The Harlem Renaissance An African American Cultural Movement
Do Now: Put this on your own sheet of paper! • What is your passion in life? What obstacles may stand in your way
What was the Harlem Renaissance? -The Harlem Renaissance was a literary and intellectual movement that created a new black cultural identity in the 1920s and 1930s. -With racism still rampant and economic opportunities scarce, creative expression was one of the few avenues available to African Americans. The black community in Harlem became famous world wide for their work in literature, arts, politics and music!
What does Renaissance mean? • Renaissance means rebirth or rediscovery!
Back Ground • Took place in Harlem, New York during the 1920’s and late 1930’s • Was also known as the “New Negro Movement” and the “New Negro Renaissance” • Although primarily a literary movement, it was closely related to developments in A.A music, theater, art, and politics.
During the Great Migration, thousands of blacks moved from the oppressive, depressed south to northern cities The NAACP was founded to advance the rights of blacks in the U.S With education, blacks began to develop a social conscious and political interests Several factors laid groundwork for the Harlem Renaissance movement…
“The New Negro” • A concept that developed during the H.R that emphasized the following: • Black pride • Self sufficiency • Knowledge of African American history • Education • Cultural and social advancement
“The New Negro” Continued… • The concept found shape in an anthology by Alain Locke, a professor at Howard University • Featured both fiction and non fiction pieces by prominent black writers and intellectuals • Gained national attention and made America interested in Harlem, New York
Why was the concept of the New Negro so important during the Harlem Renaissance??? • By embracing these ideas African Americans sought to eradicate stereotypes about themselves • By living up to the standards of the New Negro, blacks became productive members of society. They were finally able to show the world how talented, intellectual, and creative African Americans could be
“The problem of the 20th century is the problem of the color line…”-W.E.B Dubois, The Souls of Black Folk • Born William Edward Burghardt Dubois to black, French, and Dutch ancestors • Grew up privileged but studied race relations and taught in poor black communities • Was the first AA to receive a PHD from Harvard
The Double Consciousness • Term coined by W.E.B Dubois • Blacks were caught between two identities: black and American. They wanted to feel apart of America, but because of discrimination they felt alienated and always aware of “blackness” or race.
“The Negro Feels his two-ness-an American, a Negro, two souls…” • Many black writers tackled the topic in their writing: • Langston Hughes, “Theme for English B” and “I, Too” • Claude McKay, “America” • Ralph Ellison, “Invisible Man” • James Weldon Johnson, “The Autobiography of an Ex-Colored Man”
The End of the Harlem Renaissance • A number of influences contributed to the decline of the HR: • The Great Depression impacted economics in the United States at the time. • Organizations such as the NAACP/ Urban League shifted their interests to economic issues instead of cultural development. • Many influential black writers left Harlem after riots caused by economic hardships.
Exit Ticket- Questions • What types of conflicts did African Americans deal with during the Harlem Renaissance? • How did they overcome some of these obstacles? Is it important to challenge stereotypes? Why or why not? • Do African Americans today live up to their full potential? Explain.