Chapter 16. African-American Modernisms

  1. John T. Matthews Professor
  1. Michelle Stephens Associate Professor

Published Online: 5 MAY 2009

DOI: 10.1002/9781444310726.ch16

A Companion to the Modern American Novel 1900-1950

A Companion to the Modern American Novel 1900-1950

How to Cite

Stephens, M. (2009) African-American Modernisms, in A Companion to the Modern American Novel 1900-1950 (ed J. T. Matthews), Wiley-Blackwell, Oxford, UK. doi: 10.1002/9781444310726.ch16

Editor Information

  1. Boston University, USA

Author Information

  1. Colgate College, USA

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 5 MAY 2009
  2. Published Print: 3 APR 2009

ISBN Information

Print ISBN: 9780631206873

Online ISBN: 9781444310726



  • African-American modernisms;
  • various forms of black artistic production - occurring in Harlem;
  • class dimensions of New Negro ideology;
  • black faces - racial masquerade and early African-American modernism;
  • need for a new black cultural and political identity;
  • Negro physiognomy - freshly and objectively conceived on its own patterns;
  • new world negroes - modernism, modernity and black diaspora


This chapter contains sections titled:

  • Black Faces: Racial Masquerade and Early African-American Modernism

  • New World Negroes: Modernism, Modernity and the Black Diaspora

  • Black Looks: Women of Color Facing White Modernism and Black Modernity

  • White Masks: Performing Modern Blackness

  • References and Further Reading