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History of the Harlem Renaissance
Transcript of History of the Harlem Renaissance
Between 1890 and 1920, about two million African Americans migrate from the rural southern states to the northern cities, where they hope to find better opportunities and less discrimination.
Jamaican-born Marcus Garvey arrives in Harlem and founds the United Negro Improvement Association, an organization that urges blacks to unite and form their own nation.
W.E.B. Du Bois. 1917
Between 10,000 and 15,000 African Americans join the Silent Protest Parade, marching down Fifth Avenue in complete silence to protest violence against blacks.
Originally called the New Negro Movement, the Harlem Renaissance was a literary and intellectual flowering that fostered a new black cultural identity in the 1920s and 1930s. It was described it as a "spiritual coming of age" in which the black community was able to seize upon its "first chances for group expression and self determination."
With racism still rampant and economic opportunities scarce, creative expression was one of the few avenues available to African Americans in the early twentieth century. Chiefly literary—the birth of jazz is generally considered a separate movement—the Harlem Renaissance, transformed social disillusionment to race pride." History of the Harlem Renissance 1919
The 369th Infantry Regiment, a highly decorated unit made up entirely of African American soldiers, returns from World War I to a heroes' welcome in Harlem.
During the "Red Summer of Hate," African Americans react angrily to widespread lynchings and other violence directed against them, with race riots occurring in Chicago, Washington, D.C., and two dozen other American cities.
James Weldon Johnson becomes the head of the NAACP.
Marcus Garvey is arrested for mail fraud and imprisoned for three months.
Harlem's largest and most famous cabaret, the Cotton Club, opens.
Marcus Garvey is convicted of mail fraud and imprisoned in the Atlanta Penitentiary.
Ordered to leave the United States, Marcus Garvey returns to Jamaica.
The stock market crashes, setting off the economic downturn known as the Great Depression.
Harlem is the scene of a major riot sparked by anger over discrimination by white-owned businesses.
The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) is founded, and prominent black leader W.E.B. Du Bois becomes editor of the group's monthly magazine, Crisis
James Weldon The Harlem Renaissance helped lay the foundation for the post-World War II phase of the Civil Rights Movement. Moreover, many black artists who rose to creative maturity afterward were inspired by this literary movement.
The Renaissance was more than a literary or artistic movement, it possessed a certain sociological development—particularly through a new racial consciousness—through racial integration, as seen the Back to Africa movement led by Marcus Garvey. W. E. B. Du Bois' notion of "twoness", introduced in The Souls of Black Folk (1903), explored a divided awareness of one's identity that was a unique critique of the social ramifications of racial consciousness.