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Harlem Renaissance. Goals: To understand the importance of the Harlem Renaissance to 1920s culture To understand how the Harlem Renaissance established a basis for the Civil Rights Movement. Migrants Face Changes and Challenges.

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Harlem renaissance

Harlem Renaissance


To understand the importance of the Harlem Renaissance to 1920s culture

To understand how the Harlem Renaissance established a basis for the Civil Rights Movement

Migrants face changes and challenges
Migrants Face Changes and Challenges

  • African Americans in the North often found better work and conditions than in the South

  • Many worked as white-collar professionals and served as role models

  • Racism still followed, forcing many into low paying jobs and cheap housing

  • NYC’s Harlem became the focal point of change for African Americans

Marcus garvey and the unia
Marcus Garvey and the UNIA

  • Marcus Garvey immigrated to Harlem from Jamaica in 1916

  • He felt blacks EVERYWHERE were exploited

  • Promoted universal black nationalism and a “Back to Africa” movement

  • Garvey advocated a separation of the races

  • His United Negro Improvement Association boasted nearly 2.5 million members

The unia

  • The UNIA proved to be a powerful organization in instilling black pride

  • The UNIA attempted to organize fully black industries

  • The Black Star line was an attempt to create an all black shipping fleet

  • Many of the UNIA’s ventures failed because of inept leaders and greed

  • Garvey was sent to federal prison for mail fraud (used the Postal Service to have money sent for members dues)

The unia s lasting legacy
The UNIA’s Lasting Legacy

  • Garvey’s ideas of black nationalism and separatism remained

  • Nation of Islam and the Black Power movement have their roots in Garvey’s ideas

  • Black pride, African American self-reliance, and cultural ties to Africa

  • “In a world where black is despised, he [Garvey] taught to admire and praise black things and black people.” -Amsterdam News

A unique american music emerges
A Unique American Music Emerges

  • Some argue that Jazz began in New Orleans, some in Chicago

  • Louis Armstrong became the unofficial ambassador of jazz, playing in N.O., Chicago, and NYC

  • Bessie Smith was known as the “Empress of the Blues” for her vocals

  • “Scat” became popular during the 1920s

Jazz wins worldwide popularity
Jazz Wins Worldwide Popularity

  • Jazz was a symbol of the Roaring 20s

  • St. Louis became a Jazz center as it was played in clubs and speakeasies alike

  • Albums and radio spread the influence of jazz

  • “America will be remembered for three contributions: the Constitution, baseball, and jazz.”

  • Jazz represented a blend of cultures and heritage

Duke ellington
Duke Ellington

  • Arguably the greatest of the jazz composers

  • He gained fame in Harlem nightclubs

  • Arranged music to showcase his band’s talents

  • Wrote about 2,000 pieces of music ranging from songs, ballets, and movie music

  • Awarded the highest civilian honors from both the U.S. and France (which loved jazz)

African american literature flowers
African American Literature Flowers

  • A movement of African American writers, poets, and artists to establish a new culture

  • African Americans would no longer associate with the past (exploitation and discrimination)

  • Claude McKay wrote about the struggles for blacks as they search for dignity and advancement

  • McKay wrote of anger and militancy after race riots in Chicago

If we must die by claude mckay
“If We Must Die” by Claude McKay

  • If we must die – let it not be like hogs,

  • Hunted and penned in an inglorious spot.

  • While round us bark the mad and hungry dogs

  • Marking their mark at our accursed lot…

  • What though before us lies the open grave?

  • Like men we will face the murderous, cowardly pack

  • Pressed to the wall, dying but fight back!

Langston hughes
Langston Hughes

  • Most powerful literary voice of his time

  • He celebrated African American life and culture

  • Wrote over 50 works of fiction, poetry, journalism and criticism

  • “Literature is a big sea full of many fish. I let down my nets and pulled. I’m still pulling.”

Harlem renaissance and its impact
Harlem Renaissance and its Impact

  • The movement altered the way many white Americans viewed African American culture

  • Changed the self-perception of many African Americans

  • The Harlem Renaissance ended with the financial collapse at the end of the 1920s

  • The African American solidarity created here would later be the bedrock of the Civil Rights Movement