These Artists Were Committed To Writing The Truth About Black Life

three harlem women circa 1925
Briona Lamback
April 20, 2023

The Niggerati were artists and intellectuals struggling to make their dreams come true. Even with such a bold name, many had to do something they never wanted to.

White donors helped fund their projects. Writing was their lifeline, so they were willing to accept their coins to make things happen. 

But those dollars never swayed them.

They remained unapologetically Black, even while many of our people chose to assimilate. The "Queen of The Niggerati,” Zora Neale Hurston, knew the power of our speech. She wrote in African American Vernacular English (AAVE). Much of the collective wrote exclusively about Black life, so we cannot overlook something crucial.

Community. The Niggerati was a collective of brilliant minds of the day, including Langston Hughes, Wallace Thurman, Dorothy West, and others. They supported each other by creating, partying, eating, and even living together at what they called the “Niggerati Manor.”

The members leaned on one another as our people have always done. No matter your path, we all must find a way and a community with whom we work toward liberation alongside.

Like The Niggerati, we should never be afraid of our Blackness or their reactions to it. We should do us, regardless of who's watching.