I pick up my life And take it away On a one-way ticket - Gone up North… - Langston Hughes
"To educate a negro is to spoil a laborer and train up a candidate for the Penitentiary." Asbury Coward
“If we must die, O let us nobly die, So that our precious blood may not be shed In vain; then even the monsters we defy Shall be constrained to honor us though dead!” - Claude McKay
“Lynching is barbarism of a degree of contemptible nastiness unparalleled in human history.” - W.E.B. Du Bois
If you wanted the best chance at changing your circumstances and you were black, you went to Harlem.
If you wanted to write, you went to Harlem. Harlem was the center of urban black life.
“Suddenly, the orchestra blared into something wild and impressionistic, with a primitive staccato understrain of Jazz. The buzz of conversation died, strangled by the savage strains of music. The crowd stirred, broke, coalesced into twos, and became a whirling mass.” - Nella Larsen
“In time, although the sun is setting on A song-lit race of slaves, it has not set; Though late, O soil, it is not too late yet To catch thy plaintive soul, leaving, soon gone, Leaving, to catch thy plaintive soul soon gone.” - Jean Toomer
“He [Charles S. Johnson] explained that he was writing to all of the Negro colleges with the idea of introducing new writers and new material to the public…He wrote me a kind letter and said something about New York. So, beginning to feel the urge to write, I wanted to be in New York” - Zora Neale Hurston
“So in the dark we hide the heart that bleeds, And wait, and tend our agonizing seeds.” - Countee Cullen
What happens to a dream deferred? Does it dry up Like 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 sags like a heavy load. Or does it explode? - Langston Hughes
“Back to Africa.” Marcus Garvey
“The problem with the 20th Century is the problem of the color-line.” W.E.B. Du Bois