How can I write a thesis statement on the following: I’m supposed to show how the writings of the Harlem Renaissance reflect and support Alain Locke’s thesis that the New Negro, decidedly different from their predecessors, exists?
The key to writing a thesis statement on any topic is trying to distill the essence of your argument into a concise one-to-two sentence statement, which tells the audience the main point of your paper. Because the thesis statement is your paper’s central argument, you should be able to refer back to the thesis statement while writing the bulk of your paper. If your paper fails to support your thesis statement, then you know that you either need to revise your thesis statement or work on your paper.
In this scenario, you have been provided with a writing prompt. You already know what the argument of your paper should be: the writings of the Harlem Renaissance reflect and support Alain Locke’s thesis that the New Negro, decidedly different from their predecessors, exists. Therefore, you know that your thesis statement should contain references to Locke’s thesis, the Harlem Renaissance, and the New Negro.
Before you can even begin to tackle this essay, it is absolutely critical that you have an understanding of what Locke meant by the New Negro. Locke wrote extensively on the subject, but the idea, in a nutshell was that the New Negro was no longer willing to submit to racial segregation and would, instead, be a vocal advocate for civil rights. It is also important to understand when the Harlem Renaissance occurred and who the prominent writers were during that period.
Once you understand the concepts of the New Negro, the Harlem Renaissance, and the authors that influenced it, you can write your thesis statement. You want to reflect the ideas in your professor’s prompt, without repeating them verbatim. One suggested thesis statement would be: When one views the works of Harlem Renaissance writers like Claude McKay and Hubert Harrison, there is a clear departure from the prior conciliatory approach of black activists, and a suggestion that African Americans would no longer be content to submit to degrading racial segregation, which supports Alain Locke’s thesis that the New Negro was not just a logical outgrowth of prior African American activists, but a whole different approach to social activism.