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Harlem Renaissance. By: Katie Mulloy 8 th hour. The Banjo Lesson By: Henry Ossawa Tanner. Thesis:. The Harlem Renaissance was not only about the music, poetry, fashion, and art, but about a lifestyle change for African Americans. MUSIC. JAZZ.

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harlem renaissance

Harlem Renaissance

By: Katie Mulloy

8th hour

The Banjo Lesson By: Henry Ossawa Tanner

  • The Harlem Renaissance was not only about the music, poetry, fashion, and art, but about a lifestyle change for African Americans.


  • Jazz was more than music it was a way of life.
  • The “Harlem Stride Style” of piano helped bridge the gulf between the “the low life” culture as jazz musicians were perceived, and the black social elite.
  • The piano(for many was a symbol of affluence)
  • The brass band (a symbol of the south)
  • Jazz became popular entertainment and big business.
  • Duke Ellington, Jelly Roll Morton, and Willie “the Lion” Smith were the “gladiators” of jazz in the starting years.
  • Billie Holiday, Louis Armstrong, Josephine Baker
the wise musicians are those who play what they can master duke ellington
“The wise musicians are those who play what they can master. “Duke Ellington

“Music, is in everyone's soul somewhere, you may have to dig a little deeper.”


No two people on earth are alike, and it's got to be that way in music or it isn't music.

Billie Holiday

  • Art was a great way to express the way they felt during the years that they did not have the advantages they have now.
  • Harlem Renaissance Artist-James Van Der Zee, Sargent Claude Johnson, Laura Wheeler, Palmer Hayden, Archibad J. Motley, Augusta Savage, Malvin Gray Johnson, Aaron Duglas Hale Woodruff, Richmond Barthé, James Lescesne.
how the harlem renaissance moved their lives
How The Harlem Renaissance Moved Their Lives

WARING by: Laura Wheeler

REBIRTH by: Aaron Douglass


By: Palmer Hayden

  • Poetry- the influence of African-Americans in politics, literature, music, culture and society grew and became a part of the their lives.
  • Claude McKay-Harlem Shadows, Langston Hughes, Jessie Fauset, CounteeCullen,James Weldon Johnson, Arna Bontemps

Writers: Paul Lawrence Dunbar, Carl Van Vechten, Wallace Thurman, and Zora Neale Hurston

famous poems


MY spirit wails for water, water now!

My tongue is aching dry, my throat is hot

For water, fresh rain shaken from a bough,

Or dawn dews heavy in some leafy spot.

My hungry body's burning for a swim

In sunlit water where the air is cool,

As in Trout Valley where upon a limb

The golden finch sings sweetly to the pool.

Oh water, water, when the night is done,

When day steals gray-white through the windowpane,

Clear silver water when I wake, alone,

All impotent of parts, of fevered brain;

Pure water from a forest fountain first,

To wash me, cleanse me, and to quench my thirst!

Claude McKay

Famous poems

I, too, sing America.I am the darker brother.They send me to eat in the kitchenWhen company comes,But I laugh,And eat well,And grow strong.Tomorrow,I'll be at the tableWhen company comes.Nobody'll dareSay to me,"Eat in the kitchen,"Then.Besides,They'll see how beautiful I amAnd be ashamed--I, too, am America. Langston Hughes

  • Gangster style
  • Flapper’s- bold colors, elegant line, bias-cuts of Madeleine Vionnet’s designs, simple cloche hats
  • Classic suits- sharp unique contrast colors. The suits were pin striped with a slimming look.
  • Fashion Designer
  • Marita Bonner
  • Josephine bake
  • Gwendolyn Bennett
  • Regina Anderson
night clubs
Night clubs
  • Place to hang out have a good time and dance.
  • Dancing was a great way to express the way you felt and your personality.
  • It was a way for African Americans to keep their part of the culture alive.
  • Cotton Club was the most popular club around
the harlem renaissance

The Harlem Renaissance

Conclusion: The Harlem Renaissance was a way to express your self through whatever you did, it could be dancing, painting, music, or poetry. Your life, your way, your moves. It’s your lifestyle.

primary sources
Primary Sources

A new phase of Ellington's career began late in 1927 when his orchestra landed a job at the Cotton Club, one of New York's premier nightspots, located in Harlem at 142nd Street and Lenox Avenue. Operated by the gangster Owney Madden, patronized by wealthy whites, and staffed by blacks, the Cotton Club put on high-powered music revues featuring sultry chorus girls, sensual choreography, exotic production numbers, and plenty of hot jazz. Ellington's orchestra had played for revues at the Kentucky Club in Times Square, but there the scale had been smaller and the stakes lower. At the Cotton Club, some of New York's top black performers joined forces with such talented white songwriters as Jimmy McHugh, Dorothy Fields, Harold Arien, and Ted Koehler. While celebrities and socialites flocked there to soak up African-American entertainment and Prohibition liquor, listeners around the nation could tune into the sounds of Duke Ellington's orchestra via broadcasts on NBC. As composer and bandleader, Ellington flourished in this environment.

The Ellington orchestra remained at the Cotton Club, with periodic interruptions, until early February 1931. During this time it expanded to twelve pieces, three reeds, three trumpets, two trombones, and four in the rhythm section (piano, banjo or guitar, bass, drums). Trumpeter Arthur Whetsol, who had left the Washingtonians in 1923, returned in 1928, joining other newcomers who would figure prominently in the coming years: reed-players Johnny Hodges and Barney Bigard, trumpeter Freddie Jenkins, and in 1929, trumpeter Cootie Williams and valve trombonist Juan Tizol. Challenged by his job and stimulated by the vivid musical personalities in his band, Ellington began to compose and record prolifically, turning out over 180 sides between December 1927 and February 1931 (compared with the 31 his band had make in nearly four years at the Kentucky Club). Although principally under contract to Victor, the Ellington orchestra regularly recorded for other labels under various pseudonyms, among them The Jungle Band, The Whoopee Makers, and Mills Ten Blackberries.

Ellington's intense creative activity, together with the exposure afforded by the Cotton Club, brought him important notices in a variety of national publications. And the achievements of this period inspired the young Boston critic R.D. Darrell to write "Black Beauty" (1932), the first serious essay on Ellington's music to be published.

  • A Black Man Talks of Reaping
  • I have sown beside all waters in my day.I planted deep, within my heart the fearthat wind or fowl would take the grain away.I planted safe against this stark, lean year. I scattered seed enough to plant the landin rows from Canada to Mexicobut for my reaping only what the handcan hold at once is all that I can show.Yet what I sowed and what the orchard yieldsmy brother's sons are gathering stalk and root;small wonder then my children glean in fieldsthey have not sown, and feed on bitter fruit.
  • By: Arna Bontemps

Passage for this book.

  • Dream Deferred
  • What happens to a dream deferred?Does it dry upLike a raisin in the sun?Or fester like a sore--And then run?Does it stink like rotten meat?Or crust and sugar over--like a syrupy sweet?Maybe it just sagslike a heavy load.Or does it explode?
  • By: Langston Hughes