Cullman Center Institute for Teachers: Black Bohemia: Poetry, Painting and Jazz on the Lower East Side, 1955-1965
THIS IS A WEEK-LONG SEMINAR (MONDAY JULY 16 - FRIDAY JULY 20)
ADAM SHATZ, Instructor
From the late 1950s through the mid-1960s, New York below 14th Street was home to a thriving -- and increasingly politicized -- black bohemian scene. Black writers, painters, and jazz musicians moved downtown in search of cheaper rents and a more tolerant racial atmosphere, and were soon mixing with their white counterparts in bookshops, taverns, and jazz clubs. By 1965, the scene had imploded, with the assassination of Malcolm X and the rise of black nationalism. This course will chart the rise and fall of this passionate but volatile experiment in interracial collaboration, with a focus on the life and work of the poet, critic, and playwright LeRoi Jones/Amiri Baraka. Readings will include memoirs of the period, plays, poetry, and criticism; we will also listen to music by jazz musicians who participated in the scene.
- Audience: Teachers, K-12 Educators