Women of the Harlem Renaissance

The New Negro Woman

The Harlem Renaissance began around 1918 to 1920 and was an era of AfrThe period was sparked by literary discussions in lower Manhattan (Greenwich Village) and Upper Manhattan (Harlem and New York City). The movement was known as the “New Negro Movement” coined by Alain Leroy Locke in 1925. The “New Negro” was a term related to African Americans during the Great Migration who had moved from the south to northern cities in the United States in search of better education, employment, and suffrage.ican American art.
The Harlem Renaissance also sparked the notion of the “New Negro Woman”, relating to women poets, authors and intellectuals, known for their race conscious writing. Women in the Harlem Renaissance played a vital role as the voice for the struggling minority of African American women.

I have been in Sorrow's kitchen and licked out all the pots. Then I have stood on the peaky mountain wrapped in rainbows, with a harp and sword in my hands.

Zora Neale Hurston

Zora Neale Hurston

Zora Neale Hurston, born in Eatonville, Florida, was a writer, anthropologist, and folklorist who received her training at Morgan Academy in Baltimore, Howard University in Washington, and Barnard College and Columbia University in New York. Included among Hurstons many writings are three novels, Jonah's Gourd Vine (1934), Their Eyes Were Watching God (1937), and Moses, Man of the Mountain (1939), and an autobiography, Dust Tracks on a Road (1942). Some of the materials Hurston collected as a folklorist are included in the Library's motion picture, photographic, manuscript, and sound recording archives.

Augusta Savage

Determined from childhood to become a sculptor, Augusta Savage moved to New York City in the early 1920s to study at Cooper Union's School of Art. There her talent as an artist blossomed and was quickly recognized, landing Savage a commission to fashion a portrait bust of scholar W. E. B. Du Bois. She would sculpt likenesses of many other African-American leaders, among them black nationalist and entrepreneur Marcus Garvey.

Marion Anderson

Like many African American artists, Marian Anderson, born in Philadelphia in 1902, achieved fame in Europe before doors of opportunity were opened in the U.S. In 1939 when the Daughters of the American Revolution refused to allow Anderson to perform at Constitution Hall in Washington, D. C., first lady Eleanor Roosevelt resigned her D.A.R. membership, and Secretary of the Interior Harold Ickes offered Anderson the use of the Lincoln Memorial on Easter Sunday. She accepted and more than 75,000 people attended the event. Later in the year, when the NAACP awarded their Spingarn Medal to Anderson, Mrs. Roosevelt made the presentation. Anderson's concert and other assaults against unjust treatment of African American performers ultimately led to the lowering of barriers in the arts.
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Marian Anderson Sings at Lincoln Memorial

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