The Harlem Renaissance Helped Bridge Cultural Divides Between Which Groups

The Harlem Renaissance Helped Bridge Cultural Divides Between Which Groups

African-American cultural movement in New York Urban center in the 1920s

Harlem Renaissance
Function of the Roaring Twenties

Three African-American women in Harlem during the Harlem Renaissance in 1925

Engagement 1918 – mid 1930s
Location Harlem, New York City, United States and influences from Paris, France
Too known equally New Negro Movement
Participants Various artists and social critics
Outcome Mainstream recognition of cultural developments and thought of New Negro


Harlem Renaissance

was an intellectual and cultural revival of African American music, trip the light fantastic toe, fine art, mode, literature, theater, politics and scholarship centered in Harlem, Manhattan, New York Urban center, spanning the 1920s and 1930s. At the time, it was known as the “New Negro Motion“, named subsequently
The New Negro, a 1925 anthology edited by Alain Locke. The motion also included the new African American cultural expressions across the urban areas in the Northeast and Midwest The states affected by a renewed militancy in the full general struggle for ceremonious rights, combined with the Great Migration of African American workers fleeing the racist conditions of the Jim Crow Deep South,[i]
as Harlem was the concluding destination of the largest number of those who migrated north.

Though information technology was centered in the Harlem neighborhood, many francophone black writers from African and Caribbean colonies who lived in Paris were as well influenced past the movement,[two]
which spanned from about 1918 until the mid-1930s.[6]
Many of its ideas lived on much longer. The zenith of this “flowering of Negro literature”, as James Weldon Johnson preferred to call the Harlem Renaissance, took identify between 1924—when
Opportunity: A Journal of Negro Life
hosted a party for black writers where many white publishers were in attendance—and 1929, the year of the stock-marketplace crash and the starting time of the Great Depression. The Harlem Renaissance is considered to have been a rebirth of the African-American arts.[7]
Many people[

would argue that the Harlem Renaissance never ended and has continued to exist an important cultural strength in the United states of america through the decades: from the age of pace pianoforte jazz and blues to the ages of bebop, stone and curl, soul, disco and hip-hop.


A map of Upper Manhattan with pink sections for Harlem

Until the end of the Civil War, the majority of African Americans had been enslaved and lived in the Southward. During the Reconstruction Era, the emancipated African Americans, freedmen, began to strive for civic participation, political equality and economic and cultural self-conclusion. Shortly afterwards the finish of the Civil War the Ku Klux Klan Act of 1871 gave rise to speeches by African-American Congressmen addressing this Bill.[8]
By 1875, sixteen African Americans had been elected and served in Congress and gave numerous speeches with their newfound civil empowerment.[9]

The Ku Klux Klan Act of 1871 was followed by the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1875, part of Reconstruction legislation by Republicans. During the mid-to-belatedly 1870s, racist whites organized in the Autonomous Political party launched a murderous campaign of racist terrorism to regain political power throughout the South. From 1890 to 1908, they proceeded to pass legislation that disenfranchised almost African Americans and many poor whites, trapping them without representation. They established white supremacist regimes of Jim Crow segregation in the Southward and one-party block voting behind southern Democrats.

Democratic Party politicians (many having been former slaveowners and political and military machine leaders of the Confederacy) conspired to deny African Americans their exercise of ceremonious and political rights by terrorizing black communities with lynch mobs and other forms of vigilante violence[10]
as well as by instituting a convict labor arrangement that forced many thousands of African Americans back into unpaid labor in mines, on plantations, and on public works projects such equally roads and levees. Convict laborers were typically subject to cruel forms of corporal penalisation, overwork, and affliction from unsanitary weather. Death rates were extraordinarily high.[eleven]
While a small number of African Americans were able to acquire land shortly afterwards the Civil War, virtually were exploited equally sharecroppers.[12]
Whether sharecropping or on their ain acreage, almost of the black population was closely financially dependent on agronomics. This added another impetus for the Migration: The inflow of the boll weevil. The beetle eventually came to waste material viii% of the country’south cotton fiber yield annually and thus disproportionately impacted this function of America’s citizenry.[thirteen]
As life in the South became increasingly difficult, African Americans began to drift northward in great numbers.

Most of the future leading lights of what was to go known as the “Harlem Renaissance” movement arose from a generation that had memories of the gains and losses of Reconstruction after the Civil State of war. Sometimes their parents, grandparents – or they themselves – had been slaves. Their ancestors had sometimes benefited by paternal investment in cultural capital, including better-than-boilerplate education.

