactly what he had in mind when he first developed the holiday. Karenga has informed us that he wanted to help build strong Black families and counter the White supremacy and commercialism perpetuated by Christmas.
Hip Hop Movement as a Social Movement
The Hip Hop Movement developed some key four goals. One goal was to promote selfexpression among individuals. A second goal was to provide a forum for people to engage people to engage in rapping (MCing), Djing, break dancing (B-Boying/B-Girling), graffiti/aerosol art, and style of dressing. A third goal was to develop institutions for the benefit of individuals. A fourth goal was to function as an expressive social force in the belly of the beast.
Similarly to Black Arts Movement, the ideology of the Hip Hop Movement has reflected two main aspects as a set of ideas and norms. However, the ideology of the Hip Hop Movement has been a bastion and citadel of racial self-debasement and perpetuating the existing social stratification system. The Hip Hop Movement has also been no threat to Wall Street and Madison Avenue. In fact, Wall Street and Madison Avenue have embraced the Hip Hop Movement as a money maker in the USA and abroad. (24) Whereas many rappers have started out by developing Black firms to create their own compact discs (CDs), they often rush to take contracts with White firms connected with White capitalists. To shield themselves from public criticism about the resulting products, White firms oftentimes will permit rappers to have a label with a Black face out front. Then, those White firms are in a position to say they did not make the CDs many people find offensive, especially those that advocate Black people killing other Black people, advocate the use of the N-word, and the use of the B-word. Instead, those White firms say that just distribute the CDs. Because the CDs typically have little material which denigrates Wall Street and Madison Avenue, White firms have embraced distribution deals with Black labels that include Death Row Records on the West Coast, Def Jam on the East Coast, Bad Boy Entertainment on the East Coast, Roc Nation on the East Coast, No Limit Records in the South, Luke Records in the South, and Rap-A-Lot Records in the South. (25)
Organization and Status System
As was the case with the Black Arts Movement, the Hip Hop Movement has been driven by its members and the social conditions they have faced. Personnel and functionaries have also been involved with the Hip Hop Movement. Personnel have had sporadic participation and no specialized roles. Functionaries have had persistent participation and specialized roles. Like the Black Arts Movement, the Hip Hop Movement saw the emergence of these three types of functionaries: (1) the leader, (2) the bureaucrat, and (3) the agitator.
Within the Hip Hop Movement, the leaders have played the role of founders or successors to the founders. Behind the distinctive policies and objectives that could be found in the Hip Hop Movement, there were leaders serving as catalysts. With their high or low status, bureaucrats handled the administrative activities. High status bureaucrats function as the policymakers and have been responsible for efficiently operating the internal machinery. Low-status bureaucrats function as the implementers of policy and major decisions from above. They handle the responsibility for dealing with routine paperwork and other matters. The agitators play the role of liaisons between the Hip Hop Movement and the outside world. The promotion and proselytizing of the Hip Hop Movement are handled by the agitators as their chief function. The agitators, in the role of promoters, further the goals of the Hip Hop Movement with publicity tactics, propaganda tactics, lobbying tactics, legal sanctions tactics, etc. As proselytizers, the agitators function as missionaries with the objective of converting outsiders into members.
Like the Black Arts Movement, the Hip Hop Movement has sought to bring as many members into the fold as possible. The Hip Hop Movement made a conscious decision to make the transition into a mass movement. Unlike the Black Arts Movement, it has not faced the brunt of a formidable enemy in the form of COINTELPRO (Counterintelligence Program), which was developed by the FBI (Federal Bureau of Intelligence). Because of their political positions or lack thereof, the leaders and followers have not been persecuted by COINTELPRO and faced imprisonment as political prisoners as in the case of the Black Arts Movement. However, people in the Hip Hop Movement have been involved with the possession of illegal drugs and illegal weapons which have caused them to be monitored by undercover FBI agents, agent provocateurs, and informants. Doubtlessly, the actions of the undercover FBI agents, agent provocateurs, and informants have disrupted their normal flow of operations. Many people in the Hip Hop Movement have been sent to prison because of drug and weapons charges developed by the undercover FBI agents, agent provocateurs, and informants.
With regard to internal development, the Hip Hop Movement evolved in response to the need for self-expression about certain social conditions. Those social conditions included poverty, drug addiction, police brutality, and racial discrimination in the criminal justice system. Other social conditions faced by the Hip Hop Movement were heterogeneity, cultural confusion, and mass communication. The Hip Hop Movement has developed different types of artistic modes as it sought to respond those conditions. Like the Black Arts Movement, the Hip Hop Movement has passed through these three major phases: the incipient phase, organizational phase, and stable phase.
Within the Hip Hop Movement, some of the key pioneers were Clive "Kool Herc" Campbell, Donald "Afrika Bambaattaa" Donovan, Joseph "Grandmaster Flash" Saddler, Keith "Cowboy" Wiggins, Sylvia Robinson, Russell Simmons, and the Sugar Hill Gang. In regard to Clive "Kool Herc" Campbell, Donald "Afrika Bambaattaa" Donovan, and Joseph "Grandmaster Flash" Saddler, George (2004) has related that "these three are the founding fathers of hip-hop music" (p. 45). George also referred to the three as the "progenitors" of Hip Hop (p. 45). Like George, Hebridge (2004) has identified Clive "Kool Herc" Campbell, Donald "Afrika Bambaattaa" Donovan, and Joseph "Grandmaster Flash" Saddler as three major figures in the beginning of Hip Hop. If George and Hebridge are correct, the key fountainheads and pioneers of the Hip Hop Movement are Clive "Kool Herc" Campbell, Donald "Afrika Bambaattaa" Donovan, and Joseph "Grandmaster Flash" Saddler.
When the Hip Hop Movement emerged as a social movement in the early 1970s, perhaps no one was more important than Clive "Kool Herc" Campbell. On his website, Campbell has informed us that the Hip Movement began on August 11, 1973 in the Bronx, New York. According to Campbell, the Hip Hop Movement started at a party held in a recreation room of a public housing project, located at 1520 Sedgwick Avenue. Campbell and his sister Cindy held a back to school party wherein they charged an admissions fee of 50 cents for males and 25 cents for females. He has argued that this first Hip Hop party went on to change the world (Campbell & Campbell, 2013).
In the view of Campbell, the Hip Hop Movement proceeded to provide a gathering of peers and an innovation in the manner in which music was played and listened to. For the role that he played in 1973 and later, Campbell has been credited as a key fountainhead and founding father of the movement. He has called his sister Cindy the first lady of the movement for the role she played as the co-host of the original parties on Sedgwick Avenue. Campbell's website has stated that the Hip Hop Movement possesses these five elements: (1) DJing; (2) rapping/MCing; (3) break dancing or B-Boying/B-Girling; (4) graffiti/aerosol art; and (5) style of dressing. Between 1973 and 1993, Campbell became a legendary figure in the emerging movement. He became famous for blasting his break music on extremely loud speakers called Herculoids (Campbell & Campbell, 2013). (26)
The following year, 1974, Afrika Bambaattaa (Donald Donovan) founded the Zulu Nation as an organization in the emerging Hip Hop Movement. The charismatic Bambaattaa was able to attract a number of young people to his organization. His official website has identified Afrika Bambaattaa as one of the three main originators of break-beat deejaying. It has also identified him as the "Grandfather" and "Godfather" of the movement as well as "The Father of The Electro Funk Sound." The website credits Bambaataa with co-opting a street gang known as the Black Spades into his culture-oriented organization. Between 1980 and the year 2000, Bambaataa recorded frequently and helped to spread the word about the movement (Universal Zulu Nation, 2013).
