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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