The Harlem Renaissance


W.E.B. DuBois (1868-1963)

  • Was mainly the "Father" of the Harlem Renaissance
  • Through him, African Americans started to get inspired to do things they never knew they could do like artist who began to write poetry and short stories and musicians who wrote songs about their lives and what they go through.
  • He made them embrace their skills and talents and he popularized the idea of the "talented tenth."
  • He was the founder of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored people (NAACP) in 1909. Its the nations' oldest and largest civil rights organization. They fight for social justice for all Americans.
  • The lives of African Americans have gotten better, some became poets, artists, musicians, singers, etc... Their lives were improving.

Marcus Garvey (1887-1940)

  • The organization he founded was the Universal Negro Improvement Association (UNIA) in 1914.
  • His goals were modern and urban. He sought to end imperialist rule and create modern societies in Africa .
  • Marcus Garvey and W.E.B DuBois were competing in trying to make the African American future higher and more developed in their own way.
  • In 1922 US government arrested him for mail fraud for his attempt to sell more stocks in the failing Black Star line. At his trial the evidence showed more about him being a bad business man but facts were less clear about outright fraud. Jury convicted him anyway and he was sentenced to prison.
  • After president Coolidge was elected, Coolidge commuted his sentence and Garvey was deported to Jamaica.


  • Aaron Douglas (1889-!979)
  • He painted "Into Bondage" in 1936
  • He mainly focused on the struggles of African Americans and their experiences.
  • His art was important because it showed the cultural values and captured the strength and quickness of the young, translated memory of the old, and projected the determination of the inspired and courageous.


  • James Weldon Johnson - (1871-1938)
  • He wrote the "Autobiography of an Ex-Coloured Man" in 1912
  • The book was about a biracial young man who is forced to choose whether to accept his black heritage or not.
  • His writing was important because it opened the mind of people, especially young black people, showing how they should be proud of themselves, be happy for who they are.


  • Louis Armstrong (1901-1971)
  • A song he wrote was called "A Fine Romance"
  • The song is about love, a romance with no kiss.
  • The song is important because he put a whole new meaning to jazz. He put his soul and dedicated his life to his music.
The Harlem Renaissance was in the 1920s and it was located in Harlem, New York. In this era African Americans were able to find themselves, to embrace their talents and skills, to be successful in life. It was the time were new talents were born, new music, such as jazz, and a new life. In this era we see how there was many famous African Americans like W.E.B. DuBois whom was the founder of the NAACP. The NAACP is the nations' oldest and largest civil rights organization. They fight for social justice for all Americans, which the organization still exists today. There's also this Marcus Garvey guy who founded another organization called UNIA and they protect the rights of their noble race and respects the rights of all mankind, believing in brotherhood of men and fatherhood of God. Unlike our time, the music back in this time actually had meaning and it came from personal experience and feelings that actually touched people in ways others can't. Nowadays the music is trashy all it talks about is drugs, sex, and being bad. There isn't any type of meaning like back then time was amazing, seeing the rise of something new, i sure wish i was apart of that and being able to see it. I love how the Art was made, it had a lot of detail with a little bit of colors and its so inspiring to see how the painting/drawing means a certain thing to you than to others. The artist, just like the musicians and singers, painted his paintings from the heart, from his personal experiences and the struggle of African Americans.