“Two examples of successful avant-garde movements are Abstract Expressionist painting and the politicized aesthetic popularized by Harlem Renaissance poetry. In the case of Abstract Expressionism, a small group of painters, art critics, and the designers responsible for corporate office and public spaces, managed to makethat style the dominant public art of the third quarter of the 20th Century. During the 1920s, Harlem Renaisance poets Claude McKay and Countee Cullen used traditional English-language forms such as the sonnet to craft poems of racial introspection and minority group political protest, while Sterling A. Brown and Langston Hughes employed vers libre and Black English vernacular for the same purposes. The result was a full-court press against conventional American ideas (particularly those of the last quarter of the 19th Century) regarding the purpose of poetry.”

Read the rest at Tripwire: Kindred: The Origins of the Black Avant-Garde,