S.O.S.--Calling All Black People
A Black Arts Movement Reader
A major anthology of readings from the Black Arts Movement
This volume brings together a broad range of key writings from the Black Arts Movement of the 1960s and 1970s, among the most significant cultural movements in American history. The aesthetic counterpart of the Black Power movement, it burst onto the scene in the form of artists’ circles, writers’ workshops, drama groups, dance troupes, new publishing ventures, bookstores, and cultural centers and had a presence in practically every community and college campus with an appreciable African American population. Black Arts activists extended its reach even further through magazines such as Ebony and Jet, on television shows such as Soul! and Like It Is, and on radio programs.
Many of the movement’s leading artists, including Amiri Baraka, Ed Bullins, Nikki Giovanni, Woodie King, Haki Madhubuti, Sonia Sanchez, Askia Touré, Marvin X and Val Gray Ward remain artistically productive today. Its influence can also be seen in the work of later artists, from the writers Toni Morrison, John Edgar Wideman, and August Wilson to actors Avery Brooks, Danny Glover, and Samuel L. Jackson, to hip hop artists Mos Def, Talib Kweli, and Chuck D.
S.O.S—Calling All Black People includes works of fiction, poetry, and drama in addition to critical writings on issues of politics, aesthetics, and gender. It covers topics ranging from the legacy of Malcolm X and the impact of John Coltrane’s jazz to the tenets of the Black Panther Party and the music of Motown. The editors have provided a substantial introduction outlining the nature, history, and legacy of the Black Arts Movement as well as the principles by which the anthology was assembled.
"This book will add immeasurably to our ability to understand and teach a crucial aspect of modern African American and American literary history. Something crucial involving race and art overtook American culture in the 1960s and 1970s, and the nation would never be the same again—a seismic shift that had everything to do with the political, cultural, and aesthetic impact of the confrontational Black Arts and Black Power movements."—Arnold Rampersad, author of Ralph Ellison: A Biography
"This book has the potential to be an amazing teaching and research tool and should appeal to a wide audience of scholars and academics across a variety of fields from sociology and literary studies, to Africana studies and history. The introduction alone provides an invaluable account of the cultural output, impact, and legacy of the Black Arts Movement for scholars and students."—Amy Abugo Ongiri, author of Spectacular Blackness: The Cultural Politics of the Black Power Movement and the
Search for a Black Aesthetic