The Harlem Renaissance

The Harlem Renaissance

THE HARLEM RENAISSANCE Harlem is vicious Modernism. BangClash. Vicious the way it's made, Can you stand such beauty. So violent and transforming. - Amiri Baraka (LeRoi Jones) The Harlem

Renaissance Harlem Renaissance --- the period from the end of World War I through the middle of the 1930s, during which a group of talented African-American writers, thinkers and artists produced a sizable contribution to American culture.

SOUTHERN BLACKS AND THE LURE OF THE NORTH FROM 1910-1920 Most African Americans remained in the South nearly fifty years after the Civil War. Many of them were tired of the lack of economic opportunities and racial violence in the South

The Great Migration ---between 1910 and 1920, hundreds of thousands of African Americans moved from the South to big cities in the North. This led to large black populations in northern cities like Chicago and New York. The blacks in New York City lived on the

upper west side, in Harlem. Harlem, New York THE NORTH AS PROMISED LAND AND LAND OF BROKEN PROMISES Northern city life for African Americans proved to be both exhilarating and extremely troubling from World War I

onward African Americans profited economically in moving from the South, but they still suffered from racism and injustice in the North. The North provided greater educational, political, social opportunities, but rising northern racism led to strict residential segregation that caused overcrowding, run-down conditions, artificially high

rents. Important Features of the Harlem Renaissance The Harlem Renaissanc e became a symbol of new black pride and

black militancy Important Features of the Harlem Renaissance It encouraged a new appreciation of folk roots and culture. Peasant folk materials

and spirituals provided a rich source for racial imagination There were common themes: the use of folk material the use of the blues tradition alienation (experience of being isolated from a group, lonely)

The Harlem Renaissance more than just a literary movement included racial consciousness, "the back to Africa" movement led by Marcus Garvey included racial integration included the explosion of

music particularly jazz, spirituals and blues, painting, dramatic revues, and others. Music of the Harlem Renaissance Bessie Smith Duke Ellington Louis Armstrong Cab Calloway

The Young Black Intellectuals Among the important intellectuals writing and thinking during the Harlem renaissance were W.E.B. Du Bois, Marcus Garvey, and Alain Locke. W.E.B. Du Bois, one of the founders of the National Association for the Advancement

of Colored People (NAACP) introduced the idea of twoness: Twoness = an "One ever feels his two-ness - an American and a American, a Negro; two souls, Negro--two thoughts, two unreconciled doublestirrings: two warring ideals in one consciousness--dark body, whose dogged sense of always

strength alone keeps it from being looking at ones self through the torn asunder." eyes of others, of measuring ones soul The Crisis The Crisis is the official

magazine of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), and was founded in 1910 by W. E. B. Du Bois Marcus Garvey Marcus Garvey in military uniform as the

Provisional President of Africa during a parade on August 1922 at Lenox Avenue in Harlem, New York City. Garvey burst on to the American public scene in 1915 to challenge Du Bois, arguing that different races were

irreconcilable. Garvey is known as a leading political figure because of his determination to fight for the unity of African Americans by creating the Universal Negro Improvement Association and rallying to gather supporters to fight racism. Alain Locke from The New

Negro: So for generations in the mind of America, the Negro has been more of a formula than a human being --a something to be argued about, condemned or defended, to be "kept down," or "in his place," or "helped up," to be worried with or worried over, harassed or patronized, a social bogey or a social burden. The

thinking Negro even has been induced to share this same general attitude, to focus his attention on controversial issues, to see himself in the distorted perspective of a social problem. His shadow, so to speak, has been more real to him than his personality Writers of the Harlem Renaissance

Langston Hughes

Zora Neal Hurston Claude McKay Sterling Brown James Weldon Johnson Countee Cullen Nella Larson Richard Wright Langston Hughes Cross

My old mans a white old man And my old mothers black. If ever I cursed my white old man I take my curses back. If ever I cursed my black old mother And wished she were in hell, Im sorry for that evil wish And now I wish her well

My old man died in a fine big house. My ma died in a shack. I wonder where Im going to die, Being neither white nor black? Zora Neale Hurston I want a busy life, a just mind, and a timely end.