Many in the Harlem Renaissance were part of the early 20th century Great Migration out of the South into the African-American neighborhoods of the Northeast and Midwest. African Americans sought a better standard of living and relief from the institutionalized racism in the Southward. Others were people of African descent from racially stratified communities in the Caribbean who came to the United States hoping for a improve life. Uniting most of them was their convergence in Harlem.


A silent brusque documentary on the Negro Artist. Richmond Barthé working on Kalombwan (1934)

During the early portion of the 20th century, Harlem was the destination for migrants from around the state, attracting both people from the Southward seeking work and an educated course who made the area a center of civilization, as well as a growing “Negro” centre class. These people were looking for a fresh start in life and this was a good place to go. The district had originally been developed in the 19th century every bit an exclusive suburb for the white middle and upper middle classes; its flush beginnings led to the development of stately houses, one thousand avenues, and world-class civilities such as the Polo Grounds and the Harlem Opera Business firm. During the enormous influx of European immigrants in the late 19th century, the once exclusive district was abandoned past the white centre class, who moved farther north.

Harlem became an African-American neighborhood in the early 1900s. In 1910, a large block along 135th Street and Fifth Avenue was bought by diverse African-American realtors and a church building grouping.[14]
commendation needed

Many more African Americans arrived during the First Earth War. Due to the state of war, the migration of laborers from Europe virtually ceased, while the war effort resulted in a massive demand for unskilled industrial labor. The Great Migration brought hundreds of thousands of African Americans to cities such as Chicago, Philadelphia, Detroit, and New York.

Despite the increasing popularity of Negro culture, virulent white racism, ofttimes by more recent ethnic immigrants, continued to affect African-American communities, even in the North.[15]
After the stop of Earth State of war I, many African-American soldiers—who fought in segregated units such as the Harlem Hellfighters—came habitation to a nation whose citizens oft did not respect their accomplishments.[16]
Race riots and other civil uprisings occurred throughout the Usa during the Red Summer of 1919, reflecting economic contest over jobs and housing in many cities, as well as tensions over social territories.

Mainstream recognition of Harlem culture

The first stage of the Harlem Renaissance started in the tardily 1910s. In 1917, the premiere of
Granny Maumee, The Rider of Dreams, Simon the Cyrenian: Plays for a Negro Theater
took place. These plays, written by white playwright Ridgely Torrence, featured African-American actors conveying complex human emotions and yearnings. They rejected the stereotypes of the blackface and minstrel prove traditions. James Weldon Johnson in 1917 called the premieres of these plays “the most important single event in the entire history of the Negro in the American Theater”.[17]

Some other landmark came in 1919, when the communist poet Claude McKay published his militant sonnet “If We Must Die”, which introduced a dramatically political dimension to the themes of African cultural inheritance and modern urban experience featured in his 1917 poems “Invocation” and “Harlem Dancer”. Published under the pseudonym Eli Edwards, these were his get-go appearance in print in the United states of america later on immigrating from Jamaica.[eighteen]
Although “If Nosotros Must Die” never alluded to race, African-American readers heard its note of disobedience in the face of racism and the nationwide race riots and lynchings then taking place. By the end of the First World War, the fiction of James Weldon Johnson and the poesy of Claude McKay were describing the reality of gimmicky African-American life in America.

The Harlem Renaissance grew out of the changes that had taken place in the African-American community since the abolition of slavery, every bit the expansion of communities in the North. These accelerated as a outcome of World War I and the nifty social and cultural changes in early on 20th-century United States. Industrialization was alluring people to cities from rural areas and gave rising to a new mass civilization. Contributing factors leading to the Harlem Renaissance were the Great Migration of African Americans to northern cities, which concentrated ambitious people in places where they could encourage each other, and the Start World War, which had created new industrial work opportunities for tens of thousands of people. Factors leading to the decline of this era include the Corking Low.


In 1917 Hubert Harrison, “The Father of Harlem Radicalism”, founded the Liberty League and
The Voice, the first organization and the first paper, respectively, of the “New Negro Movement”. Harrison’due south arrangement and newspaper were political, simply besides emphasized the arts (his newspaper had “Poetry for the People” and book review sections). In 1927, in the
Pittsburgh Courier, Harrison challenged the notion of the renaissance. He argued that the “Negro Literary Renaissance” notion disregarded “the stream of literary and artistic products which had flowed uninterruptedly from Negro writers from 1850 to the present,” and said the so-called “renaissance” was largely a white invention.[
citation needed

Alternatively, a author like the Chicago-based author, Fenton Johnson. who began publishing in the early 1900s, is chosen a “forerunner” of the renaissance,[19]
“i of the outset negro revolutionary poets”.[21]

