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The Harlem Renaissance

The Harlem Renaissance. When black identity was reborn in Harlem, N.Y., and found expression in music, literature, art, theater and politics between 1900s-1930s. The Birth of “The New Negro”.

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The Harlem Renaissance

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  1. The Harlem Renaissance When black identity was reborn in Harlem, N.Y., and found expression in music, literature, art, theater and politics between 1900s-1930s.

  2. The Birth of “The New Negro” Between 1910 and 1920, there was a huge migration of blacks from the south to some of the great cities in the north, including Washington D.C., New York city and Chicago.

  3. New York’s Harlem was known as the place to be! Jazz music found a home; black music that resonated in the hearts of whites as well. Clubs sprang up - the famous Cotton Club and the Lenox Lounge, among others.

  4. Harlem: A New Mecca Harlem became the capital of black America. It came to be known as the new “Mecca” for African-Americans. The seeds of a new Black Identity were sown with the growth of music, art, theater and literature in Harlem.

  5. Harlem became the magnet for writers, musicians, artists, political activists, and ordinary people who just wanted to have a good time. Music: “Take The ‘A’ Train -Duke Ellington Two important Civil Rights groups started in Harlem: the NAACP (National Association for the Advancement of Colored People) and the National Urban League, founded in 1911 to help new arrivals from the rural south. Harlem: The magnet that attractedcreative minds.

  6. Leaders of that era: MarcusGarvey • Marcus Garvey was born in Jamaica. • He founded the newspaper The Negro World. • In 1917, he founded UNIA (Universal Negro Improvement Association) in Harlem. • Garvey’s famous cry was "Africa for the Africans.”

  7. Leaders of that Era(continued):W.E.B. Dubois • William Edward Burghardt DuBois, born in Massachusetts, was one of the founders of the NAACP in 1909. He was also the editor of its magazine “Crisis.” • A writer and civil rights activist, Dubois was the intellectual soul of the Harlem Renaissance. He has been termed the “Renaissance man of African-American letters.”

  8. Langston Hughes, was born in Joplin, Missouri in 1902, but he made his home in Harlem, N.Y. Langston Hughes wrote novels, short stories and plays, as well as poetry, and worked with jazz artists in shaping his own poetry. Langston Hughes:The Poet Laureate of the Harlem Renaissance

  9. I've known rivers: I've known rivers ancient as the world and older than the flow of human blood in human veins. My soul has grown deep like the rivers. I bathed in the Euphrates when dawns were young. I built my hut near the Congo and it lulled me to sleep. I looked upon the Nile and raised the pyramids above. I heard the singing of the Mississippi when Abe Lincoln went down to New Orleans, and I've seen its muddy bosom turn all golden in the sunset. I've known rivers: Ancient, dusky rivers. My soul has grown deep like the rivers. The Negro Speaks of Rivers ~Langston Hughes

  10. Other famous writers of the Harlem Renaissance: • Claude McKay • Countee Cullen • Gwendolyn Brooks • Gwendolyn Bennett • James Weldon Johnson • James Baldwin • Zora Neale Hurston Zora Neale Hurston – one of Harlem’s most flamboyant and brilliant writers.Alice Walker called her “A genius of the South.”

  11. When color ruled: The art of the Harlem Renaissance • “Lois Mailou Jones– in 1925 and in 1989

  12. Other Artists of the Harlem Renaissance Aaron Douglas (1898-1979)Window Cleaning1935, oil on canvas30 by 24 in.Sheldon Memorial Art Gallery and Sculpture Garden, University of Nebraska-Lincoln,Nebraska Art Association Collection1936.N-40

  13. Other famous artists of that time: Jacob Lawrence . . . • Painting on Left: Pool Parlor, 1942Jacob Lawrence (American, 1917–2000)Watercolor and gouache on paper; H. 31 1/8, W. 22 7/8 in. (79.1 x 58.1 cm)Arthur Hoppock Hearn Fund, 1942 (42.167) • Other famous painters were: William Henry Johnson and Hayden Palmer.

  14. Music of the Harlem Renaissance: Jazz, Blues, Swing Eleanora Fagan Holiday – “Billie” - was one of the greatest jazz vocalists of all time. “Strange Fruit,” an eerie and evocative song about the lynching of a black man is one of her most famous songs. “Before anybody could compare me with other singers, they were comparing other singers to me.” – Billie Holiday

  15. Edward Kennedy Ellington (“Duke Ellington”) • Duke Ellington was the foremost among the great big band composers and musicians of the Harlem Renaissance period and beyond. • He was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom. • He also received honorary doctorates from Howard and Yale Universities. “My favorite tune? The next one. The one I’m writing tonight or tomorrow, The new baby is always the favorite.” Duke Ellington

  16. Other musicians from that time period: Fletcher Henderson Coleman Hawkins Count Basie Count Basie, big band composer, arranger and bandleader. Fletcher Henderson, big band composer, arranger and bandleader. Coleman Hawkins, who played tenor saxophone in Fletcher Henderson’s Orchestra.

  17. Other musicians from that time period: Bessie Smith, originally a street musician in Chattanooga, Tennessee, recorded and performed with the Fletcher Henderson Orchestra. Louis Armstrong, originally from New Orleans, played in NYC with Fletcher Henderson for thirteen months and shot into national fame in the 1920s. Louis Armstrong Bessie Smith Lost Your Head Blues Sung by Bessie Smith, “Empress of the Blues.”

  18. Theater during the Harlem Renaissance: Between 1912 and 1927, black theatres began featuring several different kinds of acts: Vaudeville, minstrel shows, singers, dancers, jugglers, clowns, comedians, dancers, etc. Some of the more renowned performers were: S. H. Dudley, Andrew Tribble, Jeannie Pearl, Laurence Chenault, and Ethel Waters.

  19. Movements sometimes arise organically … • … and the Harlem Renaissance was one such movement. • It was a happy coincidence, a concatenation of circumstances, that brought together writers, musicians, artists, theater people and political activists. • There’s a lot more, folks, but that’s for you to discover!

  20. Bibliography • Pleasants, Henry. The Great American Popular Singers. London: Gollancz, 1974. • Ellington, Edward Kennedy. Music is My Mistress. New York: Doubleday, 1973. • Lyons, Mary E. Sorrow’s Kitchen:The Life and Folklore of Zora Neale Hurston. New York: Simon & Schuster, 1990. • The Norton Anthology of African American Literature. Ed. Henry L. Gates, Jr., and Nellie Y. McKay. New York: Norton, 1997.

  21. The Harlem Renaissance of the 1920’s was a period when African Americans 1. left the United States in large numbers to settle in Nigeria 2. created noteworthy works of art and literature 3. migrated to the West in search of land and jobs 4. used civil disobedience to fight segregation in the Armed Forces

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