Poets, Musicians, and Magicians
Prophetic Black Artists of the New Creation
I say that democracy can never prove itself beyond cavil, until it founds and luxuriantly grows its own forms of art, poems, schools, theology, displacing all that exists, or that has been created everywhere in the past, under opposite influences.
— Walt Whitman, 1871
When the history books are written in the future, somebody will have to say, "There lived a race of people, black people, fleecy locks and black complexion, people who had the moral courage to stand up for their fights. And thereby they injected a new meaning into the veins of history and of civilization." And we're gonna do that. God grant that we will do it before it's too late.
— Martin Luther King, Jr., 1955
When I was in supper clubs and nightclubs, I simply played the things that were applicable to those particular places. . . . But now that my people have decided that we're going to take over the world, I'm going to have to do my part.
— Nina Simone, 1968
Because we have so often chosen to reduce the extraordinary democratic explosion of the post-World War II Black freedom