Nevertheless, with the Harlem Renaissance came a sense of acceptance for African-American writers; as Langston Hughes put it, with Harlem came the courage “to limited our individual dark-skinned selves without fear or shame.”[22]
Alain Locke’s anthology
The New Negro
was considered the cornerstone of this cultural revolution.[23]
The anthology featured several African-American writers and poets, from the well-known, such every bit Zora Neale Hurston and communists Langston Hughes and Claude McKay, to the lesser-known, like the poet Anne Spencer.[24]

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Many poets of the Harlem Renaissance were inspired to tie in threads of African-American civilisation into their poems; every bit a outcome, jazz poetry was heavily developed during this time. “The Weary Blues” was a notable jazz poem written by Langston Hughes.[25]
Through their works of literature, blackness authors were able to requite a vocalisation to the African-American identity, also as strive for a community of support and acceptance.

Organized religion

Christianity played a major role in the Harlem Renaissance. Many of the writers and social critics discussed the part of Christianity in African-American lives. For example, a famous poem past Langston Hughes, “Madam and the Government minister”, reflects the temperature and mood towards organized religion in the Harlem Renaissance.[26]
The embrace story for
The Crisis
mag’s publication in May 1936 explains how important Christianity was regarding the proposed wedlock of the three largest Methodist churches of 1936. This commodity shows the controversial question of unification for these churches.[27]
The article “The Catholic Church and the Negro Priest”, as well published in
The Crisis, January 1920, demonstrates the obstacles African-American priests faced in the Catholic Church. The commodity confronts what it saw equally policies based on race that excluded African Americans from higher positions in the church.[28]


Faith and Evolution Ad

Various forms of religious worship existed during this time of African-American intellectual reawakening. Although there were racist attitudes within the electric current Abrahamic religious arenas many African Americans continued to push towards the do of a more inclusive doctrine. For example, George Joseph MacWilliam presents various experiences, during his pursuit towards priesthood, of rejection on the basis of his color and race nevertheless he shares his frustration in attempts to incite action on the part of
The Crunch
mag community.[28]

There were other forms of spiritualism practiced among African Americans during the Harlem Renaissance. Some of these religions and philosophies were inherited from African ancestry. For case, the religion of Islam was present in Africa as early as the eighth century through the Trans-Saharan trade. Islam came to Harlem likely through the migration of members of the Moorish Science Temple of America, which was established in 1913 in New Jersey.[
commendation needed

Diverse forms of Judaism were practiced, including Orthodox, Conservative, and Reform Judaism, only information technology was Black Hebrew Israelites that founded their religious belief organisation during the early 20th century in the Harlem Renaissance.[
citation needed

Traditional forms of organized religion caused from various parts of Africa were inherited and skilful during this era. Some common examples were Voodoo and Santeria.[
citation needed


Religious critique during this era was found in music, literature, art, theater and poetry. The Harlem Renaissance encouraged analytic dialogue that included the open critique and the adjustment of electric current religious ideas.

Ane of the major contributors to the discussion of African-American renaissance culture was Aaron Douglas who, with his artwork, also reflected the revisions African Americans were making to the Christian dogma. Douglas uses biblical imagery as inspiration to various pieces of art work but with the rebellious twist of an African influence.[29]

Countee Cullen’due south poem “Heritage” expresses the inner struggle of an African American between his past African heritage and the new Christian civilisation.[30]
A more severe criticism of the Christian religion can be found in Langston Hughes’ poem “Merry Christmas”, where he exposes the irony of religion equally a symbol for practiced and however a forcefulness for oppression and injustice.[31]


A new way of playing the piano called the Harlem Stride style was created during the Harlem Renaissance, and helped blur the lines betwixt the poor African Americans and socially aristocracy African Americans. The traditional jazz band was equanimous primarily of brass instruments and was considered a symbol of the south, simply the piano was considered an instrument of the wealthy. With this instrumental modification to the existing genre, the wealthy African Americans at present had more admission to jazz music. Its popularity soon spread throughout the state and was consequently at an all-time high.

Innovation and liveliness were important characteristics of performers in the ancestry of jazz. Jazz performers and composers at the time such as Eubie Blake, Noble Sissle, Jelly Curlicue Morton, Luckey Roberts, James P. Johnson, Willie “The Panthera leo” Smith, Andy Razaf, Fats Waller, Ethel Waters, Adelaide Hall,[32]
Florence Mills and bandleaders Knuckles Ellington, Louis Armstrong and Fletcher Henderson were extremely talented, skillful, competitive and inspirational. They are still considered as having laid corking parts of the foundations for future musicians of their genre.[33]

Duke Ellington gained popularity during the Harlem Renaissance. According to Charles Garrett, “The resulting portrait of Ellington reveals him to be non but the gifted composer, bandleader, and musician nosotros take come to know, but likewise an earthly person with basic desires, weaknesses, and eccentricities.”[7]
Ellington did not let his popularity get to him. He remained calm and focused on his music.

