Peer Review Memo 2

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Yvonna Lombardo

Prof. Anne Kingsley

Crit. Thinking Eng. 123

Mon. March 2, 2015

Peer Review Memo 2

Reviewer: Klayton Kraft

Provide in-text comments & letter/memo.

In memo or letter to writer, address the following:

  1. Group Discussion Concerns

      1. A. Finding the defining thesis statement

      2. B. Adding more depth and focus on the quotes in the essay

      3. C. Narrow down your main points, focus on language.

  2. Individual concerns

      1. A. Very good essay, just a few polishing of words.

      2. B. Reread the essay and make sure you feel it flows completely.

  1. Strongest paragraph. Why? I feel the fourth paragraph is strongest because you speak about Locke’s passion for teaching the youth. You also add depth why education is important to the youth. This paragraph adds meat to your topic.

  2. Weakest paragraph. Why?

- I would add the quote from the second paragraph to the introduction. The language and points you make are strong and to the point.

  1. Grammatical or sentence level issues. Point out two sentences that need repair. Copy and paste here and offer a revision.

-Alain Locke is a huge supporter in uplifting writings that are targeted to motivate and challenge the youth to take a stand for their rightful equality. To break free from what they once knew about their previous racial roles in society.

The Negro Youth

The Harlem Renaissance was a time for social change and personal achievement in the arts. There were many different ways to express the woes and determination of Negro community at this time. Poems, essays, short stories, and the folk art movement helped evolve what the people of this time were capable of. Many broad topics are a focal point in these expressions, some can be memories of the slave life they grew up in or some may be of the overwhelming change that the youth must demand for. An image that is frequently portrayed throughout the Harlem Renaissance is the power in the youth. Alain Locke is a huge supporter in uplifting writings that are targeted to motivate and challenge the youth to take a stand for their rightful equality. To break free from what they once knew about their previous racial roles in society. The articles by Locke that I feel capture the potential of the youth is in the Survey Graphic, “Harlem” and “Enter the New Negro”.

In order to change, one has to evaluate what they are willing to sacrifice for the better. “By shedding the old chrysalis of the Negro problem we are achieving something like a spiritual emancipation. (Enter the New Negro 631)” “By shedding the old chrysalis of the Negro problem” is breaking out of the cocoon, breaking away from what you were sheltered from and what you once knew about your culture. “Achieving something like a spiritual emancipation”, emancipation is something that rebellious youth do to reclaim their independence and individuality. As for the spiritual part associated with the emancipation it could be related to the biblical meaning of being removed from the depths of hell AKA slavery or cultural prejudice. The word selection here is so mentally strong and well thought out it’s as if Locke is a preacher to the migrant masses and the Negro Youth, a symbolic preacher with great influence to entice the disciples of the Harlem Renaissance.

The impact that the Negro Youth had on the Harlem Renaissance is very fascinating and crucial. Locke is particularly targeting them to make change for themselves so that they do not fall into the same repetitive tragic history that has happened before or to them. The significance of the Negro Youth is huge to the evolution of Harlem at this time. Many walks of lives from all different age groups and varying color of skin are flocking to this mother land for the opportunity that is arising from it. This is all the more reasons to make the youth much more relevant in Locke’s exerting words. When we think of youth one might capture the determination or eagerness to change injustice, not to mention the follow through due to their young age and plenty of time to acquire this change. From Locke’s “Harlem”, “…to be explained primarily in terms of a new vision of opportunity, of social and economic freedom, of spirit to seize, even in the face of an extortionate and heavy toll, a chance for the improvement of conditions. (629)” There are many descriptive words here that are designed to capture a young adult’s attention; for example here is a fresh look on what your aspiring new life could be if you work for it and keep working at it. This statement sums up what many people come to this country for today and in the past.

Furthermore, I believe that Locke reached out to the youth during this changing time for a fresh minded approach, which may have been perfect for propagating ideas that evolved into their own push for change and self-expression. For some people the hardest part is seeing the initial vision of something that could be, like a dilapidated old Victorian house such craftsmanship and history all it needs is a visionary crafter. All the impending ideals are there for a great uprising but it must have an executer to change the way society sees them. When youth and knowledge are combined together you can get the wisdom and invigorating new revelations for the perfect collaborative team possible. “These moving half-awakened newcomers provide an exceptional seed-bed for germinating contacts of the enlightened minority. (Harlem 630)”

Once you stimulate the younger population influencing them comes just like a strong wind to fill a determined sail. If they are not educated about the proper way to evolve a nation then it becomes pure anarchy. Locke believes that within every soul, especially the somewhat timid younger generation, has a true artist back ground. Such as within “Harlem” Locke captures the hidden leaders and creators, “The reformers, the fighting advocates, the inner spokesperson, the poets, artists and social prophets are here, and pouring in toward them are the fluid ambitious youth and pressing in upon them the migrant masses.” Locke is channeling each individual person to truly dig deep into their aspirations of what they want to be and what they fully can be. He is reassuring the youth will be backed by the migrant masses to hold and support them if they were to fail. What does the youth have to lose if they are to fail? Go back to slavery that’s basically been abolished? Return to being at the bottom of the Totem pole where they started? They are young, ambitious, and can recover from a fall if they were to be unsuccessful.

In “Enter the New Negro” there are many messages to the youth about how their role is important to the Harlem community. Locke strategically places words to grasp the reader in what their roles’ should and could be if one has not deduced that for themselves. “For the younger generation is vibrant with a new psychology; the new spirit is awake in the masses…” The youth’s “vibrant” spirt and psychology affects all those around them “awake in the masses”. People with positive outlooks tend to gravitate towards others with similar outlooks giving you the perfect pair to mold and band together. “Subtly the conditions that are molding a New Negro are molding a new American attitude.” A robust statement; it is affirming the American attitude signifying united togetherness and assertiveness towards your fellow man. Locke is not only changing the “American attitude” but creating the “New Negro” together as if they go hand in hand to evolve this country.

Altogether Locke’s vison of the youth in the Harlem Renaissance is key to change the overall attitude of the country and the Negro community itself at this crucial time. This is the chance that they have been waiting for to claim and improve conditions now and for the generations to come. Not only is there a mass of people to support these hopes, there is also the fertile accepting minds of the vivacious youth. Locke’s words influence them to take creative action for the evolving change, and to open their inventive minds to the artist inside. He is crafting the new African-American who will create the new American attitude by awaiting the removal of the blinders they’ve been taught to put on. Overall, Locke’s message of how the youth will impact the country is clearly stated, but the one thing that is left unclear to me is the actual statistical impact Locke had on the young Negro community.


Locke, Alain. "Survey Graphic: Harlem Mecca of the New Negro." Harlem 6.6 (1925): 629-30. Print.

Locke, Alain. "Survey Graphic: Harlem Mecca of the New Negro." Enter the New Negro 6.6 (1925): 631-33. Print.

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