Najar, Lubna
September 2005
Women's Studies Quarterly;Fall/Winter2005, Vol. 33 Issue 3/4, p314
Academic Journal
This article focuses on the literary productions of the Chicago Poetry Group. The poem "The Congo," has been controversial since its publication in 1914 due to its focus on racism. W. E. B. Du Bois, a writer, among many others, criticized the concept of racism in the poem. Cunningham was the only other member of the class to submit poems to "Poetry" magazine, eventually becoming an associate editor there. Even before her contributions, the record of publication of the magazine bears witness to the modernist preoccupation with race. The poem "The Defender," by Katinka Loeser, takes up race (not least in its titular reference to the African American weekly) more obliquely and less problematically than "The Congo." The history and literary production of the Chicago Poetry Group complicate the existing portrait of African American art at midcentury. Viewed through the lens of the poetry group, an overlooked dimension of the literature of the Chicago Renaissance emerges: the legacy of modernism.


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