During this period, the musical style of blacks was condign more and more bonny to whites. White novelists, dramatists and composers started to exploit the musical tendencies and themes of African Americans in their works. Composers (including William Grant Still, William L. Dawson and Florence Price) used poems written by African-American poets in their songs, and would implement the rhythms, harmonies and melodies of African-American music—such as blues, spirituals, and jazz—into their concert pieces. African Americans began to merge with Whites into the classical globe of musical composition. The first African-American male to gain broad recognition as a concert creative person in both his region and internationally was Roland Hayes. He trained with Arthur Calhoun in Chattanooga, and at Fisk University in Nashville. Later, he studied with Arthur Hubbard in Boston and with George Henschel and Amanda Ira Aldridge in London, England. He began singing in public equally a student, and toured with the Fisk Jubilee Singers in 1911.[36]

Musical theatre

Poster for Run, Piffling Chillun

According to James Vernon Hatch and Leo Hamalian, all-Blackness review
Run, Piffling Chillun
is considered ane of the most successful musical dramas of the Harlem Renaissance.[37]


During the Harlem Renaissance, the blackness clothing scene took a dramatic plough from the prim and proper. Many young women preferred- from short skirts and silk stockings to driblet-waisted dresses and cloche hats.[38]
Woman wore loose-fitted garments and accessorized with long strand pearl bead necklaces, feather boas, and cigarette holders. The fashion of the Harlem Renaissance was used to convey elegance and flamboyancy and needed to exist created with the vibrant trip the light fantastic style of the 1920s in listen.[39]
Popular by the 1930s was a trendy, egret-trimmed beret.

Men wore loose suits that led to the later manner known as the “Zoot”, which consisted of wide-legged, high-waisted, peg-top trousers, and a long coat with padded shoulders and broad lapels. Men also wore wide-brimmed hats, colored socks,[xl]
white gloves, and velvet-collared Chesterfield coats. During this catamenia, African Americans expressed respect for their heritage through a fad for leopard-skin coats, indicating the ability of the African animate being.

The extraordinarily successful black dancer Josephine Baker, though performing in Paris during the height of the Renaissance, was a major fashion trendsetter for black and white women alike. Her gowns from the couturier Jean Patou were much copied, especially her stage costumes, which
magazine called “startling”. Josephine Bakery is besides credited for highlighting the “art deco” mode era after she performed the “Danse Sauvage”. During this Paris performance she adorned a skirt made of string and artificial bananas. Ethel Moses was another pop blackness performer, Moses starred in silent films in the 1920s and 30s and was recognizable by her signature bob hairstyle.

Characteristics and themes

A jazz combo playing

Trumpeter Light-headed Gillespie is allegorical of the mixture of high class society, popular art, and virtuosity of jazz.

Characterizing the Harlem Renaissance was an overt racial pride that came to be represented in the idea of the New Negro, who through intellect and production of literature, art, and music could challenge the pervading racism and stereotypes to promote progressive or socialist politics, and racial and social integration. The cosmos of fine art and literature would serve to “uplift” the race.

There would exist no uniting form singularly characterizing the art that emerged from the Harlem Renaissance. Rather, it encompassed a wide variety of cultural elements and styles, including a Pan-African perspective, “loftier-culture” and “depression-culture” or “low-life”, from the traditional form of music to the blues and jazz, traditional and new experimental forms in literature such as modernism and the new form of jazz verse. This duality meant that numerous African-American artists came into disharmonize with conservatives in the black intelligentsia, who took result with certain depictions of black life.

Some common themes represented during the Harlem Renaissance were the influence of the feel of slavery and emerging African-American folk traditions on black identity, the effects of institutional racism, the dilemmas inherent in performing and writing for aristocracy white audiences, and the question of how to convey the experience of modernistic black life in the urban N.

The Harlem Renaissance was one of primarily African-American involvement. Information technology rested on a support system of blackness patrons, blackness-owned businesses and publications. However, it likewise depended on the patronage of white Americans, such as Carl Van Vechten and Charlotte Osgood Mason, who provided various forms of assistance, opening doors which otherwise might accept remained airtight to the publication of piece of work outside the blackness American community. This back up ofttimes took the course of patronage or publication. Carl Van Vechten was ane of the most noteworthy white Americans involved with the Harlem Renaissance. He allowed for help to the black American customs because he wanted racial sameness.

