Books by Larry Neal
Hoodoo Hollerin Bebop Ghosts
Visions of a Liberated Future
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(3 September 1937 -- 6 January 1981)
1937 -- Lawrence P. Neal was born in Atlanta,
Georgia, to Woodie and Maggie Neal. The family moved to
Philadelphia that Larry and his four brothers grew up
1956 -- Graduated from Roman Catholic High School
with an academic degree.
1961 -- Graduated from Lincoln University, a
predominantly black school in Pennsylvania that, at the
the time of enrollment was all male.
1963 -- Received an M.A. from the
University of Pennsylvania.
1963 --1976 -- Taught at six universities,
including City College of New York (1968-1969) and Yale
University (1970-1975); writer in residence at Wesleyan
1964 -- Married Evelyn Rodgers of Fairfield,
1964 -- Worked as copywriter for John Wiley
and Sons. Wrote for Liberator magazine, a publication
for which he became arts editor. During Liberator period
(1964-1966), Neal wrote journalistic accounts of
cultural events and conducted interviews with writers,
artists, and musicians. A principal mover with LeRoi
Jones in a group that created the Black Arts Repertory
1964 --1970 -- Made five television
appearances, usually as a moderator on Soul, Like It Is,
Time for America,; guests included Harry belafonte, Lena
Horne, Clayton Riley, and Nikki Giovanni.
1964 -- "The Negro in the Theatre," Drama
Critque, 7 (Spring 1964).
1965 -- "Cultural front," Liberator, 5
(June 1965): 26.
1965 -- Shot by someone who disliked his
politics upon leaving the Schomburg Center for Research
in Black Culture.
1966 and 1967 -- Published a number of essays
in Negro Digest that explored the centrality of black
music and black musicians to a black aesthetic. Neal
possessed some talent as a pianist and flutist.
1966 -- "Lenox Avenue Sunday," Television,
1966 -- "The Black Writer's Role -- James
Baldwin," Liberator, 6 (April 1966): 10.
1968 -- Neal and Baraka edited
An Anthology of Afro-American Writing; Neal wrote
two important essays that attempted to define the Black
Arts Movement. Just as Alain Locke's
captured the spirit of the Harlem Renaissance,
Fire captured the spirit of the Black Arts Movement.
Contains works by Harold Cruse, Stokely Carmichael,
Sonia Sanchez, and
Ed Bullins; William Mahoney, Lindsey
Barrett, Marvin Jackmon (Marvin X), and Charles Fuller.
1968 -- "Black Writer's Views on Literary
Lions and Values," Negro Digest, 17 (January
1968 -- "Cultural Nationalism and Black
Theatre," Black Theatre, no. 1 (1968): 8-10.
1968 -- "The
Black Arts Movement," Drama Review, 12
(Summer 1968): 29-39.
1968 -- Guest Editor, The Journal of Black
Poetry (Summer, 1968)
1969 -- Black Boogaloo: Notes on Black
Liberation (first book of poetry) published by
Journal of Black Poetry Press. Trippin': A Need for
Change by Neal, Amiri Baraka, and
(Newark: New Ark).
1969 -- "Any Day Now: Black Art and Black
Liberation," Ebony, 24 (August 1969): 54-58, 62.
1969 -- "Toward a Relevant Black Theatre,"
Black Theatre, no. 4 (1969): 14-15.
1970 -- "Politics as Ritual: Ellison's Zoo
Suit," Black World, 20 (December 1970): 31-52.
1970 -- "Free Southern Theatre, the Conquest of the
South," Drama Review, 14 (1970): 169-174
1971 -- Evelyn and Larry adopted son
Hoodoo Hollerin Bebop Ghosts (second
volume of poetry).
1971 -- Holler S.O.S., Screenplay,
Johns Hopkins University, 1971.
1972 -- "Into Nationalism Out of
Parochialism," Performance, no. 2 (April 1972):
1972 -- "The Ethos of the Blues," Black
Scholar, 3 (Summer 1972); 42-48.
1972 -- Uncle Rufus Raps on the Squared
Circle," Partisan Review, 39 (1972): 44-62.
1973 -- Moving On Up, Screenplay, A.
Philip Randolph Institute, 1973
1976 -- The Glorious Monster in the Bell of
the Horn, New York, Frank Silvera's Writers
1976 -- "The Black Contribution to American
Letters: Part II, The Writer as Activist -- 1960 and
After." in The Black American Reference Book, by
Mabel M. Smythe (Englewood Cliffs, N.J.) Prentice-Hall,
1976), pp. 767-790.
1976-1979 -- Worked as executive director of
the Commission on the Arts and Humanities in Washington,
Source: Dictionary f Literary
Biography. Afro-American Writers After 1955: Dramatists
and Prose Writers (Volume 38)
posted 5 November 2006
Finding Aid for Larry Neal
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The Black Arts Movement
Literary Nationalism in the 1960s and 1970s
James Edward Smethurst
Emerging from a matrix of Old Left, black nationalist,
and bohemian ideologies and institutions, African
American artists and intellectuals in the 1960s
coalesced to form the Black Arts Movement, the cultural
wing of the Black Power Movement. In this comprehensive
analysis, James Smethurst examines the formation of the
Black Arts Movement and demonstrates how it deeply
influenced the production and reception of literature
and art in the United States through its negotiations of
the ideological climate of the Cold War, decolonization,
and the civil rights movement.
regional approach, Smethurst examines local expressions
of the nascent Black Arts Movement, a movement
distinctive in its geographical reach and diversity,
while always keeping the frame of the larger movement in
view. The Black Arts Movement, he argues, fundamentally
changed American attitudes about the relationship
between popular culture and "high" art and dramatically
transformed the landscape of public funding for the
University of North Carolina Press
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Visions of a Liberated Future
Black Arts Movement Writings
"What we have been trying to arrive
at is some kind of synthesis of the writer's function as
an oppressed individual and a creative artist," states
Neal (1937-1981), a writer, editor, educator and
activist prominent in the Black Arts movement of the
1960s and '70s. Articulate, highly charged essays about
the black experience examine the views of his
predecessors--musicians and political theorists as well
as writers--continually weighing artistic achievement
against political efficacy. While the essays do not
exclude any readers, Neal's drama, poetry and fiction
are more limited in their form of address, more
explicitly directed to the oppressed. The poems are
particularly intense in their protest: "How many of them
/ . . . have been made to /prostitute their blood / to
the merchants of war." Rhythmic and adopting the
repetitive structure of music, they capture the "blues
in our mothers' voices / which warned us / blues people
bursting out." Commentaries by Neal's peers, Amiri
Baraka, Stanley Crouch, Charles Fuller and Jayne Cortez,
introduce the various sections.Publishers
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(Books, DVDs, Music, and more)
update 5 July 2012