Aaron Douglas was an artist and muralist who came to fame during the years of the Harlem Renaissance in the 1920s-30s. Although he’s most known today for his paintings, he did a lot of illustration work back in the day for various book covers and magazines, especially The Crisis and Opportunity, as well as the cover of the 1926 publication of Fire!!. (You can get a full-sized reproduction of Fire!! here.) Here are some favorite Aaron Douglas magazine covers (and one playbill cover).

Because I just saw the top one @ the Shomberg, I bought it. It feels peculiar to have Zora Neal Hurston’s words in my hands in this form.

(via poc-creators)

I feel sorry for those who have not, at least once in their lives, dreamt of turning into one or other of the nondescript objects that surround them: a table, a chair, an animal, a tree trunk, a sheet of paper […] They have no desire to get out of their skins, and this peaceable contentment, untroubled by any curiosity, is a tangible sign of the insupportable bumptiousness that is the most obvious prerogative of the majority of mankind.

Next then in a tragedy, there is a Chorus. And what is a Chorus? You will be told that it’s you yourselves. Or perhaps that it isn’t you. But that’s not the point. Means are involved here, emotional means. In my view, the Chorus is people who are moved. Therefore, look closely before telling yourself that emotions are engaged in this purification. They are engaged, along with others, when at the end they have to be pacified by some artifice or other. But that doesn’t mean to say that they are directly engaged … Your emotions are taken charge of by the healthy order displayed on the stage. The Chorus takes care of them. The emotional commentary is done for you … Therefore, you don’t have to worry; even if you don’t feel anything, the Chorus will feel in your stead. Why after all can one not imagine that the effect on you may be achieved, at least a small dose of it, even if you didn’t tremble that much? To be honest, I’m not sure if the spectator ever trembles that much.

– Lacan on the function performed by Greek choruses (via reichsstadt)