There were other whites interested in so-called “primitive” cultures, as many whites viewed black American culture at that fourth dimension, and wanted to see such “primitivism” in the piece of work coming out of the Harlem Renaissance. As with virtually fads, some people may have been exploited in the rush for publicity.

Interest in African-American lives also generated experimental but lasting collaborative work, such as the all-blackness productions of George Gershwin’s opera
Porgy and Bess, and Virgil Thomson and Gertrude Stein’s
Four Saints in Three Acts. In both productions the choral conductor Eva Jessye was function of the artistic team. Her choir was featured in
Iv Saints.[41]
The music earth also found white band leaders defying racist attitudes to include the best and the brightest African-American stars of music and song in their productions.

The African Americans used fine art to evidence their humanity and demand for equality. The Harlem Renaissance led to more opportunities for blacks to be published past mainstream houses. Many authors began to publish novels, magazines and newspapers during this time. The new fiction attracted a neat corporeality of attention from the nation at big. Among authors who became nationally known were Jean Toomer, Jessie Fauset, Claude McKay, Zora Neale Hurston, James Weldon Johnson, Alain Locke, Omar Al Amiri, Eric D. Walrond and Langston Hughes.

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Richard Bruce Nugent (1906–1987) who wrote “Smoke, Lilies, and Jade” is an important contribution, especially in relation to experimental course and LGBT themes in the period.[42]

The Harlem Renaissance helped lay the foundation for the post-World War II protest movement of the Ceremonious 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, as it possessed a certain sociological development—particularly through a new racial consciousness—through ethnic pride, as seen in the Back to Africa move led past Jamaican Marcus Garvey. At the aforementioned time, a different expression of ethnic pride, promoted by West. E. B. Du Bois, introduced the notion of the “talented 10th”. Du Bois’ wrote of the Talented 10th:

The Negro race, like all races, is going to exist saved by its exceptional men. The trouble of education, and then, amidst Negroes must start of all deal with the Talented Tenth; information technology is the problem of developing the best of this race that they may guide the mass away from the contamination and death of the worst.[43]

These “talented tenth” were considered the finest examples of the worth of black Americans equally a response to the rampant racism of the menstruum. No particular leadership was assigned to the talented tenth, simply they were to be emulated. In both literature and popular give-and-take, complex ideas such as Du Bois’s concept of “twoness” (dualism) were introduced (encounter
The Souls of Black Folk; 1903).[44]
Du Bois explored a divided awareness of one’s identity that was a unique critique of the social ramifications of racial consciousness. This exploration was later revived during the Blackness Pride movement of the early 1970s.


A new Blackness identity

The Harlem Renaissance was successful in that it brought the Black feel clearly within the corpus of American cultural history. Not only through an explosion of culture, merely on a sociological level, the legacy of the Harlem Renaissance redefined how America, and the globe, viewed African Americans. The migration of southern Blacks to the north inverse the image of the African American from rural, undereducated peasants to ane of urban, cosmopolitan sophistication. This new identity led to a greater social consciousness, and African Americans became players on the world phase, expanding intellectual and social contacts internationally.

The progress—both symbolic and real—during this period became a betoken of reference from which the African-American community gained a spirit of self-decision that provided a growing sense of both Black urbanity and Black militancy, as well as a foundation for the community to build upon for the Civil Rights struggles in the 1950s and 1960s.

The urban setting of quickly developing Harlem provided a venue for African Americans of all backgrounds to appreciate the variety of Black life and culture. Through this expression, the Harlem Renaissance encouraged the new appreciation of folk roots and culture. For example, folk materials and spirituals provided a rich source for the artistic and intellectual imagination, which freed Blacks from the establishment of past condition. Through sharing in these cultural experiences, a consciousness sprung along in the form of a united racial identity.

However, at that place was some pressure level within certain groups of the Harlem Renaissance to adopt sentiments of conservative white America in order to be taken seriously by the mainstream. The upshot being that queer culture, while far-more accepted in Harlem than most places in the country at the time, was almost fully lived out in the smoky night lights of confined, nightclubs, and cabarets in the urban center.[45]
It was within these venues that the blues music scene boomed, and since information technology had not yet gained recognition within popular culture, queer artists used it as a way to limited themselves honestly.[45]

Even though at that place were factions within the Renaissance that were accepting of queer culture/lifestyles, 1 could even so be arrested for engaging in homosexual acts. Many people, including writer Alice Dunbar Nelson and “The Mother of Blues” Gertrude “Ma” Rainey,[46]
had husbands but were romantically linked to other women as well.[47]

