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Word Count: 549
Festus Claudius McKay aka Eli Edwards was born in Jamaica on September 15 1889 His parents were farmers and he was the youngest of eleven children Twenty-three years of his life were spent in Jamaica and from there he would immigrate to the United States Claude McKay was known as an internationalist because he traveled far and wide to several different countries His travels and experiences in the range of countries he visited played a key part in shaping McKays ideas These ideas would forge powerful messages that McKay expressed in a unique artistic way The Harlem Renaissance was in its early stages during the time McKay wrote An African American poet known as Alain Locke had developed a concept of the New Negro during the Harlem Renaissance Locke had a view that African American art should be created as art for the sake of art His ideas were based on breaking away from the society influenced black art and rather developing art without any racial bounds McKay disagreed with these very ideas and was considered an outcast from the New Negro Alliance McKay believed that the beauty of art was only expressed through genuine emotion Art that is representative of ones true self is the only true art I believe that McKay would have argued this point He believed that the bitterness penned inside the Negro is what gave them the motivation to project beautiful creations McKay argued that through bitterness bloomed spirituals blues and several forms of art Through McKays own personal experiences in the United States he became very bitter The expression of his bitterness through his art poetry was what true art was supposed to be Passionate feeling put into artwork and inspiration through lifes experiences is the very essence of the African American culture The ability to express feeling and emotion through art is art for the sake of art McKay argues that art born out of negative energy
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