2 The Harlem Renaissance session 7 Harlem is vicious Modernism. Bang Clash. Vicious the way it's made, Can you stand such beauty. So violent and transforming.- Amiri Baraka (LeRoi Jones)
3 historical background Reconstruction in the South ends (1877):civil rights accorded to blacks are rolled back“Jim Crow” segregation laws passed in 1880s and 1890s“separate but equal” facilities requiredContext for Booker T. Washington’s “Atlanta Exposition Address”:“In all things that are purely social we can be as separate as the fingers, yet one as the hand in all things essential to mutual progress.”
5 historical background lynching: average about 100 per year in 1880s and 1890s.large numbers of black Americans migrate to northern/midwestern cities.1910: 10% of American black population lives outside of the South1920: 20% of American black population lives outside of the south.1908: NAACP founded, “adopting a strategy of protest and resistance,” which gains popularity with black middle class in north.WWI: All black regiments raise hopes for social advances for African-Americans.After WWI: soldiers return home; racial tensions erupt, resulting in riots.
6 Harlemwith the influx of black Americans from the south (esp. the Atlantic south), New York City, (esp. Harlem and Greenwich Village areas) becomes a major destinationexactly when the Harlem Renaissance started is still debated; scholars offer a number of dates: 1914; 1919 (returning black troops); 1923 (publication of Cane)sometimes called the New Negro Art Movement or the New Negro Renaissance, The Harlem Renaissance refers to “the literary and artistic arm of a massive social movement.”
7 intellectual background an outburst of creative activity from amongst African-AmericansAfrican Americans were encouraged to become “The New Negro”this term was coined by philosopher, sociologist and critic Alain LeRoy Locke in 1925Blacks cannot achieve social equality by emulating white ideals; that equality can be achieved only by teaching Black racial pride with an emphasis on an African cultural heritage (Locke)describe black life from a black perspective
8 The Harlem Renaissance according to Locke, the Harlem Renaissance transformed "social disillusionment to race pride."The Renaissance was good timing because it was between WWI and the Great DepressionBlack-owned magazines and newspapers flourished, freeing African Americans from the constricting influences of mainstream white societyOpportunity and The Crisis (a publication of the NAACP) are the two leading magazines and newspapers that paved the way for other African American writers such as Langston Hughes, Countee Cullen, etc.
9 W.E.B Du Bois ( )founder and editor of The Crisis, the flagship publication of NAACPhelped publicize the achievements of countless African-American writers and other intellectualsadvanced his conviction that literature and art could enhance the image of African Americansbecame the first African American to receive a Ph.D. from Harvard University
10 The Souls of Black Folkthis essay collection published in 1903, had an immediate and intense impact on black artists and thinkers.it was hailed as an instant classic“When in this world a man comes forward with a thought, a deed, a vision, we ask not how does he look, but what is his message?”
11 contributing factorsthe Great Migration to northern cities between 1919 and 1926trend in American society towards experimentation during the 1920srise in radical Black intellectuals such as Locke, Marcus Garvey and W.E.B. DuBois"(Harlem) is romantic in its own right. And it is hard and strong, its noise, heat, cold, cries and colours are so. And the nostalgia is violent too; the eternal radio seeping through everything day and night, indoors and out, becomes somehow the personification of restlessness, desire, brooding.“Nancy Cunard, Harlem Review, 1933
12 Harlem and black identity new ways of thinking led to new ways of expressing one’s self.identity was explored throughArtMusicLiterature
13 aims and concernsAfrican-Americans work together to achieve similar goals;“the period is noteworthy as a time of pointed critical consciousness.”this critical consciousness about what it means to be a black American is seen:in the publication of Locke’s anthologyin other collections of black writersin the establishment of journals published by the National Urban League and the NAACP.
14 characteristics in music Harlem was the center of not just a literary renaissance, but also a musical and artistic renaissancethe development of modern jazz is especially associated with Harlem cabaretssyncopated and off-beat music
15 characteristics in poetry In poetry, two major trends are apparent:experimentation with verse form that takes its inspiration from African-American musical idiom” (slave songs, the blues, jazz).the exploration of traditional verse forms
16 Harlem Renaissance ideology sought to break down racial stereotypes.emphasized the beauty and significance of the American black experience.emphasized and celebrated the creative ability of black Americans.was “optimistic about the Negro’s future in America and thought integration a realistic though distant goal.”
