CFP: The New Black and The New Negro: Generational Tensions between Blackness, Colorlessness, and Post-Black

Special Feature: Volume 8, no. 1, November 2015

Guest Editor: Kinitra D. Brooks, University of Texas, San Antonio

A class of colored people, the ‘New Negro’,  … have arisen since the War, with education, refinement, and money. – Cleveland Gazette, 28 June 1895

There are constructive channels opening out into which the balked social feelings of the American Negro can flow freely…. One is the consciousness of acting as the advance-guard of the African peoples in their contact with Twentieth Century civilization; the other, a sense of a mission of rehabilitating the race in world esteem from that loss of prestige for which the fate and conditions of slavery have so largely been responsible.

– Alain Locke in The New Negro, 1925

The ‘new black’ doesn’t blame other races for our issues. The ‘new black’ dreams and realizes that it’s not a pigmentation; it’s a mentality. And it’s either going to work for you, or it’s going to work against you. And you’ve got to pick the side you’re gonna be on.                                                                   – Pharrell Williams,Oprah Prime (2014)

I’m tired of being labelled. I’m an American. I’m not an African American; I’m an American … And that’s a colorless person.      – Raven Symone, Oprah Prime (2013)

The words of music producer Pharrell Williams and actress Raven Symone initiated what is now referred to as the ‘New Black’ or ‘Millennium Negro’ Movement. Critical race theorists have implied that these musings hearken back to another African American cultural movement of self-articulation, that of ‘The New Negro’.Transnational Literature is calling for scholarly papers and poems that critique and explore the themes and theories interrogating the possible connections between these two socio-political cultural projects. We welcome papers and creative works that include but certainly are not limited to the following topics:

·      The New Black v. The New Negro

·      Contemporary ahistorical manifestations of Blackness and questions of critical legitimacy

·      Global Perspectives of The New Black

·      Transnational Black Cosmopolitan Identity and Culture

·      The New Black’s connections to The Talented Tenth

·      The New Negro/Old Negro and The New Black/Old Black

·      The Importance of Class

·      Postcolonial/Neocolonial Blackness in the African Diaspora

·      Problematising prescriptive racial identities

Transnational Literature invites unpublished papers not currently under consideration by any other publisher. Article submissions should be 4000-6000 words in length and should include an abstract of approximately 150 words in addition to a brief author biography.

Please consult the submission guide –fhrc.flinders.edu.au/transnational/submissions.html

Please submit all finished works and queries to tnlthenewblack2015@gmail.comby May 10, 2015.

Transnational Literature is a freely accessible, fully refereed international e-journal published twice a year by the Flinders Institute for Research in the Humanities, Flinders University, Adelaide, Australia.​