The Harlem Renaissance
The Push and Pull
For the many sharecroppers in the south, a large drought in the earlier 1890s hurt hard. This began the push for African Americans to find a better life. The South didn't have opportunities for the large population of African Americans. The North's industrial economy which was booming began to pull in African Americans. Before long, many African Americans were migrating North to take jobs in factories.
Northerners were not happy that African Americans came in and took the jobs. The African Americans were willing to work for less, so the whites were out and the blacks were in. Whites began to complain, and eventually got their positions back. African Americans were pushed into urban slums, one of the largest being in Harlem.
Jazz and blues music was the next big thing for the African Americans living in the slums. They would write versus about how to stay optimistic and capture the spirits. Thousands of people living in the slums with nothing to do would show up to the same performances night after night. New book writers also wrote books with similar themes. New actors became involved in plays that both African Americans and whites would go to. Eventually the music, books, and plays became a big thing around the country.
"46e. The Harlem Renaissance." The Harlem Renaissance [ushistory.org]. N.p., n.d. Web. 15 May 2013.