Thirty-five years after its initial publication, Harold Cruse's "The Crisis of the Negro Intellectual," remains a foundational work in Afro-American Studies and American Cultural Studies. Published during a highly contentious moment in Afro-American political life, "The Crisis of the Negro Intellectual" was one of the very few texts that treated Afro-American intellectuals as intellectually significant. The essays contained in Harold Cruse's "The Crisis of the Negro Intellectual Reconsidered" are collectively a testimony to the continuing significance of this polemical call to arms for black intellectuals. Each scholar featured in this book has chosen to discuss specific arguments made by Cruse. While some have utilized Cruse's arguments to launch broader discussions of various issues pertaining to Afro-American intellectuals, and others have contributed discussions on intellectual issues completely ignored by Cruse, all hope to pay homage to a thinker worthy of continual reconsideration.
Introduction. Overview of the Cruse project. 1. More than just a politician: Notes on the life and times of Harold Cruse Van Gosse 2. Anatomy of Black intellectuals and nationalism Martin Kilson 3. Negro exceptionalism: The antinomies of Harold Cruse Nikhil Pal Singh Cruse as cultural critic. 4. Harold Cruse's worst nightmare: Rethinking Porgy and Bess Jeffrey Melnick 5. The Afro-American musician as intellectual James C. Hall Blacks, Jews and Communists. 6. Harold Cruse on Blacks and Jews Cheryl Greenberg 7. Narrating nationalisms: Black Marxism and Jewish Communists through the eyes of Harold Cruse Alan Wald 8. The crisis of Blacks and Communism Earl Ofari Hutchinson Cruse as cold warrior. 9. The Cold War seduction of Harold Cruse Penny M. Von Eschen 10. The crisis of historical memory: Harold Cruse, Julian Mayfield and African-American expatriates in Nkrumah's Ghana, 1957-1966 Kevin Gaines The problematic status of female intellectuals 11. Religious Intellectuals, social change and women's bodies Traci C. West 12. Where are the Black female intellectuals? Beverly Guy-Sheftall Cruse and Black nationalism. 13. Harold Cruse and Afrocentric theory Molefi Asante 14. Harold Cruse, Black nationalism and the Black Power Movement Peniel E. Joseph Cruse as political thinker. 15. Home to Harlem: Black American identity and Cruse's quest for community Fred Montas, Jr. 16. Cruse's dismissal of Afro-American liberalism Jerry G. Watts Conclusion. Thirteen theses nailed to the door of Cruse.