Like Clive "Kool Herc" Campbell, Joseph "Grandmaster Flash" Saddler has roots in the Bronx, New York. The official website of Saddler has identified him as one of the founding fathers of the Hip Hop Movement. It also detailed how Saddler got his start as a deejay spinning records at neighborhood block parties. According to his website, Saddler was the first deejay to physically lay his hands on a vinyl record and make it go in a backward, forward, or counterclockwise motion. Until then, deejays would handle a record on its edges, place the arm down, and play the vinyl record. Saddler created an innovation in the form of a compass by marking up the record with crayon, a fluorescent pen, a grease pencil. In 1978, he joined together with several other Black men to create Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five (Grand Master Flash, 2014; Grandmaster Flash & Ritz, 2008).
Keith "Cowboy" Wiggins, a member of the Furious Five, has been credited with coining the term Hip Hop. During an interview with various members of Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five, Quan (2005) was informed about some of the contributions of Wiggins to the Hip Hop Movement. For example, Grandmaster Mele Mel and Kid Creole both informed Quan that the term Hip Hop was coined by Wiggins. In response to a question regarding whether Wonder Mike borrowed part of the routine of Wiggins and used it on Rapper's Delight, Grandmaster Mele Mel stated:
Without a doubt. This kid named Kokomo was going to the army & Cowboy was messin' with him--teasing him with the marching Hip Hop rhythm Hip/Hop/Hip/Hop; and he just took it on from there and kept goin' with it. It just took on a life of its own .... (Quoted by Quan, p. 2).
Grandmaster Mele Mel also told Quan that Wiggins was the first MC (emcee). He said, "Yeah, it wasn't called Emceeing back then, but he was the first to get on Flash's mic and do the crowd response--without a doubt" (Quoted by Quan, p. 2).
In the interview, Kid Creole made similar remarks to Quan about Wiggins. With regard to the term Hip Hop, Kid Creole related:
On that that term Hip Hop. A friend of ours named Billy was about to go to the Army. I think this was '75. We had a party at the Black Door over on Boston Rd and 170th St. That was one of the first places that my brother, myself and Cowboy played as the 3 Emcees along with Flash. This was Billy's last weekend before shipping out, and Cowboy was on the mic playing around doing that Army cadence: Hip/Hop/Hip/Hop. But he wasn't doing it to music at the time, and the Disco crowd referred to us as those "Hip Hoppers," but they used it as a derogatory term. But Cowboy was the first one I heard do that to music, as part of his crowd response. (Quoted in Quan, p. 11)
Quan probed Kid Creole to go deeper into the issue by asking him the following question: "So he did something similar to what Wonder Mike is doing at the beginning of Rapper's Delight?" In his response to that question, Kid Creole remarked: "Except for all that bang bang boogie sh*t, the intro to Rapper's Delight is what Cowboy used to say word for word. Except for that up jump the boogie sh*t. Up jump the boogie was some disco sh*t" (p. 11).
Quan (2005) continued the part of his interview Kid Creole by asking him for clarification about the first rappers. He presented the following statement and question to Kid Creole: "When I ask some of the first Emcees who the first person was that they saw Emcee they usually say either you, Mel or Cowboy. But how many times they say just Cowboy. Where as far as you know did he get it from?" Kid Creole proceeded to clarify the issue by giving Quan this statement:
Well Cowboy never really wrote rhymes. He would say li'l nursery rhymes like everybody else. The first person that I heard say a rhyme... and not just a phrase, like at Herc's parties where Clark Kent and Timmy Tim would say "giving you more that what you what paid at the door, on down to the A.M." The first person that I heard say a rhyme that wasn't a nursery rhyme was my brother Mel. He was the very first person that I saw say a rhyme about themselves. Not a poem, a bonafide rhyme. That's what motivated me to rhyme, 'cause Mel was on the mic and he was getting girls. I couldn't just stand on the sidelines. Cowboy was a guy who had no fear of just getting in front of a crowd, and asking them to do what he wanted. It was a time when people in Hip Hop weren't doing that. The only other person who did it to any degree on purpose was D.J. Hollywood. (Quoted in Quan, p. 11)
Thus, Grandmaster Mele Mel and Kid Creole made it very clear that Wiggins, in their view, coined the term Hip Hop. They also made it clear that Wiggins was one of the first rappers along with Mele Mel, Kid Creole, and D.J. Hollywood.
In comparison to other Black social movements, the Hip Hop Movement has had a relatively long life span. During its life span, the Hip Hop Movement has been sustained by emergence of a number of organizations and firms. A very important organization includes the Zulu Nation. Important firms in the Hip Hop Movement include Sugar Hill Records as well as the aforementioned Death Row Records, Def Jam, Bad Boy Entertainment, Roc Nation, No Limit Records, Luke Records, Rap-A-Lot Records, Rhyme Syndicate, Ruthless Records, and Priority Records.
After the emergence of the Hip Hop Movement, it became stabilized through the development of record labels, magazines, and performance venues. The first self-proclaimed Hip Hop record label to put out a record was Sylvia Robinson's Sugar Hill Records. That occurred in 1979 when her label released the Sugar Hill Gang's Rapper's Delight. According to George (2005), the excitement raised by the Sugar Hill Gang's Rapper's Delight "swept the country and eventually the world" (p. 29). Among the magazines promoting the Hip Hop Movement were Serious Hip Hop, The Source, Vibe, XXL, and Rappages. The Hip Hop Movement has also gained valuable space in the pages of Billboard, The Village Voice, Rappin Magazine, Zeta Magazine, Keyboard, Mother Jones, and Ebony. (27)
During the writing of his book Hip Hop America, George (2005) said that he relied on information about the movement from Vibe, Rap Pages, Rolling Stone, Musician, and Billboard. George also relied on information about the Hip Hop Movement in the New York Times, Daily News, Los Angeles Times, Time, and Newsweek. In addition, George relied on information about the social movement in Premiere, Amsterdam News, Black Enterprise, Essence, Melody Maker, and the New Music Express.
Like the Black Arts Movement, the Hip Hop Movement has experienced the social phenomenon of external development. The Hip Hop Movement has undergone the innovation phase. It has gone through the selection phase. In addition, the Hip Hop Movement has gone through the integration phase. On the one hand, some of the goals of the Hip Hop Movement have lost ground. On the other hand, the Hip Hop Movement has had some goals that have been looked upon in a favorable light by the larger society.
The Hip Hop Movement has led to the development of a number of innovations. One innovation pertains to material culture in the form of clothing. Whereas the Black Arts Movement spawned the wearing of African shirts (dashikis) by Black males and African dresses by Black females, the Hip Hop Movement has led to both men and women wearing sagging jeans. A widespread norm among people in the Hip Hop Movement has been to wear jeans and other pants far below the waist. It has not been uncommon to see young people walking around with their underwear exposed for all to see, including much younger children. Some towns and cities have passed ordinances outlawing the practice of sagging (Kitwana, 2002; Koppel, 2007).
A second innovation deals with material culture in the form of "tricking out" cars with exotic paint jobs and big tires. Some youth with cars paint them in exotic candy apple colors. They also place on their cars oversized tires referred to as "dubs." For the inside of the cars, they purchase and install speakers that can boom out to the streets the latest Hip Hop songs--sometimes to the dismay of other people (Falcon, 2015).
