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The harlem renaissance

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A brief introduction to the context and themes of the Harlem Renaissance.

Published in: Education, News & Politics
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The harlem renaissance

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

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