Ma Rainey was known to wearing apparel in traditionally male person wearable and her blues lyrics often reflected her sexual proclivities for women, which was extremely radical at the time. Ma Rainey was also the showtime person to innovate blues music into vaudeville.[48]
Rainey’due south protégé, Bessie Smith was another artist who used the blues as a manner to limited herself with such lines as “When you come across two women walking manus in hand, just look em’ over and endeavour to understand: They’ll get to those parties – have the lights down low – only those parties where women tin can go.”[45]

Another prominent blues vocalizer was Gladys Bentley, who was known to cross-dress. Bentley was the society owner of Clam House on 133rd Street in Harlem, which was a hub for queer patrons. The Hamilton Guild in Harlem hosted an annual elevate ball that attracted thousands to sentry equally a couple hundred immature men came to dance the nighttime away in drag. Though there were safe havens within Harlem, at that place were prominent voices such as that of Abyssinian Baptist Church’due south minister Adam Clayton who actively campaigned confronting homosexuality.[47]

The Harlem Renaissance gave nascence to the idea of The New Negro. The New Negro movement was an try to ascertain what information technology meant to be African-American by African Americans rather than let the degrading stereotypes and caricatures found in black face up minstrelsy practices to do so. There was also The Neo-New Negro movement, which not merely challenged racial definitions and stereotypes, just likewise sought to claiming gender roles, normative sexuality, and sexism in America in full general. In this respect, the Harlem Renaissance was far alee of the residuum of America in terms of embracing feminism and queer culture.[49]

These ideals received some button back equally liberty of sexuality, particularly pertaining to women (which during the fourth dimension in Harlem was known as women-loving women),[46]
was seen as confirming the stereotype that black women were loose and lacked sexual discernment. The black bourgeoisie saw this equally hampering the cause of black people in America and giving fuel to the fire of racist sentiments around the country. Yet for all of the efforts by both sectors of white and bourgeois black America, queer culture and artists divers major portions of not only the Harlem Renaissance, but too define then much of our culture today. Writer of “The Black Man’s Brunt”, Henry Louis Gates Jr. wrote that the Harlem Renaissance “was surely as gay equally it was blackness”.[49]

Criticism of the move

Many critics indicate out that the Harlem Renaissance could non escape its history and civilization in its attempt to create a new one, or sufficiently separate from the foundational elements of White, European culture. Often Harlem intellectuals, while proclaiming a new racial consciousness, resorted to mimicry of their white counterparts by adopting their clothing, sophisticated manners and etiquette. This “mimicry” may too exist called absorption, every bit that is typically what minority members of any social construct must do in order to fit social norms created by that construct’s bulk.[50]
This could be seen every bit a reason that the artistic and cultural products of the Harlem Renaissance did non overcome the presence of White-American values, and did not reject these values.[
citation needed

In this regard, the creation of the “New Negro” as the Harlem intellectuals sought, was considered a success.[
by whom?

The Harlem Renaissance appealed to a mixed audience. The literature appealed to the African-American centre form and to whites. Magazines such every bit
The Crisis, a monthly journal of the NAACP, and
Opportunity, an official publication of the National Urban League, employed Harlem Renaissance writers on their editorial staffs; published verse and brusque stories by blackness writers; and promoted African-American literature through articles, reviews, and annual literary prizes. As of import as these literary outlets were, however, the Renaissance relied heavily on white publishing houses and white-owned magazines.[51]

A major achievement of the Renaissance was to open the door to mainstream white periodicals and publishing houses, although the relationship between the Renaissance writers and white publishers and audiences created some controversy. W. East. B. Du Bois did not oppose the human relationship between black writers and white publishers, but he was critical of works such as Claude McKay’due south bestselling novel
Home to Harlem
(1928) for highly-seasoned to the “prurient need[s]” of white readers and publishers for portrayals of blackness “licentiousness”.[51]

Langston Hughes spoke for most of the writers and artists when he wrote in his essay “The Negro Artist and the Racial Mount” (1926) that black artists intended to express themselves freely, no affair what the blackness public or white public thought.[52]
Hughes in his writings besides returned to the theme of racial passing, only during the Harlem Renaissance, he began to explore the topic of homosexuality and homophobia. He began to use disruptive language in his writings. He explored this topic considering information technology was a theme that during this time flow was not discussed.[53]