A third innovation involves nonmaterial culture in the form of ideas and norms. Led by Clyde "Kool Herc" Campbell and Joseph "Grandmaster Flash" Saddler, the Hip Hop Movement proceeded to change the way music was made. The music industry saw the development of "scratching" and other deejay techniques. Like disco music, the deejays were at the center of the movement rather than the periphery. Instead of live musicians receiving the fanfare, the deejays became the stars (Campbell & Campbell, 2013).
A fourth innovation pertains to nonmaterial culture in the form of ideas and norms. Both men and women in the Hip Hop Movement have adopted the practice of wearing tattoos. It has not been uncommon for some men and women to have a whole arm or leg covered with tattoos. Many people in the Hip Hop Movement are following the examples of people like Beyonce, Eve, 50 Cent, LL Cool J, Jay-Z, Lil' Wayne, Rihanna, and Tupac Shakur by wearing tattoos on the face, neck, arms, arms, legs, and upper torso (Flowers, 2012; Rathod, 2014).
Like other Black social movements before it, the Hip Hop Movement has had to deal with the processes related to social acceptance and the rejection of innovations. People inside of the Hip Hop Movement have pioneered clothing styles, tattoo adornment, and flashy jewelry adornment. Some people have accepted the new styles with open arms. Many of those engaging in the social phenomena of the new clothing, tattoo adornment fall into the cohort of people born between 1965 and 1985. People born before 1965 in the Baby Boomers cohort have sometimes criticized the new styles as a backwards development.
Inside of the Hip Hop Movement, some people have expressed concern about the fashion trends. Paniccioli (2002), who Powell (2002) has insinuated is the James Van Der Zee and Gordon Parks of the Hip Hop Movement, issued the following statement in his book:
Hiphop is a powerful medium, but I have to drop this in the book, and it's gonna upset some people: just as reggae prophet-poets like Bob Marley and Peter Tosh were replaced with a prostitute music called dancehall--which is all about sexing girls and getting high and shaking your butt and has no message--the same thing has happened to hiphop. The shift is what I call the "second colonization." The second colonization is trying to eliminate our efforts to reach back to our history, to the pioneers of hiphop, such as Afrika Bambaattaa and Kool Herc. As a result, hiphop has gone from Public Enemy and conscious brothers like Chubb Rock to Nelly and bling-bling. And "my watch is bigger than yours." "My Bentley is newer than yours." "Oh, you only got this Benz and I got this bigger Benz," and, "I bet you don't even have leather seats." (p. 196)
... the whorehouses now are the radio stations and the music videos. Instead of going to a strip club and seeing a girl with her butt hanging out, now you go and turn on the television and all the camera angles are from the waist down. We're at a stage where the music itself--not all of it but a lot of it--has fallen into a den of iniquity. It is very garish and almost a joke. And it's being pimped and prostituted by a variety of folks. You know the most incredible act ever to come out of hiphop? Not Rakim, not Public Enemy--it was Arrested Development. Not because of their work. Because of their name. That is rap music today: Arrested Development. (pp. 196-197)
The observations of Paniccioli reflect the attitudes of many people inside and outside of the Hip Hop Movement. Like Paniccioli, they are concerned that Hip Hop artists readily prostitute themselves as they strive for more and more dollars from Wall Street and Madison Avenue. (28)
A key innovation from the Hip Hop Movement, which has found widespread acceptance among the Baby Boomer Generation, is the civic engagement initiatives pioneered by Russell Simmons, Shawn "Puffy" Coombs, and Clifford Joseph "T. I." Harris, Jr. Russell Simmons, a native of New York, was a catalyst behind the Rap the Vote initiative in 2000. Under his leadership, some arena-sized gatherings were held in a pep rally type of environment. To enter the gathering, people had to register to vote or already be registered. The goal of Simmons was to get people to value voting and to stimulate a discussion of the issues and activism (Nelson, 2005; Simmons & Nelson, 2001; Kitwana, 2002).
Coombs, a native of New York, was a catalyst behind the Vote or Die initiative in 2004. Under his leadership, Citizen Change was formed to encourage voter participation. Coombs used "Vote or Die!" as a provocative slogan on tee-shirts and had celebrities wear them. Coombs worked with Rev. Lennox Yearwood, Jr. of the Hip-Hop Caucus to launch the voter registration project (Nelson, 2005; "The 305," 2008). Clifford Joseph "T.I." Harris, Jr., a native of Atlanta, Georgia, was a catalyst behind the Respect My Vote Initiative in 2008. In conjunction with Rev. Lennox Yearwood of the Hip-Hop Caucus, Harris launched a voter registration drive in some 17 cities in various parts of the USA. To his credit, Harris repeated his voter registration efforts during the 2010 midterm elections ("The 305," 2008; Manzella, 2008; Winslow, 2010).
Two integrated items that have connected with other cultural elements and contributed to the existence or operation of society are the Stop the Violence Initiative and the Vote or Die Initiative. The Stop the Violence Initiative emerged in response to criticism by C. Dolores Tucker. As George (2005) has pointed out, Tucker "attacked white executives whom she viewed as irresponsible or insensitive because they promoted rap music" (p. 72). Tucker was alarmed that rap music of the Hip Hop Movement was featuring the glorification of Black people killing Black people, drug selling, and referring to females as b**ches and whores, and men as "n**gers. (29)
As a response to the public criticism of C. Dolores Tucker, people like the writer Nelson George, Jive Records music executive Ann Carli, and Jive Records music executive Barry Weiss united with Hip Hop artists to release the CD titled Self-Destruction. The CD was released in 1989 and produced by KRS-One. Dyson (2004) has noted that the message in Self-Destruction "insists that violence predates rap and speaks against escalating black-on-black crime, which erodes the social and communal fabric of already debased black inner cities across America" (p. 63). According to Dyson, Self-Destruction was a top-selling CD. George (2005) has related that rapper Kool Moe Dee later "joined forces with a new generation of rap industry figures in working to mount a well-meaning, though aborted Stop the Violence II record and campaign" (p. 200).
In September 2013, the rapper and actor known as Common spoke out against the rampant violence in Chicago, his hometown. He called for a peace summit led by him and another Chicago rapper known as Chief Keef. Common told the Associated Press that a peace summit was a necessary first step to stop the violent crimes in Chicago. For Common, there is certainly a need for more peace summits around the country and actions to get at the root cause of Black-on-Black violence (Kyles, 2013).
During his talk with the Associated Press, Common posed that rap music was not the root cause of the violence in Chicago, but acknowledged that rap music impacts the mind of many young people. He was quoted as follows: "To decide to take someone's life, I don't think they let a rap song determine that" (Quoted in Kyles, 2013, p. 1). However, Common said that the youth are "influenced by that energy and take it the wrong way" (Quoted in Kyles, 2013, p. 1). Common has argued that more educational programs for young people could help turn around the violence young people perpetuate. He also took the position that Hip Hop artists need to play a greater role in making positive change happen. Towards that end, Common has developed a Common Ground Foundation to help youth with a summer camp and mentoring program for public school youth in Chicago (Kyles, 2013).
As for the Vote or Die initiative, it was launched by Shawn "Puffy" Coombs in 2004. The civic engagement effort of Coombs was preceded in the year 2000 by Russell Simmons with his Rap the Vote Initiative. It was also followed by rapper T. I. and his Respect My Vote Initiative in 2008 and 2010. Like the other two initiatives, Coombs used his to encourage young people in and outside of the Hip Hop Movement to register and vote. The data show that the voter participation rate for young people increased in 2000, 2004, and 2008. Thus, people in the Hip Hop Movement can make a significant impact in the outcomes of elections and help to determine the destiny of the USA (Nelson, 2005; "The 305," 2008; Manzella, 2008; Winslow, 2010; Perry, 2010).
