Harlem Nights and Footstep Blues is a poetry collection consisting of 65 poems. The poems are separated into 11 distinct sections that tell their own story while still fitting into the overall story of the collection. Although not limited to African American influences and content, the collection is very much inspired by the work of African American poets and writers like Langston Hughes, Paul Laurence Dunbar, James Baldwin, W.E.B. Du Bois, and Frederick Douglass and from the black cultural, social, and artistic revival that took place during the period known as the Harlem Renaissance.
Harlem Nights and Footstep Blues is about encapsulating the Harlem Renaissance state of mind and encouraging young black minds to express themselves and “catch a glimmer of their own beauty” as Langston Hughes urged his young black contemporaries to do in his essay "The Negro Artist and the Racial Mountain" (1926), albeit with modern flair. The creative license that black artists had to express themselves and their art during the Harlem Renaissance is the blueprint for the poetry and artistic expression in the collection. Harlem Nights and Footstep Blues is rooted in a modern sense of black cultural, social, and artistic rebirth while paying homage to the artistic foundation laid by the great pioneers of the past.
Meet Julius Jamaal McLean
A native of South Florida, Julius Jamaal McLean is an African American writer, poet, and creator striving to encourage, influence, and represent the voice of young artists. Inspired by the work and creativity of African American writers like Langston Hughes and James Baldwin, his debut poetry book Harlem Nights and Footstep Blues evolved organically from a desire to create something relatable, impactful, and relevant to modern social issues and culture. Julius’ poetry is a way for him to speak from the perspective of those from his demographic who are not given the opportunity to speak for themselves often. His desire is for the sound of his own voice to ignite the passion within those of his generation and motivate them to express themselves in the same manner.
I read pretty much anything that I find interesting. I don't really limit myself in what I read or write. I do read and write a lot of poetry. My favorite poet is Langston Hughes, My favorite books include My Bondage, My Freedom by Frederick Douglass, Brave New World by Aldous Huxley, Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill, How to Think Like Leonardo da Vinci: Seven Steps to Genius Every Day by Michael J. Gelb. I enjoy writing because it allows me to incorporate any and every aspect of my life into an art form. I love the ability to be creative and use my perception to create something new and interesting.
Connect with Julius Jamaal McLean
IG and SC: @universaleuomo
Facebook: Julius Jamaal McLean
Also available for ebook on Apple iBooks, Smashwords, Blio, and Kobo.