word search

A Voyant Perspective of The Crisis and The Egoist

I compared two magazines, The Crisis and The Egoist. The Crisis is always an interesting magazine to look at because of its vast amount of magazine issues and its distinction as an NAACP house magazine that acted as a voice for the black community of America in the racially turbulent times of the 20th century. I wanted to compare it to The Egoist because though The Egoist put a focus on the promotion of modernist literature, according to MJP, it also continued in the vein of The Freewomen by addressing social and philosophical issues. I thought that perhaps The Egoist would discuss issues surrounding race in its social or political discussions. 

I decided to search these magazines for race-related words such as "colored" "negro" and "nigger." Not surprisingly, "colored" and "negro" are among the most frequently used words in The Crisis. "Colored"  and "negro" are almost always among the top five most distinctive words in each issue of The Crisis.

My word trend search of "Nigger" showed me that it is rarely used more than once per issue by The Crisis and from looking at its usage in context; I was able to determine it was never reflected as as an appropriate title for black people. 

The results from my search for race-related words in The Egoist were surprising. Though the magazine's most frequently used words are "life" and "man," hardly any mention is made of the "colored" man or the lives of a negro or negroes. "Colored" was not once used in reference to a person or people, and "negro" was used less than 15 times in the entire corpus and never used more than twice in an issue. "Nigger" was used twice in the entire corpus and it was difficult to tell from the context whether the writer using it was regarding it as an appropriate title for a black person or not. 

I wanted to look at the word usage of these words in the corpus containing all nine magazines, but I couldn't get the download to work.  I assume however that the majority of the usage of these words would be found in The Crisis.