Implications of the Black Arts Movement and the Hip Hop Movement as Social Movements
The Black Arts Movement and the Hip Hop Movement shook up the social world as social forces. Their influences reached far beyond their points of origin among Black people in the USA. The significant consequences of the two movements can be found in Africa, Asia, Europe, and throughout the Americas. (30) However, the Black Arts Movement was far more progressive than the Hip Hop Movement. Basically, the Hip Hop Movement represents a regression instead of a progression.
The Black Arts Movement was a social force with a primary aim of negating negative influences and creating positive images. It also called for a radical reconstruction of the economic system and political system as the key to combating negative stereotypes about Black people. In fact, some of the people involved with Black Arts Movement called for a total transformation of the economic system and political system of the USA in the form of a revolution. It was not uncommon for people involved with the Black Arts Movement to refer to themselves as revolutionaries.
In contrast, the Hip Hop Movement has been a social force without the primary aim of negating negative influences and creating positive images. Instead, it has perpetuated negative stereotypes about Black people. Nevertheless, there have been at least three instances wherein the Hip Hop Movement has produced some positive initiatives. One was the Rap the Vote Initiative. A second was the Vote or Die Initiative. A third was the Stop the Violence Initiative.
Summary and Conclusion
This paper has focused on Black social movements past and present with special reference to the Black Arts Movement and the Hip Hop Movement. It has examined the Black Arts Movement as a social movement which emerged during the mid-1960s and lasted until the mid-1970s. It has also examined the Hip Hop Movement as a social movement that emerged during the early 1970s and has lasted to the present. This paper presented a comparative analysis of both social movements and identified their goals, ideologies, organization and status systems, and tactics. The comparative analysis also included an examination of both movements' internal development in the form of the incipient phase, organizational phase, and stable phase. Likewise, the comparative analysis included an examination of both movements' external development in the form of innovation, selection, and integration. Additionally, this paper addressed some implications of the Black Arts Movement and the Hip Hop Movement as social movements.
The record is clear that both movements proved to be influential social forces in the most powerful country in the world. Since the Black Arts Movement came first, it paved the way for a new consciousness among Black youth especially in the middle 1960s, late 1960s, and early 1970s. Black consciousness was the order of the day until two drug epidemics hit Black communities across the country. A heroin epidemic exploded in major northern cities such as Detroit, Chicago, Philadelphia, and New York. The epidemic popped up in the late 1960s as cheap heroin made it to the streets of the USA from Asia. That was followed by a powder cocaine epidemic that hit cities like Los Angeles and Oakland after Hollywood put out a film titled Superfly. Almost overnight, young Black men turned their Afro hairstyle into a processed Lord Jesus hairstyle worn by the character named Priest in the film. He was depicted as a major drug dealer looking to make a big score, i.e. sale.
Whereas the use of heroin became a major social problem in the late 1960s, the use of powder cocaine became a major social problem in the early 1970s. There were many would-be revolutionaries with Black consciousness who suddenly found themselves using those substances and getting caught up with heroin addictive behavior and/or cocaine addictive behavior. By the time the Hip Hop Movement emerged, a bad situation got worst. Instead of many young Black people trying to make their communities a better place, they began to suck the life blood out of those places by becoming dope dealers. It was not long before the party music of the early rap phenomenon gave way to the edgier gangster rap phenomenon. Record companies and their producers encouraged their artists to develop songs with a catchy beat that featured the glorification of Black people killing Black people, glorification of drug selling, glorification of conspicuous consumerism, reference to females as b**ches and whores, and reference to men as "n**gers.
During the second decade of the 21st century, the record companies and their producers have continued to encourage their artists to develop songs with a catchy beat that features the glorification of Black people killing Black people, glorification of drug selling, glorification of conspicuous consumerism, reference to females as b**ches and whores, and reference to men as "n**gers. Virtually all of the major Black artists in the Hip Hop Movement listed on the Billboard hit list have at least one song wherein they glorify Black people killing Black people, glorify drug selling, glorify conspicuous consumerism, refer to females as b**ches and whores, and refer to men as "n**gers. A case in point is Jay-Z. His songs Coming of Age and Coming of Age (Da Sequel) brags about selling drugs while he lived in the Marcy Houses, a unit of public housing projects located the in the Bedford-Stuyvesant area of New York's Brooklyn borough. In his autobiography, he has informed us that, "I saw crack addiction destroy families--it almost destroyed mine--but I sold it, too. I stood on cold corners far from home in the middle of the night serving crack fiends ..." (Jay-Z, 2010, p. 18).
Another development in the Hip Hop Movement has been the willingness of Hip Hop artists to do virtually anything for money. Many of them have taken degrading roles in Hollywood that stereotype Black people. Some of them have even taken roles wherein they seemed to have gone against their previous pronouncements for better or worse. A case in point is Ice Cube (O'Shea Jackson). At one time, he was a member of the Hip Hop group NWA wherein they had a song that said "f**k the police." During March 2014, Ice Cube was playing a role of police officer in the film Ride Along. That same month, Ice-T (Tracy Marrow), another Hip Hop artist, was playing a role of a police officer each week in the television series titled Law & Order: Special Victims Unit. He once released a song called "Cop Killer." On February 2, 2014, Queen Latifah, another Hip Hop artist, readily embraced singing the song America the Beautiful at the 50th Super Bowl. Many Hip Hop artists seem to be willing and able to do anything that capitalists want them to do--as long as they get paid.
Further, both the Black Arts Movement and the Hip Hop Movement have had their detractors. On the one hand, Gates (1994) has deemed the Black Arts Movement to be "the shortest and least successful effective movement in African American cultural history" (p. 74). Gates seemed to ignore that the Black Arts Movement lasted longer than the Harlem Renaissance. He also seemed to ignore the accomplishments of the leading institutions and personalities involved with the Black Arts Movement. Clearly, Baraka, one of the founders of the Black Arts Movement, enjoyed a long and successful career as a literary artist and political activist who was able to merge theory and practice.
On the other hand, Wynton Marsalis has referred to the leading institutions and personalities involved with the Hip Hop Movement as running a modern day minstrel show. In an interview with Lewis (2007), Marsalis stated:
I call it "ghetto minstrelsy." Old school minstrels used to say they were "real darkies from the real plantation." Hip Hop substitutes the plantation for the streets. Now you have to say that you're from the streets, you shot some brothers, you went to jail. Rappers have to display the correct pathology. Rap has become a safari for people who get their thrills from watching African American people debase themselves, men dressing in gold, calling themselves stupid names like Ludacris or 50 Cent, spending money on expensive fluff, using language like "b**ch" and "ho" and "n**ger." (p. 1)
Marsalis castigated the Hip Hop artists for debasing Black people and glorifying the killing of Black people by other Black people. He criticized the men in the movement for wearing their bling and giving themselves eccentric names. Marsalis also blasted them for the calling women the B-word and the H-word. In addition, Marsalis blasted them for using the N-word.
