Harlem Renaissance

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Background Info


  • Harlem Renaissance provided a very important advancement in African American Art and Literature.
  • Inspiration from Langston Hughes and Alain Locke are witnessed in modern culture and society.
  • During the Harlem Renaissance, writers and artists tried to explore black life in the United States in a fresh way.


MLA: Williams, Andreá N. "Harlem Renaissance." World Book Advanced. World Book, 2016. Web. 16 Mar. 2016.

Background Info Con't

  • Many of the writers rejected earlier representations of black Americans as being narrow and simplified.
  • One of the leading thinkers of the Harlem Renaissance was Alain Locke, a professor and philosopher, who edited an important anthology called The New Negro: An Interpretation (1925).


MLA: Williams, Andreá N. "Harlem Renaissance." World Book Advanced. World Book, 2016. Web. 16 Mar. 2016.

Literature

  • As Harlem blossomed into a cultural destination for African Americans in the early 1900's, black writers began to thrive in the new, intellectually-charged atmosphere.
  • By the 1920s, many works were receiving critical praise in mainstream literary circles and popular acclaim among both black and white audiences.
  • The politics and ideals born from this era would not only serve as inspiration to African American artists for years to come, but would also help to lay the foundation of the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960's.

Harlem Renaissance Literature Writers

  • The major African American writers during the Harlem Renaissance included Arna Bontemps, Countee Cullen, Langston Hughes, Zora Neale Hurston, James Weldon Johnson, Claude McKay, and Jean Toomer.
  • These writers created works that drew on African American folk culture and addressed such themes as politics, gender, and heritage.


MLA: Williams, Andreá N. "Harlem Renaissance." World Book Advanced. World Book, 2016. Web. 16 Mar. 2016.

Literacy Roots


  • Black-owned magazines and newspapers flourished, freeing African Americans from the constricting influences of mainstream white society.
  • Charles S. Johnson's Opportunity magazine became the leading voice of black culture, and W.E.B. DuBois's journal, The Crisis, with Jessie Redmon Fauset as its literary editor, launched the literary careers of such writers as Arna Bontemps, Langston Hughes, and Countee Cullen.
Langston Hughes & the Harlem Renaissance: Crash Course Literature 215

Fun Facts


  • The Harlem Renaissance centered around the Harlem district in New York City.
  • The Harlem Renaissance was a flowering of African American culture embracing literary, musical, theatrical, and visual arts.
  • The Harlem Renaissance was the first time period that publishers and critics "took African American literature seriously and that African American literature and arts attracted significant attention from the nation at large.