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Transcript of Harlem Renaissance
The Beginnings of an Era
With this mass migration of African Americans to Harlem, many of these who migrated brought with them their intellectual, artistic, and entrepreneurial skills. Such skills were intermingled in the Harlem neighborhood that had a size 3 square miles with 175,000 people living within.
Where the name came from for this period.
A renaissance is a period of cultural "re-ignition" in which many art, literature, and learning is revived or started. Harlem was a place which such a renaissance could come to form with its birth of many new literature works, music, and artistic. This why it was called the Harlem Renaissance.
During this time, a new type of racial pride was aroused in which it was called the "New Negro " by African Americans. They would challenge racism as well as promote the politics of progressiveness. They believed through their creation of art and literature that they could "elevate" their race.
Artists and writers of the era were influence by the effects of monotonous racism, African American identity, slavery, the plight of having having white audiences, and the way of life for African Americans in the north.
of the Era
Some of the well known authors of the era that wrote either poetry or novels include:
James Weldon Johson
He was one of the earlier creators of the genre of jazz poetry. He wrote poems such as
I Too Sing America
How did this era started?
Overambitious house executives planned a large neighborhood to be built in the northern section of Manhattan of New York City. This neighborhood became named as Harlem. Construction of housing soon out grew over ways of transportation for people living there to commute. Soon the house executives had to lower prices which lead many African Americans to begin living in the affordable housing of the area.
When the shoe strings break
On both your shoes
And you're in a hurry-
That's the blues.
When you go to buy a candy bar
And you've lost the dime you had-
Slipped through a hole in your pocket somewhere-
That's the blues, too, and bad
James Weldon Johnson
Johnson wrote books such as
The Autobiography of an Ex-Colored Man
and poems like
(James Weldon Johnson)
When I come down to sleep death's endless night,
The threshold of the unknown dark to cross,
What to me then will be the keenest loss,
When this bright world blurs on my fading sight?
Will it be that no more I shall see the trees
Or smell the flowers or hear the singing birds
Or watch the flashing streams or patient herds?
No, I am sure it will be none of these.
But, ah! Manhattan's sights and sounds, her smells,
Her crowds, her throbbing force, the thrill that comes
From being of her a part, her subtle spells,
Her shining towers, her avenues, her slums--
O God! the stark, unutterable pity,
To be dead, and never again behold my city!
He had wrote novels like
One Way to Heaven
in 1932 and poems like
I Have A Rendezvous with Life
This is not water running here,
These thick rebellious streams
That hurtle flesh and bone past fear
Down alleyways of dreams
This is a wine that must flow on
Not caring how or where
So it has ways to flow upon
Where song is in the air.
So it can woo an artful flute
With loose elastic lips
Its measurements of joy compute
With blithe, ecstatic hips.
Quotes from the People of the era
"An artist must be free to choose what he does, certainly, but he must also never be afraid to do what he might choose." -Langston Hughes
"With the rise of the Harlem Renaissance black culture became a primary acknowledged influence of American culture. Because what it did was it made America aware of the African American not as the derogatory stereotype that had been portrayed in American culture for many decades, but as what they call New Negro who was educated, incredibly cultured, part of the society that was really valuable. And the first step toward that sort of acknowledgment and public debt was the Harlem Renaissance."
-Laban Carrick Hill, author of
Harlem Stomp! A Cultural History of the Harlem Renaissance
"Through the music, and through the poems, and through the artwork, America came to realize that America is not America without African Americans."
-Laban Carrick Hill
Rowen , Beth. "Great Days in Harlem." birth of the Harlem Renaissance. 2007: 1. Web. 31 Mar. 2014. <http://www.infoplease.com/spot/bhmharlem1.html>.
What did this period contribute?
The Harlem Renaissance had many artists, musicians, and writers that contributed many forms of art and literature. Musicians created a new genre of music called jazz which grew to have many sub-genres such as big band and swing music. Poets created the form of jazz and blues poetry. Artists created unique forms of art in America as well.