Despite such criticisms, both movements have proven to be groundbreaking social forces in terms of innovation, selection, and integration. In the case of the Black Arts Movement, Baraka broke new ground with his plays, poetry, essays, and books. He also broke new ground when he joined with others to found institutions such as the Black Arts/Theatre, Spirit House, and the Black Communication Project. With regard to the Hip Hop Movement, Jay-Z has plowed new ground with his rap songs and entrepreneurship in fashion design. He has also plowed new ground with his development of Roc Nation. Jay-Z has made the transition from a drug dealer living in the housing projects to a successful businessman for Wall Street and Madison Avenue interests. In his present role, Jay-Z represents no threat to capitalism. Jay-Z evolved into a type of asset and commodity for capitalists that Baraka never wanted to be nor sought out. Instead of wanting to be an asset and commodity to Wall Street and Madison Avenue interests, Baraka actively sought their demise as bastions of capitalism.
(1.) To understand the context and history of the Black Arts Movement and the Hip Hop Movement, I have conducted in-depth interviews Marvin X, Fritz Pointer, Ptah Mitchell, Menhuam Ayele, and Zahieb Mwongozi. I have also had personal communication with Askia Muhammad Toure, George Mason Murray, Baba Lumumba, Vulindlela I. Wobogo, Cassandra Chaney, Derrick P. Aldridge, Akosua Bea Francis Gymiah, and others. Whereas the in-depth interviews with Marvin X and Fritz Pointer helped me to understand the Black Arts Movement, those with Ptah Mitchell, Menhuam Ayele, and Zahieb Mwongozi helped me to understand the Hip Hop Movement. For some of their writings, see Mwongozi (1984), Marvin X (1998, 2009), Pointer (1970, 1971, 1972a, 1972b), P. Mitchell (2005), Ayele (2012), and Wobogo (2011).
(2.) The second issue of The Journal of Black Poetry noted that Marvin Jackmon has used the aliases Marvin EJX and Marvin X-3 ("Notes on the Authors," 1966). He has also used the aliases El Muhajir and Nazzam Al Sudan (Marvin X, 1998, 2009; Major, 1969).
(3.) Both before and after the year 2000, there has been a concerted effort by some academics and non-academics to push Hip Hop as a culture on Black people. Some have stated that if Black people do not accept Hip Hop as a culture, they are not being authentic. See McLeod (1999). Few academics and non-academics have given proper attention to the impact of Black migration patterns inside the USA on the Hip Hop Movement. For example, Black people from Georgia have typically migrated to New York and New Jersey; Black people from Alabama have typically migrated to Detroit; Black people from Mississippi have typically migrated to Chicago; Black people from Louisiana, Texas, and Arkansas have typically migrated to California. Such migrations patterns have influenced Black music, including Hip Hop, in profound ways that have been overlooked or ignored.
(4.) His essay titled "The Crises of Black Culture" also appeared in Black Theatre (Toure, 1968b). It should be noted that Askia Muhammad Toure has also been known as Roland Snellings and Rolland Snellings (Redmond, 1976; Ahmad, 2008). Toure was a major figure in the Black Consciousness Movement which began to flower during the early 1960s long before the Black Arts Movement and Black Power Movement. For some more literary works by him before he wrote his important essay on Black culture, see Snellings (1963a, 1963b, 1967, 1967-1968) and Toure (1968c, 1968d, 1968e, 1968f, 1968g).
(5.) The typologies of members and functionaries used in this analysis have been drawn from King (1956).
(6.) A key missionary of the Black Arts Movement was the aforementioned Askia Muhummad Toure (Roland Snellings, Rolland Snellings). He played a major role in developing the Black Arts Movement along with Amiri Baraka and others. Toure was involved with three important organizations that predated the Black Arts Movement. Those organizations were the Revolutionary Action Movement, Umbra, and the Uptown Writers Movement. Those organizations were also part of the Black Consciousness Movement which dates back as early as the last decade of the 19th century with the publication of these two essays by Du Bois (1897a, 1897b): "The Conservation of Races" and "Strivings of the Negro People." Other early examples of the Black Consciousness Movement include "Credo," an essay by Du Bois (1904); "The Song of the Smoke," a poem by Du Bois (1907); "The Negro in Literature and Art," an essay by Du Bois (1913); and "Criteria of Negro Art," an essay by Du Bois (1926). These works clearly celebrate Black consciousness even if they do not mention the actual term. For example, in his essay, "The Conservation of Races," Du Bois stated that:
For the development of Negro genius, of Negro literature and art, of Negro spirit, only Negroes bound and welded together, Negroes inspired by one vast ideal, can work out in its fullness the great message we have for humanity. We cannot reverse history; we are subject to the same natural laws as other races, and if the Negro is ever to be a factor in the world's history--if among the gaily-colored banners that deck the broad ramparts of civilization is to hang one uncompromising black, then it must be placed there by black hands, fashioned by black heads and hallowed by the travail of 200,000,000 black hearts beating in one glad song of jubilee. (p. 10).
Du Bois continued:
For this reason, the advance guard of the Negro people--the 8,000,000 people of Negro blood in the United States of America--must soon come to realize that if they are to take their just place in the van of Pan-Negroism, then their destiny is not absorption by the white Americans. That if in America it is to be proven for the first time in the modern world that not only Negroes are capable of evolving individual men like Toussaint, the Saviour, but are a nation stored with wonderful possibilities of culture, then their destiny is not a servile imitation of Anglo-Saxon culture, but a stalwart originality which shall unswervingly follow Negro ideals. (p. 10).
Thus, Du Bois consciously uses the term "Black" in a positive sense when referring to Black people and he uses the term "Pan-Negroism" in anticipation of the Pan-African Movement which emerged in 1900. Du Bois continued to usher in the Black Consciousness Movement in the USA with his landmark book The Souls of Black Folk. Some 60 years later, Du Bois (1962), at the age of 94, introduced the "Afro-centric" concept in his Proposed Plans for an Encyclopedia Africana which he wrote on November 15, 1962 under the auspices of the Secretariat for an Encyclopedia Africana. Du Bois used the term "Afro-centric" to refer to social analysis which places Africa and people of African descent at the center rather than the periphery. By 1960, a critical mass of Black people in the USA had embraced Black consciousness as an idea whose time had come. Malcolm X, Martin Luther King, Jr., and their followers boldly began to increasingly refer to themselves as Black people instead of Negroes. Under the inspiration of Du Bois and others, the Black Consciousness Movement flowered in the USA between 1960 and 1964 and paved the way for the Black Arts Movement and the Black Power Movement. Like Toure, others members of the Revolutionary Action Movement, Umbra, and the Uptown Writers Movement became key missionaries in the Black Arts Movement. Some of the other organizations that provided missionaries to the Black Arts Movement were the Black Panther Party, RAM, US, House of Umoja, Nation of Islam, NAACP, CORE, and SNCC. For more information on these organizations, see Thomas (1978), Baraka (1984), Salaam (1997, 2009), Marvin X (1998, 2009), Ahmad (2008), U. Perkins (2009), and Wobogo (2011). In the case of the Black Panther Party, it had a symbiotic relationship with the Black Arts Movement. As Marvin X (1998, 2009) has pointed out, some Black Panthers like Bobby Seale, Eldridge Cleaver, Emory Douglas, Samuel Napier, and George Mason Murray were involved with the Black Arts Movement before they joined the organization. For example, the poetry of George Mason Murray (1964, 1965) appeared in the first issue of Soulbook and the first issue of Black Dialogue. Other Black Panthers became involved with the Black Arts Movement after they joined the organization by promoting revolutionary nationalism or intercommunalism as an ideal ideology to fuel the movement.
