An influential anthology of black writing, The New Negro was assembled by philosopher Alain Locke, who also provides an important introductory essay. The New Negro is an expanded version of the magazine The Survey Graphic, which celebrated black cultural life, especially in the urban north after the Great Migration. Many of the thirty-eight contributors, including Zora Neale Hurston, Langston Hughes, and Countee Cullen, were later associated with the Harlem Renaissance. Other important contributors are W. E. B. Du Bois, novelists Jessie Fauset and Jean Toomer, and Arthur A. Schomburg.
Locke divided The New Negro into two parts: "The Negro Renaissance," featuring literary work by contemporary black writers, and "The New Negro in a New World," containing essays on black sociology and politics. The first part begins with four important essays that provide an ideological framework for the collection, and includes Langston Hughes's "The Negro Artist and the Racial Mountain." Also included in the first part are works of fiction, poetry, and music both spirituals and urban jazz. The second part of The New Negro contains essays by notable sociologists and political writers, including James Weldon Johnson of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) and Charles S. Johnson of the National Urban League, Robert Russa Morton, principal of the Tuskegee Institute, and Kelly Miller, a Howard University sociologist, provide essays on the black academy. A compendium of black culture in the mid-twenties, The New Negro also features an extensive bibliography on early black literature; black folklore in the United States, the West Indies and Africa; black poetry and drama; slave narratives; black biography and autobiography; and music.