What Is It? Harlem Renaissance was a cultural movement during the 1920’s & 1930’s. (Also known as the “New Negro Movement”) Alain Locke gave it this name after the 1925 anthology. It was a movement by African Americans to be free from slavery and emancipated, which means to make their own choices.
Countee Cullen 1903-1946 Raised in New York City Countee’s first novel consisted of novels called Color. Attended New York University in 1923. Later attended Harvard in 1925, and graduated in 1926 with a Masters degree in English.
Zora Neale Hurston 1891-1960 Her most admired novel was Their Eyes Were Watching God. Entered Howard University in 1918. Joined Zeta Phi Beta, and helped found the University’s newspaper. Offered a scholarship to Banard College in 1925, and earned a degree in anthropology.
Jean Toomer 1894-1967 Born in Washington, D.C. For many, the Literary Renaissance in Harlem began in 1923 with the publication of Toomer’s first book, Cane. Cane is the only one major work that he wrote. Today, Toomer is recognized as one of the most talented figures of the Harlem Renaissance.
Langston Hughes 1902-1967 Served as a crewman aboard the S.S. Malone in 1923. Attended Columbia University in 1921, then left in 1922 because of racial prejudice. Died from complications after abdominal surgery, related to prostate cancer. His ashes are interred beneath a floor medallion in the Arthur Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture.
Alain Locke 1886-1954 In 1907, Locke graduated from Harvard University with degrees in both English and philosophy. One of Locke’s more famous books was Locke’s Philosophy: Philosophic Values and World Citizenship. Has been said to have greatly influenced and encouraged Zora Neale Hurston.
QUIZ1. What was another name for the Harlem Renaissance?2. Where was Countee Cullen raised?3. What was the title of Jean Toomer’s first book?4. While at Banard College, Zora Neale Hurston earned a degree in what?5. Langston Hughes left Colombia University because of what?6. What college did Alain Locke graduate from?
ANSWERS1. “New Negro Movement”2. New York City3. Cane4. Anthropology5. Racial prejudice6. Harvard University