This essay attempts to locate the historical significance of Black Arts as a potent, widely social modernism, unlike the café/salon confines of the Paris model. The Black Arts and Black Aesthetics movements were at the center of a rupture of misidentified blackness left over from the American Apartheid epoch. Vertiginously brilliant and highly self-conscious, the Black Arts core leadership held sharply defined notions of mission and success, sometimes undervaluing the impact of Black Aesthetics as its critical-theoretical ally in academe and the culture industry. That core did not always recognize personal, geographic, or gender variations of its shared revolts. In this century the fixed branding of this renovative movement has to be opened to creative streams it never envisioned, some of which it provoked and others it only shared in exciting, revolutionary, postcolonial times.

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