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The Oxford Critical and Cultural History of Modernist MagazinesVolume II: North America 1894-1960$
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Peter Brooker and Andrew Thacker

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780199545810

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: March 2015

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:osobl/9780199545810.001.0001

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The Crisis (1910–34)

The Crisis (1910–34)

(p.103) 4 The Crisis (1910–34)
The Oxford Critical and Cultural History of Modernist Magazines

Rachel Farebrother

Oxford University Press

This chapter discusses the history of The Crisis: A Record of the Darker Races, the monthly magazine of the civil rights organization the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP). Its editor, African American intellectual W. E. B. Du Bois, envisaged The Crisis as much more than the mouthpiece of NAACP protest — its diverse content featured pan-Africanism, revisionist history, and anti-lynching campaigns alongside poetry, essays, short fiction, and pioneering children's literature, which targeted a specifically African American audience. Building upon the dynamic interplay between protest and affirmation (and word and image) in The Crisis, the chapter focuses on tensions in a magazine that was ‘to remain a paradox from its inception — a self-financing publication whose freewheeling, militant editor was expected to advance policies of an organization guided by the careful decisions of a board of directors’. Such an approach illuminates a number of contemporary critical conversations about the Harlem Renaissance.

Keywords:   monthly magazine, African American magazine, civil rights organization, National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, NAACP, W. E. B. Du Bois, Harlem Renaissance

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