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The Harlem Renaissance

Jeffrey Chiang
Karole Collier
Brenda Nguyen
Origins
 This African-American cultural movement
originated in Harlem, a neighborhood in
New York’s Manhattan area.
 Harlem was predominantly Jewish until 1910—
the beginning of the Great Migration.
 During the Great Migration (1910 – 1930),
almost 750, 000 African Americans migrated
to Northern cities. Of these, nearly 175,000
moved to Harlem, making it the largest black
community in the country.
 These African Americans brought the music of
the south and their ambitions along with
them to Harlem.

 Events prior to the movement such as slavery,
the Civil War, and WWI paved the way for the
Harlem Renaissance era.
 With the 13th Amendment and the end of slavery
in 1965, Blacks were given opportunities to
succeed.
 African Americans took advantage of their new
freedom and opportunities and strove for
political equality, self-expression, and
economical self-determination.
 These African Americans managed to develop
the “New Negro” and have an impact on the
American society through their intellectual
and artistic talents.
Characteristics
 Harlem Renaissance was more than a explosion of black
migration: it included racial consciousness, racial
integration, the explosion of music (particularly
jazz, spirituals and blues), painting, dramatic
revues, "the back to Africa" movement led by Marcus
Garvey, and much more.
 There was an outpouring of confidence, expression,
creativity and talent. This collective outpouring
established a path for artistic cultural expression
leading to social reforms for African-Americans. As
a result, Harlem became the “capital of the African-
American world
 The rebirth of African-American culture was composed
of ingenious works of art, uplifting and eloquent
poets, masterful musicians, inspirational political
activists, creative painters, inventive sculptors,
prolific thinking novelists, dramatic playwrights,
visionary choreographers, natural actors, excellent
journalists, and imaginative actors
Major Poets

 The Harlem Renaissance was a


transitional moment in time when
poetry transformed a nation of
African-Americans to unprecedented
heights. Great names such as Langston
Hughes, Claude McKay, James Weldon
Johnson, Countee Cullen, and others
have blazed the path for the future
generations to follow.
Major Musicians

 Music was a vibrant part of the Harlem


Renaissance; it soothed and excited
the soul, and it was closely linked
with poetic verses and remains so
today. Great Names like Duke Ellington,
Louis Armstrong, Ella Fitzgerald,
Charlie Richard, Dizzy Gillespie, Bird”
Parker, Bessie Smith, and Billie
Holiday gave a special touch to the
renaissance.

Major Literature
 Common themes: alienation, marginality, the use of folk material, the use
of the blues tradition, and the problems of writing for an elite
audience.
 Richard Wright’s “Native Son” launched a renaissance of writing during
the Harlem Renaissance.
 The National Urban League, founded in 1910, publishes the first issue of
Opportunity, A Journal of Negro Life magazine, and a literary forum
for artists and authors of the Harlem Renaissance, edited by Charles
S. Johnson
 Langston Hughes, Wallace Thurman, Zora Neale Hurston, Aaron Douglas and
Richard Bruce Nugent launch the short-lived literary and artistic
magazine Fire!!. It is illustrated by Aaron Douglas and Richard Bruce
Nugent
 Harlem became a crossroads where Blacks interacted with and expanded
their contacts internationally. African Americans changed their
image from rural to urban, from peasant to sophisticate. Harlem
remained for a time the “Race Capital”. Harlem Renaissance cultivated
the “black culture”
IMPACT
Political
 Ever since the end of the Harlem
Renaissance in 1935, the significance has
crossed into the political spectrum.
 Due to the effects of the Harlem
Renaissance, African Americans used the
sense of “semi-equality” to finally
achieve racial equality in the 1960s.
 The Harlem Renaissance allowed for the
African Americans to before a force in
America. In many northern cities such as
Philadelphia, Chicago and New York,
African Americans gained power.
Cultural
 The Harlem Renaissance caused a
significant impact in the culture of the
African Americans by allowing them to
produce the cultural arts (music, art and
acting).
 The Harlem Renaissance allowed Richard
Wright’s novel, “Native Son” to be famous.
 The Harlem Renaissance opened up a new
doorway to African American writers, and
each generation of writers gives more to
the next generation.

Social
 It redefined the Negro race as whole, and
after the Harlem Renaissance, and idea of
“New Negro” was used more as the Negro
people, as a whole was changing.
The Harlem Renaissance, gave a new sense of
“black nationalism” to African Americans.
The Harlem Renaissance allowed for blacks
to express their ideas and concerns in
ways they have never done so before. This
would lead to the civil rights movement.

The End