In his introduction to the foundational 1925 text The New Negro, Alain Locke described the “Old Negro” as “a creature of moral debate and historical controversy,” necessitating a metamorphosis into a literary art that embraced modernism and left sentimentalism behind. This was the underlying theoretical background that contributed to the flowering of African American culture and art that would come to be called the Harlem Renaissance. While the popular period has received much scholarly attention, the significance of editors and editing in the Harlem Renaissance remains woefully understudied. Editing the Harlem Renaissance foregrounds an in-depth, exhaustive approach to relevant editing and editorial issues, exploring not only those figures of the Harlem Renaissance who edited in professional capacities, but also those authors who employed editorial practices during the writing process and those texts that have been discovered and/or edited by others in the decades following the Harlem Renaissance. Editing the Harlem Renaissance considers developmental editing, textual self-fashioning, textual editing, documentary editing, and bibliography. Chapters utilize methodologies of authorial intention, copy-text, manuscript transcription, critical edition building, and anthology creation. Together, these chapters provide readers with a new way of viewing the artistic production of one of the United States’ most important literary movements.
Reviews'Editing the Harlem Renaissance is an outstanding and impressive text. This invaluable collection demonstrates the relevance of the Harlem Renaissance to African American literature and will result in generating productive and constructive discussion among scholars about editors and Harlem Renaissance texts.'
Sharon L. Jones, author of Rereading the Harlem Renaissance