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The Harlem Renaissance

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Presentation on theme: "The Harlem Renaissance"— Presentation transcript:

1 The Harlem Renaissance
Mr. Oppel AP US History

2 “The Harlem Renaissance probed racial themes and what it meant to be black in America”

3 I. Introduction A. Definition Generic term
describes Manhattan-based (NYC) cultural movement 1920s and 30s

4 B. Location New York City

5 Manhattan Island Harlem Central Park WTC


7 C. European Origins 1. European Art
French artists study West African sculpture Popularize artistic primitivism Spontaneous Instinctive

8 Amedeo Modigliani


10 Pablo Picasso Les Demoiselles d'Avignon 1907 African masks



13 2. European Music Incorporate syncopation from ragtime
Later reintroduced to jazz

14 Sousa on Tour in Europe 1893 Chicago World’s Fair
touring repertoire began to include early ragtime cakewalks and syncopated songs

15 introduced ragtime to Europe
Performances Paris Exposition Kaiser Wilhelm II of Germany

16 Incorporate American jazz
Claude DeBussy Children’s Corner, Igor Stravinsky Le Sacre duprintemps, 1913 Eric Satie Parade, 1917

17 Black jazz bands toured Europe during WWI

18 D. American influences Southern Counter- Reconstruction Black Codes
Jim Crow laws

19 WWI Experience in Europe
Harlem Hellfighters

20 The Great Migration & Urbanization

21 The Red Scare The NEW YORK TIMES lamented the new black militancy:
                                            The NEW YORK TIMES lamented the new black militancy: "There had been no trouble with the Negro before the war when most admitted the superiority of the white race."

22 Claude McKay If We must Die, 1919
If we must die, let it not be like hogs Hunted and penned in an inglorious spot, While round us bark the mad and hungry dogs, Making their mock at our accursed lot. If we must die, O let us nobly die, So that our precious blood may not be shed In vain; then even the monsters we defy Shall be constrained to honor us though dead! O kinsmen we must meet the common foe! Though far outnumbered let us show us brave, And for their thousand blows deal one deathblow! What though before us lies the open grave? Like men we'll face the murderous, cowardly pack, Pressed to the wall, dying, but fighting back!

23 II. Harlem Renaissance A. Activists B. Artists & Photographers
C. Writers D. Composers, Musicians, Actors & Singers

24 Prognostications “The nation was on the verge of a ‘renaissance of American Negro literature’” W.E.B. DuBois NAACP’s Crisis, 1920

25 “America was ‘on the edge, if not already in the midst of, what might not improperly be called a Negro renaissance’” New York Herald Tribune, 1925

26 A. Activists

27 Marcus Garvey 1887-1940 Jamaican “Back to Africa” movement
Universal Negro Improvement Association

28 Uniform of the “Provisional President of Africa”
Opened office in Harlem in 1917


30 Black Star steamship line
Raised money to help blacks emigrate to Africa



33 Liberia feared he was a revolutionary and pulled away its support
Jailed & deported to Jamaica, 1923

34 African Folklore & Africanism
W.E.B. DuBois Alain Locke

35 B. Artists & Photographers
Aaron Douglas Jacob Lawrence LM Jones Arthur J. Motley, Jr. James Van Der Zee

36 Aaron Douglas Painted murals Illustrated The Crisis and Opportunity
taught art at Fisk University

37 Aaron Douglas Aspects of Negro Life, 1934

38 Into Bondage, 1936

39 L.M. Jones The Ascent of Ethiopia, 1932


41 Arthur J. Motley, Jr. 1891 – 1981 Art Institute of Chicago
Realistic, urban subjects, jazz, & abstract painting

42 Cocktails, 1926

43 Motley Blues, 1929

44 James Van Der Zee 1886 – 1983 photographer
celebrated the black middle class brought dignity reshaped the image of blackness

45 "A Couple Wearing Raccoon Coats With a Cadillac, Taken on West 127th Street," photograph by James Van Der Zee, 1932



48 Alpha Phi Alpha Basketball Team, 1926

49 C. Writers Jessie Fauset Countee Cullen Zora Neale Hurston
Nella Larsen Countee Cullen Langston Hughes Alain Locke Claude McKay Wallace Thurman Jeane Toomer Walter White

50 purpose of writing? The writers themselves wanted to show realism of life in Harlem Many establishment blacks “wanted black writers to promote positive images”

