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The Harlem Renaissance. What was the Harlem Renaissance? African American cultural movement of the 1920s and early 30s African American cultural movement.

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Presentation on theme: "The Harlem Renaissance. What was the Harlem Renaissance? African American cultural movement of the 1920s and early 30s African American cultural movement."— Presentation transcript:

1 The Harlem Renaissance

2 What was the Harlem Renaissance? African American cultural movement of the 1920s and early 30s African American cultural movement of the 1920s and early 30s Centered in Harlem Centered in HarlemHarlem Consisted of African American literature, art, and music Consisted of African American literature, art, and music 1 st time in American history that black artists could earn their livings and be critically acclaimed in these fields 1 st time in American history that black artists could earn their livings and be critically acclaimed in these fields

3 The Beginnings

4 A. The Black Middle Class Developed by 1900 Developed by 1900 Increased Education of African Americans Increased Education of African Americans Increased Employment Opportunities Increased Employment Opportunities

5 B. The Great Migration Movement of African Americans from the South to the North One Million African Americans moved North Black population of Harlem Doubled

6 Why Move? Depression in the Agricultural South Depression in the Agricultural South WWI Industrial Boom in the North WWI Industrial Boom in the North Growing Oppression and Racism in the South Growing Oppression and Racism in the South Better Quality of Life Better Quality of Life

7 Why Harlem? Available housing Available housing New York was the cultural center of America New York was the cultural center of America The black population in Harlem was large- 200,000 by 1930 The black population in Harlem was large- 200,000 by 1930 National headquarters for recently founded protest and political groups-NAACP and the Urban League National headquarters for recently founded protest and political groups-NAACP and the Urban League

8 C. Political Agenda Promoting Equal Rights Characteristics No common style or political ideology Common themes: Africa, American South, Racial Pride, Social & Political Equality Appealed to a mixed audience

9 Founders of the Harlem Renaissance Alain Leroy Locke Alain Leroy Locke W.E.B. DuBois W.E.B. DuBois

10 Alain Leroy Locke Born in Philadelphia Born in Philadelphia September 13, 1886 September 13, 1886 Ph.D. in philosophy- Harvard Ph.D. in philosophy- Harvard Professor Howard University Professor Howard University Cultural Pluralism: each culture group has its own identity and it is entitled to protect and promote it Cultural Pluralism: each culture group has its own identity and it is entitled to protect and promote it

11 W.E.B. DuBois William Edward Burghardt DuBois Ph.D Harvard Helped form NAACP Editor of The Crisis Extremely influential in the literary world of the Harlem Renaissance The problem of the twentieth century is the problem of the color-line. -DuBois

12 W.E.B. Du Bois The Souls of Black Folk Leaving, then, the world of the white man, I have stepped within the Veil, raising it that you may view faintly its deeper recesses,- the meaning of its religion, the passion of its human sorrow, and the struggle of its greater souls. From: The Forethought

13 Of Our Spiritual Strivings W.E.B.DuBois Between me and the other world there is ever an unasked question: unasked by some through feelings of delicacy; by others through the difficulty of rightly framing it. All, nevertheless, flutter round it. They approach me in a half- hesitant sort of way, eye me curiously or compassionately, and then, instead of saying directly, How does it feel to be a problem? They say, I know an excellent colored man in my town; or, I fought at Mechanicsville; or, Do not these Southern outrages make your blood boil? At these I smile, or am interested, or reduce the boiling to a simmer, as the occasion may require. To the real question, How does it feel to be a problem? I answer seldom a word. From: The Souls of Black Folk

14 The NAACP National Association for the Advancement of Colored People National Association for the Advancement of Colored People Founded by 60 people- black & white-on Abraham Lincolns birthday, 1909 Founded by 60 people- black & white-on Abraham Lincolns birthday, 1909 Purpose: improving the conditions under which black Americans lived Purpose: improving the conditions under which black Americans lived

15 The Crisis Founded 1910 by Du Bois Published by the NAACP Became the most influential and prestigious black periodical in American history Circulation: ,750 per issue; ,908 per issue, some topping 100,000

