After World War I, an increase in employment caused many African Americans from the southern states to migrate north. Many of which migrated to Harlem, New York. Many immigrants from the West Indies also migrated to Harlem. An increase in outward racism (e.g. Jim Crow Laws, Lynching, Sundown Towns, KKK burnings, and Segregation) in the south caused many to move north.
It occurred as a result of sacrifices made by men who served in World War I. It confronted racial prejudices of Caucasian Americans. African Americans wanted to express their desire for equality, and it was a time for them to reveal the injustices they experienced. It was also a time in which African Americans across America created their voice in art, literature, music, and dance.
The Harlem Renaissance was primarily a literary movement. It was the first time that African American writing was taken seriously. James Weldon Johnson coined the phrase “Harlem Renaissance.”
Primary Destination Headquarters of the N.U.L (National Urban League), and the Headquarters for the N.A.A.C.P. (National Organization for the Advancement of Colored People)
It encouraged a new appreciation of African American culture.. Common themes begin to emerge: alienation, nonconformity, the use of folk material, the use of the blues tradition, the problems of writing for an elite audience. The HR was more than just a literary movement: it included racial consciousness, "the back to Africa" movement led by Marcus Garvey, racial integration, the explosion of music particularly jazz, spirituals and blues, painting, dramatic revues, and others.