Not Such A Lonely Crusade
The Black Cultural Front: Black Writers and Artists of the Depression Generation
Publisher: Against the Current
Date Written: 01/01/2016
Year Published: 2016
Resource Type: Article
Cx Number: CX21341
Book review of Brian Dolinar's The Black Cultural Front: Black Writers and Artists of the Depression Generation.
The starting point for Dolinar's analysis is the National Negro Congress. Founded in 1935 and launched the following year, this organization combined grassroots campaigning with various strategies towards other cultural institutions, from the official arts bodies of the New Deal administration to the Hollywood film studios.
A prototype civil rights organization, it built on the example set by interracial defense campaigns, including those of the Scottsboro Nine and Angelo Herndon. Membership peaked at 20,000, with A. Philip Randolph elected President and John P. Davis of Roosevelt's "black cabinet" as its National Secretary.
In cultural terms, NNC campaigns were concerned with questions of representation, such as bringing pressure to bear on radio stations for their racist content (Amos 'n' Andy, 1928-43) and employment practises. Yet they also provided an entertaining environment for Black audiences and their white allies, drawing upon music and entertainment industries talent to raise funds and building solidarity for numerous causes.