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Published byBernadette Simpson Modified over 7 years ago
The Harlem Renaissance A Time of Rebirth
What do They Have in Common? What do jazz and blues have in common with Alfred Brooks from The Contender? Answer: They both came from Harlem!
What is a “renaissance” and when did it happen? Renaissance means “rebirth” Who/What do you think is being reborn? African American image, identity, culture The Harlem Renaissance took place in the 1920s-1930s
Why Harlem? Harlem was built in 1904, originally for the upper class white community. It was such an expensive place to live and not marketed properly so no one moved in. In 1914, the area was opened up to the growing Black population. Because New York is a port city, Blacks from the south, Africa, and the West Indies made their way to Harlem.
The “New Negroes” Harlem became a center for Black culture –Creative arts in literature, visual art, and music “New Negroes”= newly found sense of pride in their heritage, desire for political and social equality
What was Happening in Harlem? From the mid 1920s to the mid 1930s, about 16 Black writers published 50 volumes of poetry and fiction. They used Harlem’s growing popularity as an opportunity to create a positive public image of Blacks as thinking, creative human beings in American society
The Music Jazz and blues music moved with the African American populations from the South and Midwest into the bars and cabarets of Harlem These artists, musicians, writers, and performers refused to let the reality of racism and discrimination in the US keep them from pursuing their goals Does this sound like anyone you know?
What were the members of the Harlem Renaissance writing about? No common ideology defined the Harlem Renaissance. They were united by the sense of taking part in a common endeavor of artistically expressing the African American experience Common themes: interest in roots of the 20th century African American experience in Africa and the American South
Who was Involved? Langston Hughes Poet
Zora Neale Hurston Writer Their Eyes Were Watching God (1937)
Bessie Smith –Blues Musician
Duke Ellington –Jazz Musician
The Best of Times & The Worst of Times Many factors contributed to the decline of the Harlem Renaissance in the mid 1930s During the Great Depression (1930s), the NAACP and the National Urban League, who had once supported the Renaissance, shifted their focus to economic and social issues
Leaving Harlem Many influential African American writers, Langston Hughes and W.E.B. Du Bois, left New York City in the early 1930s. In 1935, a riot broke out in Harlem, mostly due to the growing economic hardship because of the Depression and mounting tension between the Black community and the white shop owners in Harlem.
This is Not the End Almost 1/3 of the books published during the Renaissance appeared after 1929. The Harlem Renaissance permanently altered the dynamics of African American art and literature in the US
A Lasting Impact The outpouring of African American literature in the 1980s and 1990s by writers such as Alice Walker, Toni Morrison, and Spike Lee had its roots in the writing of the Harlem Renaissance
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