(7.) Propelled by the influential Negro Digest, which later became Black World, literature and news of the Black Arts Movement reached all parts of the USA, including cities and towns in the Southeast and Southwest. Black people in Atlanta, Georgia, Savannah, Georgia, and Waycross, Georgia heard the clarion call of people like Amiri Baraka, Haki Madhubuti (Don L. Lee), Carolyn Rodgers, Mari Evans, and Marvin X and proceeded to develop aspects of the Black Arts Movement in their location. The same is true with New Orleans, Louisiana and Tougaloo, Mississippi. In the case of Savannah, it had an Academy of Black Culture. New Orleans had Blk Art South as well as the Free Southern Theatre and the Dashiki Project Theatre. See Ferdinand (1969a, 1969b); "The Dashiki Theatre Project;" 1969; "News," (1972); Salaam (1972); and Coleman (2003).
(8.) Baraka (1984) has related that the Spirit House he later developed in Newark, New Jersey was very similar to the Black Arts Repertory Theater/School in Harlem. He has also said that members of The Last Poets "extended the form of the ensemble poetry performance that we had worked with in the Spirit House" (p. 281). For an important history of The Last Poets, see Oyewole and Hassan (1996).
(9.) In the first issue of Black Theatre, he was listed as LeRoi Jones. For the second issue of Black Theatre, he was listed as both LeRoi Jones and Ameer Baraka. In the fourth issue of Black Theatre, he was listed as Imamu Ameer Baraka. For the fifth issue of Black Theatre, he was listed as Imamu Amiri Baraka. See Marvin X (1968) and Baraka (1969, 1970, 1971).
(10.) Neal (1968) pointed out that Etheridge Knight called for the development and usage of a Black aesthetic. Knight represented the lumpenproletariat who served time in prison, developed Black consciousness behind bars, and joined the Black Arts Movement and the Black Power Movement. Some of the other imprisoned Black people who developed Black consciousness behind bars were Alprentice "Bunchy" Carter, Eldridge Cleaver, B. Kwaku Duren, George Jackson, and Malcolm X. The emergence of Black history study groups played a major role in helping imprisoned Black people to develop Black consciousness behind bars. For some writings by imprisoned Black people with Black consciousness, see Knight (1968, 1970). For a very important assessment of the Black Arts Movement about 10 years after its demise, see Neal (1987). For some of the anthologies and other key books of the Black Arts Movement, see Chapman (1969); Jones and Neal (1968); Major (1969); Coombs (1970); Couch (1970); Jordan (1970); Chambers and Moon (1970); Randall (1971); Gayle (1971); King (1972, 1975); King and Anthony (1972); Henderson (1973); and Sanchez (1973).
(11.) In the case of the Liberator, the January 1965 issue published an important article by Stanford (1965), who later changed his name to Muhammad Ahmad, titled "Revolutionary Nationalism and the Afro-American Student." He called for unity and action among the following segments of the Black population: high school students, junior high school students, street gangs, and outcasts. It also published an important article by Black (1965) on the return of Malcolm X to the USA from his last trip abroad. She noted that Malcolm X, during a November 29, 1964 speech at the Audubon Ballroom, praised Patrice Lumumba and called Moises Tshombe a puppet and the worst African ever born. The editor-in-chief of the January 1965 issue of the Liberator was Daniel H. Watts. The editorial board for that issue consisted of Clebert Ford, Len Holt, Clayton Riley, Carlos E. Russell, Charlie L. Russell, Ossie Sykes, and C. E. Wilson. Another important periodical used by RAM members to popularize their writings was Umbra. For example, the very first issue of Umbra published a poem by Rolland Snellings (Roland Snellings, Askia Muhammad Toure) titled "Floodtide." The second issue of Umbra published a poem by him titled "Song of the Fire." See Snellings (1963a, 1963b). A third important Black periodical during the early 1960s was Freedomways, which was widely read by RAM members and non-members. In its important memorial issue for W. E. B. Du Bois, Stuckey (1965) and Moore (1965) wrote articles wherein they acknowledged his role in the development of Pan-Africanism. In his article, Stuckey related that Kwame Nkrumah regarded Du Bois as a "symbol of Pan-Africanism" and "one of Africa's greatest teachers" (p. 151). Stuckey also said that, "Du Bois' influence was felt from the tenements of Harlem to the African bush, and countless children because of him have grown up with greater confidence and a new vision of themselves and the world" (p. 153). Moore, in his article, referred to Du Bois as the "Grand Old Man of Pan-Africanism" and credited him with being "the veteran spokesman for Pan-African liberation and champion of human rights" (pp. 183, 187). He also acknowledged that, "Dr. W. E. B. Du Bois was hailed as 'Father' of Pan-Africanism by George Padmore" (p. 183). In addition, Moore addressed the "background of the Pan-Africanism of W. E. B. Du Bois" and asserted that Du Bois had a "prophetic world vision which encompassed his idea of Pan-Africa" (pp. 167-168). That issue of Freedomways also included some selected poems of Du Bois (1965a, 1965b, 1965c, 1965d, 1965e, 1965f). The political activism, scholarship, literary art, and Pan-African philosophy of Du Bois were major influences on the Black Arts Movement. As Walters (1917) noted, Du Bois participated in the first Pan-African Conference, which was held in London, England during 1900 and organized by Henry Sylvester Williams. Other participants from the USA included B. W. Arnett, Thomas J. Calloway, Anna Julia Cooper, Henry F. Downing, Ada Harris, Anna H. Jones, Charles P. Lee, J. L. Love, and Alexander Walters. According to Walters, Du Bois played an important role in his status as the chairman of the Committee on Address to the Nations of the World. Walters also stated that Du Bois was selected to serve as the Vice-President of America to the short-lived permanent organization known as the Pan-African Association. In his final autobiography, Du Bois (1968) addressed the leading role he played in organizing five Pan-African Congresses. At the five Pan-African Congresses, Black people from different countries gathered to engage in Pan-Africanism as an international form of Black nationalism involving racial solidarity and collective action around economic, political, and cultural matters. The First Pan-African Congress took place during 1919 in Paris, France. The Second Pan-African Congress was held in 1921 in London, England; Paris, France; and Brussels, Netherlands. The Third Pan-African Congress took place during 1923 in London, England and Lisbon, Portugal. The Fourth Pan-African Congress was held in 1923 in New York City. The Fifth Pan-African Congress took place during 1945 in Manchester, England. For more information about his status and role at those five Pan-African Congresses, see Cromartie (2011c, 2011d, 2012a, 2012b).
(12.) Joe Goncalves, also known as Dingane, was one of the key Black people addressing the issue of creating independent Black institutions with a focus on publishing (Redmond, 1976; Lewis, 2010). Throughout the Black Arts Movement, he helped to produce Black Dialogue, Black Theatre, and his own The Journal of Black Poetry. When some people in the Black Arts Movement including Hoyt Fuller, complained about Black writers being left out of the American Literary Anthology, Goncalves said that Black people must concentrate on developing their own literary entities. Regarding that matter, a news items in the "Perspectives" column of Negro Digest stated:
Joe Goncalves, the perceptive editor of The Journal of Black Poetry, advised us to give up the struggle. It wasn't worth it, he said. Black writers should do their own thing, find their own audience, establish their own critics. Black writers did not need the corruptive influence of the annual literary anthology. He was right. ("The American Literary Anthology," 1969, p. 49).
During the 1970s, Goncalves continued to call for the development of independent Black institutions with a focus on publishing. See Goncalves (1972).
