"Fourth Renaissance" Art Is Muted Art

Reed, Ishmael
January 1999
Defining Ourselves: Black Writers in the 90s;1999, p161
The author criticizes the advocacy of Henry Louis Gates Jr. for African American art elaborated in his article Fourth Renaissance, published in the October 1994 issue of Time Magazine. He feels the article was an attempt to sell an African American art that would be acceptable to the mainstream. According to the author the Gates renaissance article for Time was a blatant example of bottom line criticism in which Gates seemed to be saying that we judge art on the basis of what sells. He argues that the Time article promoted an African American literature that would best fit the political environment of the 1990s.


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