African-American musicians and writers were among mixed audiences as well, having experienced positive and negative outcomes throughout the New Negro Motility. For musicians, Harlem, New York’south cabarets and nightclubs shined a calorie-free on black performers and immune for black residents to enjoy music and dancing. However, some of the most popular clubs (that showcased black musicians) were
for white audiences; 1 of the most famous white-only nightclubs in Harlem was the Cotton wool Society, where pop black musicians like Duke Ellington often performed.[54]
Ultimately, the black musicians who appeared at these white-but clubs became far more successful and became a office of the mainstream music scene.[
citation needed

Similarly, blackness writers were given the opportunity to smoothen once the New Negro Move gained traction as short stories, novels, and poems by black authors began taking form and getting into various print publications in the 1910s and 1920s.[55]
Although a seemingly good way to found their identities and culture, many authors notation how hard it was for any of their work to actually go anywhere. Writer Charles Chesnutt in 1877, for example, notes that in that location was no indication of his race alongside his publication in
Atlantic Monthly
(at the publisher’s asking).[56]

A prominent gene in the New Negro’s struggle was that their work had been fabricated out to be “different” or “exotic” to white audiences, making a necessity for black writers to appeal to them and compete with each other to become their piece of work out.[55]
Famous blackness author and poet Langston Hughes explained that blackness-authored works were placed in a similar fashion to those of oriental or foreign origin, merely being used occasionally in comparing to their white-fabricated counterparts: in one case a spot for a blackness work was “taken”, blackness authors had to look elsewhere to publish.[56]

Sure aspects of the Harlem Renaissance were accepted without debate, and without scrutiny. One of these was the future of the “New Negro”. Artists and intellectuals of the Harlem Renaissance echoed American progressivism in its faith in democratic reform, in its belief in art and literature as agents of change, and in its almost uncritical conventionalities in itself and its future. This progressivist worldview rendered Black intellectuals—just like their White counterparts—unprepared for the rude shock of the Great Low, and the Harlem Renaissance ended abruptly because of naive assumptions about the centrality of culture, unrelated to economic and social realities.[57]

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Works associated with the Harlem Renaissance

  • Blackbirds of 1928
  • Encyclopedia of the Harlem Renaissance
  • The New Negro: The Life of Alain Locke
  • Shuffle Forth, musical
  • Untitled (The Nascence), painting
  • Voodoo (opera)
  • When Washington Was in Vogue
  • The Negro in Art
  • Taboo (1922 play)
  • At that place’ll Be Some Changes Made

See likewise

  • Blackness Arts Movement, 1960s and 1970s
  • Blackness Renaissance in D.C.
  • Chicago Black Renaissance
  • List of female entertainers of the Harlem Renaissance
  • Listing of notable figures from the Harlem Renaissance
  • New Negro
  • Niggerati
  • William E. Harmon Foundation award
  • Cotton Club, nightclub

Full general:

  • Roaring Twenties
  • African-American fine art
  • African-American culture
  • African-American literature
  • Listing of African-American visual artists

Notes and references


  1. ^

    “NAACP: A Century in the Fight for Freedom” Archived i August 2013 at the Wayback Machine, Library of Congress.

  2. ^

    “Harlem in the Jazz Age”,
    New York Times, 8 February 1987.

  3. ^

    Cotter, The netherlands, “Fine art; A 1920s Flowering That Didn’t Disappear”,
    New York Times, 24 May 1998.

  4. ^

    Danica Kirka, Archived 10 June 2011 at the Wayback Car

  5. ^

    Kirka, Danica (1 January 1995). “Los Angeles Times Interview : Dorothy West : A Voice of Harlem Renaissance Talks of Past–But Values the Now”.
    Los Angeles Times.