$945 is the most any of her books made. James Weldon Johnson The Making of Harlem by James Weldon Johnson To my mind, Harlem is more than a Negro community; it is a large scale laboratory experiment in the race problem. The statement has often been made that if Negroes were

transported to the North in large numbers the race problem with all of its acuteness and with New aspects would be transferred with them. Well, 175,000 Negroes live closely together in Harlem, in the heart of New York, 75,000 more than live in any Southern city, and do so without any race friction. Nor is there any unusual record of crime. Claude McKay

America Although she feeds me bread of bitterness, And sinks into my throat her tigers tooth, Stealing my breath of life, I will confess I love this cultured hell that tests my youth! Her vigor flows like tides into my blood, Giving me strength erect against her hate. Her bigness sweeps my being like a flood. Yet as a rebel fronts a king in state, I stand within her walls with not a shred

Of terror, malice, not a word of jeer. Darkly I gaze into the days ahead, And see her might and granite wonders there, Beneath the touch of Times unerring hand, Like priceless treasures sinking in the sand. Artists of the Harlem Renaissance Palmer Hayden Hale Woodruff Edward Burra

Aaron Douglas John Henry Adams Laura Wheeling Waring Jacob Lawrence Palmer Hayden The Janitor Who Paints Hayden, The Tunnel

Palmer Hayden Hale Woodruff, 1934 Hale Woodruff Hale Woodruff Edward Burra, 1934

Edward Burra Jacob Lawrence Harlem Chronology 1919 First Pan African Congress organized by W.E.B. Du Bois, Paris, February. Marcus Garvey founded the Black Star Shipping Line. 1920

Universal Negro Improvement Association (UNIA) Convention held at Madison Square Garden, August. Charles Gilpin starred in Eugene O'Neill, The Emperor Jones, November.

James Weldon Johnson, first black officer (secretary) of NAACP appointed. Claude McKay published Spring in New Hampshire. Du Bois's Darkwater is published. 1921

Shuffle Along by Noble Sissle and Eubie Blake, the first musical revue written and performed by African Americans (cast members include Josephine Baker and Florence Mills), opened, May 22, at Broadway's David Belasco Theater. Marcus Garvey founded African Orthodox Church, September. Second Pan African Congress. Colored Players Guild of New York founded. Benjamin Brawley published Social History of the American Negro.

1923 The Cotton Club opened, Fall. Third Pan African Congress. Publications of Jean Toomer, Cane; Marcus Garvey, Philosophy and

Opinion of Marcus Garvey. 2 vols. 1924 Civic Club Dinner, sponsored by Opportunity, bringing black writers and white publishers together, March 21. This event is considered the formal launching of of the New Negro movement.

Paul Robeson starred in O'Neill's All God's Chillun Got Wings, May 15. Countee Cullen won first prize in the Witter Bynner Poetry Competition. Publications of Du Bois, The Gift of Black Folk; Jessie Fauset, There is Confusion; Marcus Garvey, Aims and Objects for a Solution of the Negro Problem Outlined; Walter White, The Fire in the Flint. 1925 Survey Graphic issue, "Harlem: Mecca of the New Negro," edited by Alain Locke and Charles Johnson, devoted entirely to black arts and letters, March.

Publications of Cullen, Color; Du Bose Heyward, Porgy; James Weldon Johnson and J. Rosamond Johnson, eds. The Book of American Negro Spirituals; Alain Locke, The New Negro; Sherwood Anderson, Dark Laughter (a novel showing Black life). 1926 Savoy Ballroom opened in Harlem, March. 1927

Louis Armstrong in Chicago and Duke Ellington in New York began their careers. Harlem Globetrotters established. 1929 Wallace Thurman's play Harlem, written with William Jourdan Rapp, opens at the

Apollo Theater on Broadway and becomes hugely successful. Black Thursday, October 29, Stock Exchange crash. Publications of Cullen, The Black Christ and Other Poems;Claude McKay, Banjo; Nella Larsen, Passing; Wallace Thurman, The Blacker the Berry; and Walter White, Rope and Faggot: The Biography of Judge Lynch. 1933 National Negro Business League ceased operations after 33 years. 1934

Rudolph Fisher and Wallace Thurman die within four days of each other, December 22 and 26. W.E.B. Du Bois resigns from The Crisis and NAACP. Apollo Theatre opened. 1935 Harlem Race Riot, March 19. Porgy and Bess, with an all-black cast, opens on Broadway, October 10. Mulatto by Langston Hughes, first full-length play by a

black writer, opens on Broadway, October 25. 50 percent of Harlem's families unemployed. 1937 Publications of McKay, Long Way From Home; Hurston, Their Eyes Were Watching God.

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