(13.) Marvin X (personal communication, January 12, 2014) has told me about his social relationships with Eldridge Cleaver and Amiri Baraka. He has also written extensively about his social interaction with Eldridge Cleaver, Amiri Baraka, Emory Douglas, Bobby Seale, George Murray, Samuel Napier, and others at the Black House. See Marvin X (1998, 2009).
(14.) Marvin X (personal communication, January 12, 2014) has stated to me that he and Ethna Wyatt (Hurriyah Asar) fled the Black House after being intimidated with guns by Eldridge Cleaver and Bobby Hutton. For writings by him on the incident, see Marvin X (1998, 2009).
(15.) Fritz Pointer (personal communication, May 14, 2015) has informed me that the Pan-African Cultural Center hosted Amiri Baraka and Muhammad Ali at events in Oakland. In the case of Muhammad Ali, he spoke at McClymonds High School under the aegis of the Pan-African Cultural Center. Pointer also noted that Dave "Mudavanha" Paterson later earned a Ph.D. in political science at the University of California, Berkeley. Pointer later earned a M.A. in African history at the University of California Los Angeles and a M.A. in African literature at University of Wisconsin, Madison.
(16.) Marvin X (personal communication, January 12, 2014) has related to me that he considered Amiri Baraka a mentor. He became close to Amiri Baraka in 1967 when the latter came to the West Coast and participated in the activities of the Black House in San Francisco. Marvin X has served as a mentor to Ptah Mitchell, Menhuam Ayele, Zahieb Mwongozi, and me. It should be noted that I have also been mentored by Fritz Pointer, Joe "Dingane" Goncalves, George Smith, Markell Johnson, Betty Scott, Fleet 'Melchizedek" Johnson, Leroy "Lee" Johnson, M'Wile Yaw Askari, Barbara Paige Pointer, Anita DeFrantz, Bishop Scott, and many others.
(17.) At that 20007 Kwanzaa Celebration, I saw Joan Tarika Lewis, a former member of the Black Panther Party, and her cousin who was popularly known as Sister Makinya Sibeko-Kouate (aka Harriet Smith). The latter once had ties to the US through Maulana Karenga and held the first Bay Area Kwanzaa Celebration in her home during 1967. In her obituary of Sister Makinya, Sabir (2017) credited her with organizing that first Bay Area Kwanzaa Celebration. It was a beautiful sight to see a person with ties to the Black Panther Party and a person with ties to US sitting together at a Kwanazaa Celebration in the place many locals call Bobby Hutton Park.
(18.) For a detailed discussion on the functional role of poetry readings in the Black Arts Movement, see Thomas (1998).
(19.) The multi-talented Gil Scott-Heron was a major voice as a singer, musician, novelist, poet, and pioneer rapper who wrote an important memoir about his life. Although he experienced great difficulty in dealing with substance abuse in the form of alcohol and other drugs, Scott-Heron produced an impressive body of work which ranged from his first album in 1970 to his final album during his lifetime in 2010. Scott-Heron displayed how a poet could use dynamic language without relying on the N-word or profanity as a cliche. On his album Spirits, which was released in 1994, Scott-Heron included an important poem titled "Message to the Messengers" wherein he chided Hip Hop artists for calling women the B-word. Scott-Heron had a long history of reaching out and encouraging younger poets. In 1979, Scott-Heron selected my poem "Theme for El Jefe" as a grand prize winner in the Gil Scott-Heron Poetry Contest, which was sponsored by Arista Record Company and Radio Station KRE in Berkeley. For his memoir, see Scott-Heron (2012). Further, Scott-Heron was one of the many musicians who made contributions to the Black Arts Movement. Some of the others included the whole Midnight Band (e.g., Brian Jackson, Sunni Bilal Ali, Danny Bowens, and Adenola), Max Roach, Andrew Hill, Sun Ra, Rahsaan Roland Kirk, John Coltrane, Pharaoh Sanders, Albert Ayler, Cecil Taylor, Archie Shepp, James T. Stewart, Sonny Murray, Don Cherry, Henry Grimes, Louis Worrell, Marion Brown, Rashid-Ali, Milford Graves, Gary Bartz, Curtis Mayfield, and William Calhoun. See J. T. Stewart (1966), Baraka (1967, 1984), Marvin X (1998), J. B. Stewart (2005), Smethurst (2005), Thomas (1992, 1995), and Vincent (2013).
(20.) For some information and writings related to Black writers in the Los Angeles, California area during the Black Arts Movement, see Schulberg (1967) and Troupe (1968).
(21.) Conferences and festivals connected to the Black Arts Movement were also held in Chicago and elsewhere. As mentioned above, there was a Black Arts Festival held in Chicago in 1968. There was also a series of Black Power Conferences which featured workshops or panels pertaining to the Black Arts Movement. In his autobiography, Baraka (1984) provided background information about the following conferences: 1966 Black Power Conference in Washington, DC; 1967 Black Power Conference in Newark, New Jersey; 1968 Black Power Conference in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; 1969 Black Power Conference in Newark, New Jersey; and 1970 Black Power Conference in Atlanta, Georgia. Baraka also provided background information about the following gatherings: 1972 National Black Political Convention in Gary, Indiana; 1972 African Liberation Day in Washington, DC and San Francisco, California; 1974 National Black Political Convention in Little Rock, Arkansas; 1974 May Conference at Howard University; 1974 June Sixth Pan-African Congress held in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania; and 1974 Afrikan Women's Conference in Newark, New Jersey. With regard to the 1968 Black Power Conference, Baraka wrote in his autobiography that: "I was coordinator of the Arts Workshop at the '68 conference" (p. 273).
(22.) In addition to true self-consciousness, Du Bois (1897b, 1903) called for Black people to have self-realization, self-respect, and self-development.
(23.) Although the Black Panther Party made some major mistakes in the use of profanity, some of its members were a viable part of the Black Arts Movement, especially Bobby Seale, Emory Douglas, and Samuel Napier. For a discussion of the roles of those three in the Black Arts Movement, see Marvin X (1998). As the official organ of the organization, The Black Panther participated in the Black Arts Movement by providing publishing the artwork of Emory Douglas as well as Black poetry in its pages both before and after 1975. For a discussion of some of that poetry, see Jennings (2010). The poetry of Alprentice "Bunchy" Carter and Ericka Huggins was often featured in The Black Panther. Although I was not a member of the Black Panther Party, I published two poems in The Black Panther during 1976. See Cromartie (1976a, 1976b).
(24.) According to Bialik (2005) in the Wall Street Journal, the data indicate that most rap records were purchased by White people in 1995, 1999, and 2001. He reported that a study by Mediamark Research Inc. (MRI) found that for all adults and adults between the age of 18 to 34 the percentage of rap records buyers who are White was 70 to 75 percent in 1995, 1999, and 2001. Bialik also reported that:
Spurred by a change in Census Bureau methodology, MRI researchers no longer decide for themselves the race of their respondents, and the group has expanded the number of races and allowed respondents to check more than one. In fall 2004, using the new method, MRI found that just 60% of rap buyers are white, though 78% of Americans self-identify as white. Apparently, a significant number of people whom researchers thought were white wouldn't identify themselves as such. (p. 2)
Cf. Ide (2013).
(25.) A case in point is that the companies established by the rapper Shawn "Jay-Z" Carter have sought out contracts with White firms connected with White capitalists. For example, his Roc Nation has possessed a contract with the Universal Music Group and a contract with Sony. See Sisario (2013) and Morris (2013).
