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The Harlem Renaissance

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1 The Harlem Renaissance

2 Map of Harlem – 1920’s

3 In the early 1920s, African American artists, writers, musicians, and performers were part of a great cultural movement known as the Harlem Renaissance. The huge migration to the North after World War I brought African Americans of all ages and walks of life to the thriving New York City neighborhood called Harlem. Doctors, singers, students, musicians, shopkeepers, painters, and writers, congregated, forming a vibrant mecca of cultural affirmation and inspiration.

4 W.E.B. Du Bois was a famous writer of the Harlem Renaissance
Duke Ellington and his orchestra In the 1920’s, large numbers of African American musicians, artists , and writers settled in Harlem. This period of time became known as the Harlem Renaissance. During the Harlem Renaissance young black artists celebrated their African and American heritage. 4

Great Migration saw hundreds of thousands of African Americans move north to big cities 1920: 5 million of the nation’s 12 million blacks (over 40%) lived in cities Migration of the Negro by Jacob Lawrence

6 Demographical Changes
Demographics: statistics that describe a population. Migration North African Americans moving north at rapid pace. Why? Jim Crow laws New job opportunities in north 1860 – 93% in south 1930 – 80% in south Struggles: Faced hatred from whites Forced low wages

7 African Americans Move North
1865: 93% of African Americans lived in the South. 1930: 80% BUT Jobs weren’t much better in the North Racial hatred in North Women often worked as low-paid domestics.

8 HARLEM, NEW YORK Harlem, NY became the largest black urban community
Harlem suffered from overcrowding, unemployment and poverty Home to literary and artistic revival known as the Harlem Renaissance

9 LANGSTON HUGHES Missouri-born Langston Hughes was the movement’s best known poet Many of his poems described the difficult lives of working-class blacks “Thank you Ma’am” Some of his poems were put to music, especially jazz and blues

10 LOUIS ARMSTRONG Jazz was born in the early 20th century
In 1922, a young trumpet player named Louis Armstrong joined the Creole Jazz Band. Armstrong is considered the most important and influential musician in the history of jazz

In the late 1920s, Duke Ellington, a jazz pianist and composer, led his ten-piece orchestra at the famous Cotton Club. Band: “The Washingtonians” Ellington won renown as one of America’s greatest composers.

12 BESSIE SMITH Bessie Smith, blues singer, was perhaps the most outstanding vocalist of the decade She achieved enormous popularity and by 1927 she became the highest- paid black artist in the world

13 William H. Johnson Street-life Harlem

14 Jazz Clubs Artie Shaw – First to use black musicians for white audiences. Benny Goodman – First to take jazz to white America. SWING First racial mixed band.

15 Jazz Clubs and Dance Halls
To hear the “real” jazz – NYC and the neighborhood of Harlem. 500 jazz clubs Cotton Club the most famous BUT Most white Americans did not want to hear jazz.

Founded in 1909, the NAACP urged African Americans to protest racial violence W.E.B Dubois, a founding member, led a march of 10,000 black men in NY to protest violence

17 Garvey represented a more radical approach
MARCUS GARVEY - UNIA Marcus Garvey believed that African Americans should build a separate society (Africa) In 1914, Garvey founded the Universal Negro Improvement Association Garvey claimed a million members by the mid-1920s Powerful legacy of black pride, economic independence and Pan-Africanism Garvey represented a more radical approach

18 W.E.B. Dubois Didn’t think the answer was separation of the races.
Also didn’t approve of Garvey’s business practices.


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