16 Literature and the Harlem Renaissance

17 Claude McKay September 15, 1890 September 15, 1890 Born in Jamaica Born in Jamaica Immigrated in 1912 Immigrated in 1912 Socialist editor of The Liberator Socialist editor of The Liberator 1 st two poems published in 1917 under a pseudonym 1 st two poems published in 1917 under a pseudonym Red Summer of 1919 led to his best known poem If We Must Die Red Summer of 1919 led to his best known poem If We Must Die 1922-Harlem Shadows one of the first works by a black writer to be published by a mainstream, national publisher 1922-Harlem Shadows one of the first works by a black writer to be published by a mainstream, national publisher

18 Countee Cullen March 30, 1903 Adopted Masters in English and French from Harvard Won more major literary awards than any other black writer in the 1920s Crossover artist in that he was known for his ability to write white verse-ballads, quatrains, and sonnets

19 Langston Hughes Born 1902, Joplin, Missouri Born 1902, Joplin, Missouri June 1921-The Negro Speaks of Rivers published in The Crisis June 1921-The Negro Speaks of Rivers published in The Crisis Sept Moved to New York to attend Columbia University, and participate in Harlem life Sept Moved to New York to attend Columbia University, and participate in Harlem life traveled abroad traveled abroad By 1926 considered a major force in the Harlem Renaissance By 1926 considered a major force in the Harlem Renaissance

20 Popular Works by Hughes Poems The Negro Speaks of Rivers The Negro Speaks of Rivers Harlem renamed Dream Deferred Harlem renamed Dream Deferred I, Too I, Too The Weary Blues The Weary Blues Dream Variations Dream Variations Mother to Son Mother to Son Books and Essays The Weary Blues Fine Clothes to the Jew The Ways of White Folks Simple Speaks His Mind The Negro Artist and the Racial Mountain

21 Zora Neale Hurston January 7, 1891 January 7, 1891 Eatonville, FL-1 st incorporated black community in America Eatonville, FL-1 st incorporated black community in America Novelist, folklorist, anthropologist Novelist, folklorist, anthropologist Columbia University Columbia University Authority on Black Culture during the Harlem Renaissance Authority on Black Culture during the Harlem Renaissance A Utopian A Utopian 1934-Jonahs Gourd Vine 1934-Jonahs Gourd Vine 1937-Their Eyes Were Watching God 1937-Their Eyes Were Watching God Died 1960 in poverty and obscurity Died 1960 in poverty and obscurity

22 Literary Events of the Harlem Renaissance March 21, 1924-Charles S. Johnson (National Urban League) held a dinner to recognize black writers and to introduce them to the white literary establishment March 21, 1924-Charles S. Johnson (National Urban League) held a dinner to recognize black writers and to introduce them to the white literary establishment1924-Charles S. Johnson 1924-Charles S. Johnson 1926-White novelist Carl Van Vechten publishes a novel that portrayed life in Harlem, creating a Negro vogue 1926-White novelist Carl Van Vechten publishes a novel that portrayed life in Harlem, creating a Negro vogueCarl Van Vechten Carl Van Vechten 1926-The magazine Fire!! was published by a group of young black writers including Hughes and Hurston 1926-The magazine Fire!! was published by a group of young black writers including Hughes and Hurston

23 The End of the Harlem Renaissance Ended in the 1930s Ended in the 1930s The Great Depression The Great Depression Organizations such as NAACP & NUL shifted focus to economic and social issues Organizations such as NAACP & NUL shifted focus to economic and social issues Many writers and promoters left NYC including Du Bois and Hughes Many writers and promoters left NYC including Du Bois and Hughes Riot in Harlem in 1935 Riot in Harlem in 1935 Riot in Harlem in 1935 Riot in Harlem in 1935

24 Lasting Effects Changed the face of African American arts in the United States Changed the face of African American arts in the United States Opened the door for future writers, as publishers and the public were more open to African American literature Opened the door for future writers, as publishers and the public were more open to African American literature Acted as inspiration to future writers, painters, and musicians Acted as inspiration to future writers, painters, and musicians


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