Harlem Wine by Countee Cullen This is not water running here, These thick rebellious streams That hurtle flesh and bone past fear Down alleyways of dreams. This is a wine that must flow on Not caring how or where, So it has ways to flow upon Where song is in the air. So it can woo an artful flute With loose, elastic lips, Its measurement of joy compute With blithe, ecstatic hips. Blithe: Joyful indifference
Roots of the Harlem Renaissance The Harlem Renaissance occurred between the years 1920 and 1934. The Great Migration: 2 million African Americans fled the South, many landing in New York City and Chicago. Cheap and affordable housing led to the first boom of African American land owners in the country’s history.
Harlem: At the Crossroads Harlem: gateway for immigrants into NYC. Black Americans from a wide variety of backgrounds: A common experience versus common heritage. The move from the South to North, from rural to urban led to a national, rather than local, political consciousness in the black community. Identity: Rural and urban, light skin and dark, male and female, gay and straight.
Culture of Revolution and Rebellion Race and Identity The New Negro Politics, Patriotism, Nationalism and Pan Africanism W.E.B. Dubois Booker T. Washington Marcus Garvey 369th Regiment marches up 5th Avenue, New York upon return from France, end of World War I.
Civil Rights through Copyrights Harlem artists’ work symbolized struggles of black identity, race consciousness, race, gender and social inequalities, and American injustice. A renaissance of the arts: Literature Poetry Music Theater Art Important contributors to the Harlem Renaissance: (L-R) Countee Cullen and Alice Dunbar-Nelson, Angelina Weld Grimké and Langston Hughes, Alain Locke and Claude McKay, Wallace Thurman and Carl Van Vechten.
James Weldon Johnson 1871-1938 Early civil rights activist. One of the first African American professors at New York University, later at Fisk University. Wrote poetry, novels, song, and essays. Served as a journalist, a diplomat, and the first black secretary of the NAACP from 1920-1930.
James Weldon Johnson’s Black Manhattan What were some of the conditions that made it possible for Harlem to become an epicenter of black life and culture in the years leading up to the Harlem Renaissance? What role did whites play in the integration of blacks into Harlem neighborhoods? How did whites react in other city centers with rising African American populations? How was the influx of black home owners in Harlem different than it was in other cities?