(26.) Allah (2009) has written that, "With 'two turntables and a microphone,' Herc ingeniously gave birth to Hip-Hop Music by isolating the instrumental breaks in funk records, while taking over the groove" (p. 374). Allah has also traced the influence of Five Percenters on Hip Hop personalities like DJ Kool Herc, World's Famous Supreme Team, Just-Ice, Rakim Allah, King Sun, Big Daddy Kane, Lakim Shabazz, Poor Righteous Teachers, Brand Nubians, Wu-Tang Clan, Digable Planets, and Erykah Badu. According to Allah, the teachings of Father Allah, who was also known as Clarence 13X and Clarence Edward Eugene Smith, can be found in their lyrics. In addition, Allah has detailed the destruction of a "man-made blizzard" in the form of "crack-cocaine" on New York City and elsewhere during the 1980s (p. 361). Further, as early as 1971, I saw T. C. James, a Black man and deejay, doing something similar with turntables and a microphone in Waycross, Georgia to what Kool Herc later did in New York City. For an important statement about the original development of the Hip Hop Movement and his philosophy, see D J Kool Herc (2005).
(27.) For a compilation of essays making use of these periodicals as sources of information, see Forman and Neal (2004).
(28.) Questlove (2014) is a Hip Hop insider who has complained about what he has called the conspicuous consumerism in the social movement. In an article for Vulture, Questlove traced the conspicuous consumerism in the Hip Hop Movement as far back as Run-DMC and their hit song My Adidas. For Questlove, Rap stars "back in the '80s celebrated what they owned" (p. 2). He proceeded to charge that contemporary Rap stars like Jay Z, Kanye West, and Puff Daddy have engaged in conspicuous consumerism. In the case of Puff Daddy, Questlove wrote:
Certainly, Puff Daddy's work with the Notorious B.I.G. in the early '90s did plenty to cement the idea of hip-hop as a genre of conspicuous consumption. Before those videos, wealth was evident, but it was also contextualized, given specific character that harmonized with the backgrounds of the artists. Run-DMC had East Coast cool and cachet; Dr. Dre had West Coast cool and cachet. But Puffy had--and wanted to tell everyone he had--a different idea of power, an abstract capitalist cachet. His videos, and the image they projected, played as well in California as in New York, as well in Chicago as in Florida. It was a cartoon idea of wealth, to the point that specific reality no longer mattered. In literary terms, it was pure signifier. It would take him a little while to formulate that into a manifesto, but when he did, he hit it on the nose. "Bad Boy for Life," in 2001, contained a line that says all that anyone needs to know about this strain of hip-hop: "Don't worry if I write rhymes / I write checks." Picasso, baby. (p. 3)
In the Hip Hop Movement, people like Questlove, who has proven to be willing to make a critique of conspicuous consumerism in the capitalistic USA, are far and few between.
(29.) For similar critiques of the practices found in the Hip Hop Movement, see Davey D (2011), O'Hanlon (2006), Hicks (2006, 2007), McWhorter (2003), and Sharpton and Hunter (2002). For a defense of the practices found in the Hip Hop Movement, see Tanford (2015), Tyree and Jones (2015), Forman (2010), Dyson (2007), Clark (2013), Light (1999), Perkins (1995) and Light (1999). In the case of Clark, she also served as the guest editor of a special issue of The Journal of Pan African Studies (later Africology: The Journal of Pan African Studies) which focused primarily on the Hip Hop Movement in various African countries.
(30.) For evidence that the Black Arts Movement had an international impact along with its forerunner the Black Consciousness Movement in the USA, see Biko (1978), Eide (2014), Du Toit (2008), Redmond (1976), Gerhart (1978), and Ahmad (2008). On the one hand, a Black Consciousness Movement had emerged in the USA by 1960 long before the Black Arts Movement and Black Power Movement. The Revolutionary Action Movement (RAM), which was founded in 1962, was part of the Black Consciousness Movement. Ahmad has detailed the history of RAM. The Black Consciousness Movement was inspired by independence movements in Africa as well as the long struggle for social justice in the USA led by Frederick Douglass, Alexander Crummell, Ida B. Wells-Barnett, W. E. B. Du Bois, Carter G. Woodson, James R. L. Diggs, Anna Julia Cooper, Noble Drew Ali, Cyril Briggs, Hubert Harrison, Elijah Muhammad, Paul Robeson, Septima Clark, Queen Mother Audley Moore, Ella Baker, Queen Mother Audley Moore, Fannie Lou Hamer, Robert F. Williams, Malcolm X, Martin Luther King, Jr., Don Freeman, Kwame Ture (Stokely Carmichael), Huey P. Newton, and many others. Although Marcus Garvey was not an advocate of political nationalism in the USA, it is very clear that there is no doubt that he was a strong advocate of Black consciousness in this country in the form of cultural nationalism and economic nationalism in this country. On the other hand, Biko and others have provided some details about the mutual influence of Black social movements in the USA, Africa, and the Caribbean. Biko has stated:
The growth of awareness among South African blacks has often been ascribed to influence from the American 'Negro' movement. Yet it seems to me that this is a sequel to the attainment of independence by so many African states within so short a time.... The fact that American terminology has often been used to express our thoughts is merely because all new ideas seem to get extensive publicity in the United States. (p. 69)
Eide has mentioned "Biko's wider investment in Black consciousness, a political philosophy tied to the Black Power movement of the United States and the Negritude philosophical interventions elsewhere in Africa and in the Caribbean" (p. 14). Du Toit has related that Biko "was influenced by people like Frantz Fanon, Leopold Segnhor, Cheikh Anta Diop, Aime Cesaire, Malcolm X, Stokely Carmichael and the like" (p. 29). Redmond has disclosed that Keorapetse Kgositsile was a key figure in the Black Arts Movement in the USA and a native of South Africa. It is highly unlikely that the well-read Biko did not know of Kgositsile's impressive body of literary work. Gerhart has informed us that:
The impact of American ideas in the 1960s on the language of the Black Consciousness movement comes through clearly in the popularity of slogans like "Black Is Beautiful" and the frequent use of such terms as "relevance" and "power structure" in SASO literature. Most significant, however, was the terminological revolution in the use of the "black" itself. (pp. 276-277)
In the aforementioned statement by Gerhart, SASO refers to the South African Students' Organisation. Further, for evidence of the international impact of the Hip Hop Movement, see Toop (2000), Mitchell (2001), and Condry (2006). Like other social forces produced by the cultural endeavors of Black people, the Hip Hop Movement faces the dilemma of being disconnected to the population which originated the phenomenon. Consider the plight of soul music and jazz. In a thoughtful essay dealing with the future of soul music in the USA, Howard (1966) complained that:
Soulfulness can be looked at in one of two ways. Most of the black community knows what being soulful means, yet few of us connect it with our past. Jazz, for example, is appreciated, but it is not connected with slave songs and the early Negro church where it originated. Furthermore, it is not connected with Africa because too many of us believe that we are completely American and that everything which was African was left behind or destroyed long ago. We, like most of America, and indeed the rest of the Western world suffer from "Tarzan" type depictions of Africans and African culture. (p. 23)
Howard posed that soul music and jazz were faced with the dilemma of being disconnected to the population which originated the two phenomena.
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by J. Vern Cromartie, Ed.D.
Professor of Sociology, Chair, Sociology Department
Contra Costa College, San Pablo, California
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|Author:||Cromartie, J. Vern|
|Publication:||Journal of Pan African Studies|
|Date:||Apr 1, 2018|
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