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Transcript of Harlem Renaissance
THE HARLEM RENAISSANCE
Early 1920s-mid 1930s (ended with Great Depression)
New York City Neighborhood called Harlem
African American doctors, singers, students, musicians, shopkeepers, painters, and writers
With the end of WWI came a
huge migration to the north.
Harlem Renaissance artists insisted
that they be accepted as "a collaborator
and participant in American civilization."
It was a celebration of folk roots and culture as
well as the primitivisim and the mythology
of an exotic Africa.
THE NORTH AS PROMISED LAND
AND LAND OF BROKEN PROMISES
Northern city life proves both exhilarating and extremely troubling from World War I onward.
Economically, gains moving from the South are real, but frustrations over limitations grow over time.
Relative to the South, the North provides greater educational, political, social opportunities, but rising northern racism leads to strict residential segregation that causes overcrowding, run-down conditions, and artificially high rents.
Mainstream America developed
respect for African art and culture.
Writing related back to African-American’s roots in Africa.
Writing included poetry, novels, and magazines.
Described the reality of being racially discriminated against.
Jazz and Blues became very popular.
The Apollo Theatre was a venue where many musicians started their careers, including Billie Holiday, Ella Fitzgerald, and Sarah Vaughn, and Louis
Art at this time reflected African American daily life from many different perspectives.
Artists made bold, stylized portraits of African American people.
Some art inspired by jazz music of the time.
Plays and shows rejected African American stereotypes by having black actors convey complex human emotions.
Theatre started with Three Plays for a Negro Theatre at the Chatham Garden Theatre in NYC.
"Sometimes I feel discriminated against, but it does not make me angry. It merely astonishes me. How can anyone deny themselves the pleasure of my company? It's beyond me."--Zora Neale Hurston
“I know the dark delight of being strange,/ The penalty of difference in the crowd,/ The loneliness of wisdom among fools . . .”--Claude McKay
"I have discovered in life that there are ways of getting almost anywhere you want to go, if you really want to go."--Langston Hughes
"Freedom is never given; it is won."--Asa Philip Randolph
Voices of the Era