ART OF THE HARLEM RENAISSANCE The Harlem Renaissance was an expression of African-American social thought and culture which took a place in newly-formed Black community in neighborhood of Harlem. The Harlem Renaissance flourished from early 1920 to1940 and was expressed through every cultural medium-visual art, dance, music, theatre, literature, poetry, history, and politics. It is certainly an era that African-Americans can be proud of and a time when a once severely oppressed people, began to expect more from life. They became more vocal and expressive about the state of their affairs. They took charge of adding flair and joviality to their lifestyle. Harlem Renaissance is presented with the art of William H. Johnson, Lois Mailou Jones and Sargent Claude Johnson. Aaron Douglas is considered to be a "father of Afro-American Art“. Other prominent artists associated with the Harlem Renaissance are Romare Bearden, Jacob Lawrence, Archibald Motley and later influenced by the movement artists: Charles Sebree, John Biggers, Hale Woodruff, Beauford Delaney and Ernie Barnes.
MUSIC OF THE HARLEM RENAISSANCE A new way of playing the piano called the Harlem Stride Style was created during the Harlem Renaissance, and helped blur the lines between the poor and socially elite. The traditional jazz band was composed primarily of brass instruments and was considered a symbol of the south, but the piano was considered an instrument of the wealthy. With this instrumental modification to the existing genre, the wealthy blacks now had more access to jazz music. Its popularity soon spread throughout the country and was consequently at an “all time high.” Innovation and liveliness were important characteristics of performers in the beginnings of jazz. Jazz musicians at the time like Fats Waller, Duke Ellington, Jelly Roll Morton, and Willie "The Lion" Smith were very talented and competitive, and were considered to have laid the foundation for future musicians of their genre.
ARTISTS• William H. Johnson (March 18, 1901–1970) was African American painter born in Florence, South Carolina and is becoming more widely recognized as one of the greatest American artists of the 20th Century.• Lois Mailou Jones (November 3, 1905 – June 9, 1998) was an artist who painted and influenced others during the Harlem Renaissanse and beyond, during her long teaching and artistic career.• Sargent Claude Johnson (October 7, 1888 – October 10, 1967) was was known for Abstract Figurative and Early Modern styles. He was a painter, potter, ceramist, printmaker, graphic artist, sculptor, and carver. He also worked with a variety of media, including ceramic, clay, oil, stone, terra-cotta, watercolor, and wood.• Aaron Douglas (May 26, 1899 – February 3, 1979) was African American painter and a major figure in the Harlem Renaissanse
MUSICIANS• Fats Waller (May 21, 1904 – December 15, 1943), born Thomas Wright Waller, was a jazz pianist, organist, composer, singer, and comedic entertainer.• Duke Ellington (April 29, 1899 – May 24, 1974), was an American composer, pianist, and big-band leader.• Ferdinand Joseph LaMothe (October 20, 1885 – July 10, 1941), known professionally as Jelly Roll Morton, was an American ragtime and early jazz pianist, bandleader and composer.• William Henry Joseph Bonaparte Bertholoff Smith (23 November 1893 – 18 April 1973), a.k.a. "The Lion", was an American jazz pianist, and one of the masters of the stride style.
FATS WALLER • If You’re A Viper • Swing That Music • Slightly Less Than Wonderful • Motherless Child • Nakasaki • This Joint Is Jumpin’
DUKE ELLINGTON • Take The A Train • It Don’t Mean A Thing • In A Sentimental Mood • Warm Valley • Solitude • Mood Indigo
FERDINAND JOSEPH LAMOTHE • Black Bottom Stomp • Dead Man Blues • King Porter Stomp • Grandpa’s Spells • Wolverine Blues • Doctor Jazz
WILLIE “THE LION” SMITH • Aint Misbehavin’ • 12th Street Rag • Get Together Blues • Zig Zag • La Madelon • Darktown Strutters Ball
ALIENATION• Alienation definitely occurred within the art and music of the Harlem Renaissance in many ways. Because they were African Americans, many of them got disrespected and treated unequally. They expressed their feelings through painting, clay, oil, stone, terra-cotta, watercolor, wood, and other materials. They also used music to show their feelings by creating beats with random instruments and singing.
MARGINALITY• The African Americans of the Harlem Renaissance definitely experienced marginality. Marginality is living barely within a lower standard or limit of quality. They were always a step down from everybody else. They “lived life on the edge” by not living the same way the others do by experiencing different and better things.
USE OF FOLK MATERIAL• In the Harlem Renaissance they used a lot of folk material. The art was related to all of the hard times they were going through in their lives. The music was based on the black folk materials which the musicians used as a source of inspiration and point of departure for artistic creation. Willie “The Lion” Smith saw black folk material as a “direct route to a rich and virtually untapped vein of folk art, the [black’s] entire musical expression.”
INFLUENCE OF THE EXPERIENCE OF SLAVERY• During the early portion of the 20th Century, Harlem became home to a growing "Negro" middle class. The district had originally been developed in the 19th Century as an exclusive suburb for the white middle and upper middle classes; its affluent beginnings led to the development of stately houses, grand avenues, and world class amenities such as the Polo Grounds and the Harlem Opera House. Despite the increasing popularity of Negro culture, virulent white racism, often by more recent ethnic immigrants, continued to impact African- American communities, even in the North. After the end of World War I, many African American soldier came home to a nation whose citizens often did not respect their sccomplishments. Race riots and other civil uprisings occurred throughout the US reflecting economis competition over jobs and houseing in many cities, as well as tensions over social territories.
USE OF THE BLUES TRADITION• During the Harlem Renaissance the African Americans made use of the blues tradition in both their art, and music. In their art, some of the artists would draw music (blues). They’d draw things such as music notes or instruments or anything music related. Within the music, the blues tradition was most definitely used by singing the blues and playing the blues.
THE PROBLEM OF WRITING FOR NON- BLACK AUDIENCE• There was a problem with writing for a non-black audience. It was hard to make art dealing with the hard struggles through the Harlem Renaissance while also making it for a non-black audience. The music was the same way in which that they didn’t have as much to relate to with the other audiences because they weren’t experiencing the same stuff that they were.
THE ENDPRESENTED BY: KELSEY, SYDNEY, COREY, & OCTAVIO