The Harlem Renaissance 1919-1929
In the early 1920s, African American artists, writers, musicians, and performers were part of a great cultural movement known as the Harlem Renaissance. • The huge migration to the North after World War I brought African Americans of all ages and walks of life to the thriving New York City neighborhood called Harlem. • Doctors, singers, students, musicians, shopkeepers, painters, and writers, congregated, forming a vibrant mecca of cultural affirmation and inspiration.
W.E.B. Du Bois was a famous writer of the Harlem Renaissance Duke Ellington and his orchestra In the 1920’s, large numbers of African American musicians, artists , and writers settled in Harlem. This period of time became known as the Harlem Renaissance. During the Harlem Renaissance young black artists celebrated their African and American heritage. 4
THE HARLEM RENAISSANCE • Great Migration saw hundreds of thousands of African Americans move north to big cities • 1920: • 5 million of the nation’s 12 million blacks (over 40%) lived in cities Migration of the Negro by Jacob Lawrence
Demographical Changes • Migration North • African Americans moving north at rapid pace. • Why? • Jim Crow laws • New job opportunities in north • 1860 – 93% in south • 1930 – 80% in south • Demographics: statistics that describe a population. • Struggles: • Faced hatred from whites • Forced low wages
African Americans Move North • 1865: 93% of African Americans lived in the South. • 1930: 80% • BUT • Jobs weren’t much better in the North • Racial hatred in North • Women often worked as low-paid domestics.
HARLEM, NEW YORK • Harlem, NY became the largest black urban community • Harlem suffered from overcrowding, unemployment and poverty • Home to literary and artistic revival known as the Harlem Renaissance
LANGSTON HUGHES • Missouri-born Langston Hughes was the movement’s best known poet • Many of his poems described the difficult lives of working-class blacks • “Thank you Ma’am” • Some of his poems were put to music, especially jazz and blues
Zora Neale Hurstonwas remarkable in that she was the most widely published black woman of her day. She authored more than fifty articles and short stories as well as four novels, two books on folklore, an autobiography, and some plays. At the height of her success she was known as the“Queen of the Harlem Renaissance.” Zora Neale Hurston 1891-1960 American writer
In 1925, at the height of the jazz era in Paris, the sensational cast of musicians and dancers from Harlem, assembled as La Revue Negre, exploded on the stage of the Theatre des Champs Elysees. Its talented young star, Josephine Baker (1906-1975), captivated audiences with a wild new dance called the Charleston.
LOUIS ARMSTRONG • Jazz was born in the early 20th century • In 1922, a young trumpet player named Louis Armstrong joined the Creole Jazz Band. • Armstrong is considered the most important and influential musician in the history of jazz
EDWARD KENNEDY “DUKE” ELLINGTON • In the late 1920s, Duke Ellington, a jazz pianist and composer, led his ten-piece orchestra at the famous Cotton Club. • Band: “The Washingtonians” • Ellington won renown as one of America’s greatest composers.
BESSIE SMITH • Bessie Smith, blues singer, was perhaps the most outstanding vocalist of the decade • She achieved enormous popularity and by 1927 she became the highest- paid black artist in the world
William H. Johnson 1901-1970 Chain Gang. 1939 Johnson arrived in Harlem when the Renaissance was in the making. While there he created several paintings that dealt with political and social Harlem.Chain Gangis one example.
William H. Johnson Swing Low, Sweet Chariot 1939 Johnson always showed great devotion to painting themes that celebrated Black Christianity. This painting is an example of one based on a literal interpretation of a spiritual occasion.
Jazz Clubs • Artie Shaw – First to use black musicians for white audiences. • Benny Goodman – First to take jazz to white America. • SWING • First racial mixed band.
Jazz Clubs and Dance Halls • To hear the “real” jazz – NYC and the neighborhood of Harlem. • 500 jazz clubs • Cotton Club the most famous • BUT • Most white Americans did not want to hear jazz.
AFRICAN AMERICAN GOALS • Founded in 1909, the NAACP urged African Americans to protest racial violence • W.E.B Dubois, a founding member, led a march of 10,000 black men in NY to protest violence
MARCUS GARVEY - UNIA • Marcus Garvey believed that African Americans should build a separate society (Africa) • In 1914, Garvey founded the Universal Negro Improvement Association • Garvey claimed a million members by the mid-1920s • Powerful legacy of black pride, economic independence and Pan-Africanism Garvey represented a more radical approach
W.E.B. Dubois • Didn’t think the answer was separation of the races. • Also didn’t approve of Garvey’s business practices.