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It’s Showtime: The Harlem Renaissance 1915-1945. Jan Smith Travelers Rest High School December 10 2002. What is a Renaissance?. Blossoming of culture Usually an emulation of previous artistic movements; thus, a rebirth of those movements

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It s showtime the harlem renaissance 1915 1945 l.jpg

It’s Showtime: The Harlem Renaissance1915-1945

Jan Smith

Travelers Rest High School

December 10 2002


What is a renaissance l.jpg
What is a Renaissance?

  • Blossoming of culture

  • Usually an emulation of previous artistic movements; thus, a rebirth of those movements

  • Affects areas of arts, sports, science, literature, politics


Characteristics of the harlem renaissance l.jpg
Characteristics of the Harlem Renaissance

  • Celebration of African American culture

    in novels, poetry, paintings, sculpture, and music

  • Harlem: due to the “Great Migration” and many publishing opportunities, center of black creative work

  • Renaissance: more of a birth than a rebirth, since previous efforts were primarily solitary


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Influences of the Harlem Renaissance

  • Death of Booker T. Washington in 1915

    promoted survival

    through

    compromise

    little change in race

    relations and the

    economic status of

    black people


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More Influences of the Harlem Renaissance

  • The Great Migration of 1915-1920: influx of black population into Harlem from the south and West Indies

  • Increasing confidence due to involvement of the NAACP, National Urban League, and the Association for the Study of Negro Life and History


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Themes of the Harlem Renaissance

  • 1915-1930: “racial affirmation”

  • 1930-1945: “radical racial protest”


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Important Literary Figures

  • Federal Writer’s Project:

    ~Margaret Walker

    ~Ralph Ellison

    ~Zora Neale Hurston

  • James Weldon Johnson

  • Countee Cullen

  • Langston Hughes


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Zora Neale Hurston

  • Author of Their Eyes Were Watching God

  • Writer employed by the Federal Writer’s project

  • Researched folklore of the Floridas for the WPA

  • Writing is mostly “apolitical” and focuses on women’s concerns


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The Apollo Theater: One Showcase of African American Talent

  • Located in Harlem

  • Showcase of talent

  • Legend of the tree stump


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The Lafayette Theater

  • Home to Orson Wells production of the “Voodoo Macbeth”

  • Part of Federal Theaters Project

  • Set in Caribbean and featured Haitian Witch doctors instead of witches

  • African American Actors and Actresses


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Bill “Bojangles” Robinson

  • Tap dancer

  • Vaudeville

  • Movies

    Shirley Temple

    Stormy Weather

    Hot Mikado


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Jazz Music

  • Out of the Harlem Renaissance grew the popularity of jazz music

  • Harlem Rent parties:

    used to raise rent money

    ~featured jazz artists as entertainment

  • Jazz greats such as Duke Ellington, got their start in these rent parties


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Despite all of the advancements…

  • Racism was a continuing problem

    ~Theme continued throughout literature and music

  • Patronizing of black artists


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But it was only the Beginning…

  • allowed greater exposure of black culture and artistic ability

  • Further increased artistic and political confidence


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Sources

  • All photographs are from the American Memory Collection of the Library of Congress

    memory.loc.gov

  • “Renaissance and Radicalisim:1915-1945.” Black Writers of America. Richard Barksdale and Kenneth Kinnamon, eds. New Jersey: Prentice Hall, 1972. 467-479.