51 African–American publications
NAACP Urban League

52 The NAACP magazine Art Aaron Douglas Literature Countee Cullen
Langston Hughes Clause McKay

53 Claude McKay Born in Jamaica Wrote poetry and novels
Tried to use poetry to inform as well as please

54 Wrote poem “If We must Die” in response to a series of 1919 race riots
Fled to Soviet Union and Europe,1922 In conflict with “Harlem Renaissance” and claimed to be an older “forerunner”

55 Langston Hughes Lived in MO and Cleveland
Worked or traveled in Mexico, Europe, and Africa Harlem Renaissance poet

56 Stressed nobility of lowly walks of life, developed racial pride, place of AA in white world
Gained attention of whites and raised self-esteem of blacks

57 Wrote in African-American vernacular
Brought rhythm of blues and jazz to writing process “The Negro Speaks of Rivers”, “Negro”, “Harlem”, “Weary Blues”

58 Zora Neale Hurston Raised in all-black town in Florida near Orlando
Literary realism and consciousness of race issues like degree of skin-color

59 “Color Struck” Mules and Men, 1935 Their Eyes Were Watching God, 1937

60 D. Composers & Musicians
Jazz Music Clubs artists Stage Concerts Brodaway

61 1. JAZZ Harlem jazz culture
Clubs, cabarets, theaters, ballrooms, rent parties Liquor White and black worlds

62 Musical origins African American Southern poor rural Blues, Negro Spirituals, Ragtime

63 Criticism of jazz as music “cacophpony” and “deliberate vulgarity” “Bolshevistic smashing of the rules of music” Jazzing and ad libbing

64 as a cultural influence
Promoted “daring couple dancing” The “sex-exciting” music affected girls morals and threatened chaste girls

65 White Clubs segregated shows and music black staff dance shows
light-skinned girls 5’6” or taller under 21

66 NEGROTARIANS Hurston’s name for whites interested in Harlem life
fascinated with Negro culture still condescended with views of exoticism and a lack of civilization

67 Connie’s Inn Fats Waller Bill “Bojangles” Robison Louis Armstrong

68 Cotton Club Cab Calloway Duke Ellington

69 Black Clubs for blacks less expensive food, music, no shows

70 Duke Ellington, 1899 - ? Went to NYC at 23
Played with bands & then formed own pianist, conductor, orchestrator Improvised well Rose to prominence from 1928 – 1934 playing at the Cotton Club in Harlem

71 Jazz compositions “The Mooche” “It Don’t Mean a Thing If It Ain’t Got That Swing” “Mood Indigo” “Sophisticated Lady”

72 Bessie Smith

73 2. Negro Spirituals Sung for musical merit Not baggage of slavery
Performers Marian Anderson Paul Robeson

74 3. BROADWAY Fats Waller Eubie Blake & Noble Sissle Shuffle Along, 1921
Chocolate Dandies, 1924 Fats Waller Ain’t Misbehavin’

75 White writers supported movement
Sherwood Anderson, Sinclair Lewis, & Eugene O’Neil Secret financial benefactors Tried to encourage the exoticism

76 Paul Robeson Lawyer Athlete Singer Actor Political radical

77 Robeson won the title role in Eugene O’Neil’s Broadway play The Emperor Jones on a lark and improvised on stage into success

78 George Gershwin Porgy and Bess Jerome Kern & Oscar Hammerstein Showboat Eugene O’Neil The Emperor Jones All God’s Chillun Got Wings

79 In London The Emperor Jones Showboat, 1928 Othello, 1930 (picture on left from 1944)

80 Better treatment in Europe led him to radicalism
Socialism Communism Ties to U.S.S.R.

81 Josephine Baker Born in St. Louis
Performing by 15 as a singer and dancer Expatriate

82 Shuffle Along, danced sang clowned improvised


84 exoticism

85 style

86 showgirl

87 clown

88 sophisticated lady

89 La Revue Negre Paris, France scantily clad erotic dancing
suggestive music

90 “La Folie du Jour” Paris, France, 1926 Folies Berger night club
topless, banana skirt, climbs down a tree like an animal danced the charleston erotic and comic


92 “the charleston”

93 The end of a movement By the late 20s & early 30s
Economic hardships with the Depression Participants “moved on” Some prospered throughout the 30s

94 Bibliography Harlem Renaissance Josephine Baker Claude DeBussy
Josephine Baker Claude DeBussy Marcus Garvey Amedeo Modigliani Pablo Picasso Red Summer

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