  6. ^

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  • Amos, Shawn, compiler.
    Rhapsodies in Black: Words and Music of the Harlem Renaissance. Los Angeles: Rhino Records, 2000. iv Compact Discs.
  • Andrews, William L.; Frances S. Foster; Trudier Harris, eds.
    The Concise Oxford Companion To African American Literature. New York: Oxford Press, 2001. ISBN ane-4028-9296-ix
  • Bean, Annemarie.
    A Sourcebook on African-American Performance: Plays, People, Movements. London: Routledge, 1999; pp. vii + 360.
  • Greaves, William documentary
    From These Roots.
  • Hicklin, Fannie Ella Frazier. ‘The American Negro Playwright, 1920–1964.’ PhD Dissertation, Department of Voice communication, University of Wisconsin, 1965. Ann Arbor: University Microfilms 65–6217.
  • Huggins, Nathan.
    Harlem Renaissance. New York: Oxford University Press, 1973. ISBN 0-19-501665-three
  • Hughes, Langston.
    The Big Body of water.
    New York: Knopf, 1940.
  • Hutchinson, George.
    The Harlem Renaissance in Blackness and White. New York: Belknap Press, 1997. ISBN 0-674-37263-8
  • Lewis, David Levering, ed.
    The Portable Harlem Renaissance Reader. New York: Viking Penguin, 1995. ISBN 0-14-017036-7
  • Lewis, David Levering.
    When Harlem Was in Faddy. New York: Penguin, 1997. ISBN 0-14-026334-nine
  • Ostrom, Hans.
    A Langston Hughes Encyclopedia.
    Westport: Greenwood Printing, 2002.
  • Ostrom, Hans and J. David Macey, eds.
    The Greenwood Encyclopedia of African American Literature. v volumes. Westport: Greenwood Press, 2005.
  • Patton, Venetria Grand. and Maureen Honey, eds.
    Double-Take: A Revisionist Harlem Renaissance Anthology.
    New Jersey: Rutgers University Printing, 2006.
  • Perry, Jeffrey B.
    A Hubert Harrison Reader.
    Middletown, CT: Wesleyan University Press, 2001.
  • Perry, Jeffrey B.
    Hubert Harrison: The Voice of Harlem Radicalism, 1883–1918.
    New York: Columbia Academy Press, 2008.
  • Powell, Richard, and David A. Bailey, eds.
    Rhapsodies in Black: Art of the Harlem Renaissance.
    Berkeley: Academy of California Printing, 1997.
  • Rampersad, Arnold.
    The Life of Langston Hughes. two volumes. New York: Oxford University Press, 1986 and 1988.
  • Robertson, Stephen, et al., “Disorderly Houses: Residences, Privacy, and the Surveillance of Sexuality in 1920s Harlem,”
    Periodical of the History of Sexuality,
    21 (September 2012), 443–66.
  • Soto, Michael, ed.
    Pedagogy The Harlem Renaissance.
    New York: Peter Lang, 2008.
  • Tracy, Steven C.
    Langston Hughes and the Blues.
    Urbana: Academy of Illinois Press, 1988.
  • Watson, Steven.
    The Harlem Renaissance: Hub of African-American Civilisation, 1920–1930. New York: Pantheon Books, 1995. ISBN 0-679-75889-5
  • Williams, Iain Cameron. “Underneath a Harlem Moon … The Harlem to Paris Years of Adelaide Hall”. Continuum Int. Publishing, 2003. ISBN 0826458939
  • Wintz, Cary D.
    Black Culture and the Harlem Renaissance.
    Houston: Rice University Press, 1988.
  • Wintz, Cary D.
    Harlem Speaks: A Living History of the Harlem Renaissance. Naperville, Illinois: Sourcebooks, Inc., 2007

Farther reading

  • Brown, Linda Rae. “William Grant Still, Florence Toll, and William Dawson: Echoes of the Harlem Renaissance.” In Samuel A. Floyd, Jr (ed.),
    Black Music in the Harlem Renaissance, Knoxville: University of Tennessee Printing, 1990, pp. 71–86.
  • Buck, Christopher (2013).
    Harlem Renaissance
    The American Mosaic: The African American Experience. ABC-CLIO. Santa Barbara, California.
  • Johnson, Michael K. (2019)
    Can’t Stand Still: Taylor Gordon and the Harlem Renaissance, Jackson: University Press of Mississippi, ISBN 9781496821966 (online)
  • Male monarch, Shannon (2015).
    Whose Harlem Is This, Anyway? Community Politics and Grassroots Activism during the New Negro Era.
    New York: New York University Press.
  • Lassieur, Alison. (2013), The Harlem Renaissance: An Interactive History Adventure, Capstone Press, ISBN 9781476536095
  • Padva, Gilad (2014). “Black Nostalgia: Poesy, Ethnicity, and Homoeroticism in
    Looking for Langston
    Blood brother to Brother“. In Padva, Gilad,
    Queer Nostalgia in Cinema and Pop Culture, pp. 199–226. Basingstock, United kingdom, and New York: Palgrave Macmillan.

External links

  • “A Guide to Harlem Renaissance Materials”, from the Library of Congress
  • Bryan Carter (ed.). “Virtual Harlem”. University of Illinois at Chicago, Electronic Visualization Laboratory.
  • “The Approaching 100th Anniversary of the Harlem Renaissance”, by Hour historian Aberjhani
  • Underneath A Harlem Moon by Iain Cameron Williams ISBN 0-8264-5893-9
  • I’d Like to Bear witness Y’all Harlem
    – past Rollin Lynde Hartt,
    The Contained, Apr, 1921
  • Collection: “Artists of the Harlem Renaissance” from the University of Michigan Museum of Art

The Harlem Renaissance Helped Bridge Cultural Divides Between Which Groups