amy abugo ongiri

Spectacular Blackness: The Cultural Politics of the Black Power Movement and the Search for a Black Aesthetic

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 by Amy Abugo Ongiri

Exploring the interface between the cultural politics of the Black Power and the Black Arts movements and the production of postwar African American popular culture, Amy Ongiri shows how the reliance of Black politics on an oppositional image of African Americans was the formative moment in the construction of “authentic blackness” as a cultural identity. While other books have adopted either a literary approach to the language, poetry, and arts of these movements or a historical analysis of them, Ongiri’s captures the cultural and political interconnections of the postwar period by using an interdisciplinary methodology drawn from cinema studies and music theory. She traces the emergence of this Black aesthetic from its origin in the Black Power movement’s emphasis on the creation of visual icons and the Black Arts movement’s celebration of urban vernacular culture.