17 Louis Armstrong"Louis Armstrong's station in the history of jazz is umimpeachable. If it weren't for him, there wouldn't be any of us." Dizzy Gillespie, 1971was born in New Orleans, but influenced many musicians when he was in Chicago and New York during the 1920s and 1930sconsidered the King of Jazz
18 Jelly Roll MortonJelly Roll Morton was the first great composer and piano player of Jazz.as a teenager he worked in the whorehouses of Storyville as a piano player.he worked as a gambler, pool shark, pimp, vaudeville comedian and as a pianist.he was an important transitional figure between ragtime and jazz piano styles.he fell upon hard times after 1930 and even lost the diamond he had in his front tooth.Original Jelly Roll Rag
19 Bessie Smithwas one of the most popular African American recording stars of the 1920swas popular with Black and White fans“Empress of Blues”I need a little sugar in my bowl
20 Aaron Douglas his work best exemplified the “New Negro” his work was showcased as murals on buildings and as cover art and illustrations to works in The Crisis."...Our problem is to conceive, develop, establish an art era. Not white art painting black...let's bare our arms and plunge them deep through laughter, through pain, through sorrow, through hope, through disappointment, into the very depths of the souls of our people and drag forth material crude, rough, neglected. Then let's sing it, dance it, write it, paint it. Let's do the impossible. Let's create something transcendentally material, mystically objective. Earthy. Spiritually earthy. Dynamic.“- Aaron Douglas
21 Jacob Lawrence “The Great Migration” child-like, primitive expressioncontrast in colorsrealismno details (cannot see their faces)lots of them are in train stations (moving to the north)same basic colors in every paintingmigrating to all of the big cities
24 …or migration to Europe "We can make all our dreams come true, but first we have to decide to awaken from them."Josephine Baker
25 Langston Hughesone of the most important figures in the Harlem Renaissancehis writing was influenced by the life and art of African Americans, such as jazzhe told the stories of the people in a way that reflected their culture including both their suffering and their love of laughter, language and musichis self proclaimed calling was "to explain and illuminate the Negro condition in America."The Negro Speaks of Rivers
26 Countee Cullenwas raised and educated in a primarily white community, and he differed from other poets of the Harlem Renaissance like Langston Hughes in that he lacked the background to comment from personal experience on the lives of other blacks or use popular black themes in his writing.used ‘white’ forms in his poetry (sonnet, ode, ballad ‘mimics’ Keats & Shelley)modern by being anti-modern
28 Women and the Harlem Renaissance Ana Arnold and Ethel RayZora Neale HurstonNella Larsen….against the male backgroundLangston Hughes, Charles S. Johnson, E. Franklin Frazier, Rudolph Fisher, & Hubert Delany.
29 Zora Neale HurstonI am not tragically colored. There is no great sorrow dammed up in my soul, nor lurking behind my eyes. I do not mind at all. I do not belong to the sobbing school of Negrohood who hold that nature somehow has given them a lowdown dirty deal and whose feelings are all hurt about it No, I do not weep at the world—I am too busy sharpening my oyster knife.To me, bitterness is the underarm odor of wishful weakness. It is the graceless acknowledgement of defeat.
30 Nella Larsen ( )Was a light skinned black with white facial featuresMother was of Danish decent and father was West Indianattended Fisk University in Nashville, TN ( )continued education at University of Copenhagen ( )studied nursing at Lincoln Hospital in New York City ( )was legally black but wanted to identify herself with both races (white and black)Quicksand (1928)Passing 1929“Sanctuary” 1930
31 Quicksand (1928)how are the notions of ‘home’ and ‘belonging’ thematized in the novel?discuss how the relationship between ‘past’, ‘present’ and ‘future’ is thematized.discuss Larsen’s theme of double consciousness.how does Helga Crane use her sexuality and power?discuss the notion of performing identity vs. established identity