Presentation on theme: "Do Now In three to five sentences, describe what emotions this portrait evokes? What message might the photographer be sending?"— Presentation transcript:
Do Now In three to five sentences, describe what emotions this portrait evokes? What message might the photographer be sending?
The Contender by Robert Lipsyte The novel is set in Harlem in the early 1960s.
Harlem is a large, historically black neighborhood, stretching almost river to river in northern Manhattan. It was named by the Dutch settlers after the city of Haarlem in the Netherlands.
The heart of Harlem is 125 th Street and Malcolm X Boulevard. The neighborhood extends to northern tip of Central Park, where the cave Alfred Brooks and his friend James hideout in THE CONTENDER.
Harlem history Why was this a magnet area for African Americans? 1)Life in the South was pretty awful. Economically, there were very few opportunities. Although blacks were emancipated, many could only find work farming on white lands as poor sharecroppers. 2)They faced institutionalized racism, meaning that by law blacks and whites were kept separate in public. There were black and white water fountains, black and white restrooms, black and white schools, etc. Inevitably, the black facilities were far worse. The system of segregation, keeping blacks and whites separate, was held up by so-called Jim Crow laws. 3)Sometimes to teach a lesson, a lynch mob of Southern whites would round up a black man and murder him, usually by hanging. This horrific practice was known as lynching.
A backbreaking way to make a poor living…
Jim Crow Laws
In some courtrooms in the South, there were separate white and black bibles for taking the oath as a witness…
Map of Lynching by Region
Naturally, millions left the South
Great Migration Between 1910 and 1930, cities such as New York, Chicago, Detroit and Cleveland saw their African- American populations grow by about 40 percent, and the number of African-Americans employed in industrial jobs nearly doubled. In the 1920s, Harlem's African-American population exploded with nearly 200,000 African Americans inhabiting a neighborhood where there had been virtually no blacks 15 years earlier.
Harlem Renaissance The Contender Civil Rights Riots and Unrest The Contender is set after the golden age of Harlem and before the riots and unrest of the Civil Rights era.
Harlem Renaissance, 1918 – 1937 The golden age of Harlem, when thousands poured in from the South and the arts flourished Countee Cullen, poet Zora Neale Hurston, writer Langston Hughes, poet
Harlem Renaissance, 1918 – 1937 Jazz musicians and clubs
Duke Ellington and his band
The Harlem Renaissance was great while it lasted but afterwards, the area started to slide downwards… White landlords rented tenement buildings (substandard apartments) in Harlem plagued by rats, roaches, bad plumbing, chipped paint and falling plaster. Other urban problems included: high infant mortality drug addiction high rates of unemployment and crime substandard schools
There were a few ways out of the despair felt by many residents of Harlem at this time… Get a good job and move out to nicer areas, like Queens (as represented in The Contender by Alfreds Aunt Dorothy and Uncle Wilson) Do really well in school (as represented by Alfreds cousin Jeff) and go to college Become a pro boxer (What Alfred Brooks tries to do in The Contender) Many turned to religion for hope or guidance…
In the novel, you will see competing religions Aunt Pearl attends a storefront church… There are black nationalists in the book, representing the Nation of Islam Malcolm X
The Contender is set just before the unrest of the mid-1960s, when many big cities across the country, from Detroit to LA to New York, would experience protests against the conditions in black ghettoes. This picture is from the 1964 riot in Harlem.
Street scenes of Harlem from the time period of The Contender These incredible pictures are by Gordon Parks, a famous African American photographer associated with Harlem.
Your Do Now also featured this Gordon Parks photo