Harlem Renaissance By: Jesse Yoder and Corey Houck
What was the Harlem Renaissance • The Harlem Renaissance was a movement of African-American population in New York City (mainly the Harlem area), in which there was an awakening and revival of African-American arts. • “It was one of the most colorful and culturally productive eras in African-American history.”
When did the Harlem Renaissance occur? • The Harlem Renaissance took place generally in the decades of the 1920’s and 1930’s. • It emerged out of World War I, and ended as the Great Depression began. • It was a time when the arts and literature flourished.
Attitude towards the Harlem Renaissance - Pauline Elizabeth Hopkins observed that art was "of great value to any people as a preserver of manners and customs—religious, political, and social. It is a record of growth and development from generation to generation. No one will do this for us; we must ourselves develop the men and women who will faithfully portray the inmost thoughts and feelings of the Negro with all the fire and romance which lie dormant in our history. . . ."
The Harlem Renaissance in the Eyes of Pauline Hopkins • This quote seems to imply that the African-American were tired of being oppressed and they weren’t going to be in silence anymore, they wanted the world to know what they went through and how it had impacted their lives • Also, it seems like no one was going to stick up for the African-Americans, so they took it in their own hands, and decided to change the image of the African-American
Who were influential to the Harlem Renaissance? • Sutton Griggs was a writer who’s most famous work was Pointing the Way, written in 1908. • W.E.B Dubois was a writer who’s most famous works include The Quest of the Silver Fleece, written in 1911, and Darkwater, written in 1918.
Who were influential to the Harlem Renaissance? Continued • Another writer was James Weldon Johnson, who wrote The Autobiography of an Ex-Colored Man, which was written in 1912. • Claude McKay wrote Harlem Shadows, in 1922. • Jean Toomer wrote Cane in 1923.
Origins • “The Harlem Renaissance began as a series of literary discussions in the Greenwich Village and Harlem sections of New York City” • This seems to indicate that the Harlem Renaissance was not by accident and that the collaboration of the African-Americans was inevitable
Origins in the Words of Ossie Davis • “The Harlem Renaissance" is one of those fancy terms that white folks use when they want to look at a certain aspect of black folks. I don't think any of us went around say, "Well, we gonna have us a renaissance," or anything like that. It was just a holiday of the spirit”
Thoughts on the Quote by Ossie Davis • This seems to agree, but also disagree with the thoughts of the origins of the Harlem Renaissance by other people • It agrees in the aspect that the Renaissance was not preplanned, and somewhat spontaneous • But others disagree in the sense that it doesn’t seem to be a “holiday of the spirit”, it was more of a feeling felt by the African-American population and had been felt for a long time, not just for a couple of months or years
More than just the Outside • Howard University Professor Alain Locke stated that “Negro life is not only founding new centers, but finding a new soul.” • When the African-Americans where enslaved, they always had a religious connection and a culture, which they were able to preserve and eventually it blossomed in the Harlem Renaissance.
Harlem’s Got Pride • Cary Wintz said that “The Harlem Renaissance brought about a strong sense of racial pride and desire for social and political equality.” • The Harlem Renaissance was one of the catalyst’s for Civil Rights and it gave the African-American’s the pride that they have for their ancestry and heritage.
Langston Hughes • Langston Hughes was the leading poet of the Harlem Renaissance Movement • Langston Hughes had several excellent poems including “The Negro Speaks of Rivers”, “The Weary Blues” and “Negro Dancer”.
Zora Neale Hurston • Zora Neale Hurston was the leading female author of the Harlem Renaissance. • Her most famous works include Their Eyes Were Watching God and Mules and Men. • She was dubbed the “Queen of the Renaissance.”
W.E.B. Du Bois • W.E.B Du Bois was the founder of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) in 1909. • The NAACP was geared towards advancing the rights of the black people. • This instituted the racial pride among blacks and ultimately jump started the Harlem Renaissance.
Claude McKay • Claude McKay was a young poet and author who was influential to the Harlem Renaissance. • His works include If We Must Die, Home to Harlem, and Banjo. • Known as Jamaica’s Poet Laureate, all of his other works failed once the Harlem Renaissance was over.
Marcus Garvey • Marcus Garvey was a Jamaican-born, black separatist. • He sparked pride and brought new interest to African Roots with his “Back to Africa” movement. • His movements set the structure for the Harlem Renaissance to occur.
Global Effects • One effect that the Harlem Renaissance had globally was that it paved the way for the Civil Rights Movement. • It also changed the idea of blacks being quiet and obedient, to the idea that they had a voice, and a very strong voice, and they expressed this through art and literature
The Effect of the Authors • With a wide array of authors and types of literature, the authors were able to convey the message that they would be silent no longer • The authors were representing the black population in their works, and it sparked other blacks to join the cause too
Summary in the words of Nathan Huggins • “The experience of Harlem in the 1920s was not for naught. It left its mark as a symbol and a point of reference for everyone to recall… The very name continued to connote a special spirit, new vitality, black urbanity, and black militancy. Through the activities of the writings, the promotion of Negroes in the 1920s, Harlem had become a radical focal point for knowledgeable black men the world over.”
Observations of the Harlem Renaissance • Even though the Harlem Renaissance is overlooked, it was a very important step for the African-American • It had huge implications such as the Civil Rights Movement, and black writers being exposed to a world that had always thought of them as unequal • The Harlem Renaissance also sent out a wake up call to the rest of the world that blacks were highly educated and intellectual people, which before was unheard of
Works Cited • http://www.fofweb.com/NuHistory/default.asp?ItemID=WE01&NewItemID=True • http://www.jcu.edu/harlem/Literature/Page_1.htm • http://www.journalofantiques.com/Mar03/featuremar03.htm http://www.vintageperiods.com/harlem.php • http://www.42explore2.com/harlem.htm • http://www.infoplease.com/spot/bhmharlem1.html