The Harlem Renaissance Michelle Chang Colleen Gatchalian Justin Raquidan Celine Solis
Warm-Up What do you know about the Harlem Renaissance era?
The Harlem Renaissance • Also known as “The New Negro Movement” • Started after World War I (1914-1918) and during The Great Migration • African Americans were forced to move into northern industrial cities • Took place mainly in Harlem, New York City; one of the most famous African American neighborhoods • Included traditional and new forms of literature such as modernism and jazz poetry • Showed the true culture of African American pride to everyone • Addresses the racial, economic, cultural, and social challenges African Americans faced • History and future of African Americans • Racism • Slavery • Migration • Racial equality • American identity and the American dream • “High-culture” and “low-culture” or “low-life” • Modern black life in the urban North
Poetic Techniques • Metaphors • Repetition • Symbolism • Personification • Diction • Imagery
Paul Laurence Dunbar June 1872-February 1902 Parents escaped slavery in Kentucky; father Civil War Veteran Separated from parents shortly after birth Only African American student during years of attendance in Dayton’s Central High School Financially unable to pay for college Older age: deteriorating health, still managed to create works Characteristics of work included racial equality for African Americans, plantation life, etc. Colorful language and use of a conversational tone
Notable Works • Oak and Ivy (1892) • Majors and Minors (1896) • Lyrics of Lowly Life (1896) • "We Wear the Mask" (1896) • Folks from Dixie (1898) • The Strength of Gideon (1900) • The Sport of the Gods (1902) • In Old Plantation Days (1903) • The Heart of Happy Hollow (1904) • Lyrics of Sunshine and Shadow (1905)
We Wear the Mask We wear the mask that grins and lies, It hides our cheeks and shades our eyes,— This debt we pay to human guile; With torn and bleeding hearts we smile And mouth with myriad subtleties, Why should the world be over-wise, In counting all our tears and sighs? Nay, let them only see us, while We wear the mask. We smile, but oh great Christ, our cries To thee from tortured souls arise. We sing, but oh the clay is vile Beneath our feet, and long the mile, But let the world dream otherwise, We wear the mask!
Analysis Title: Character(s) are symbolically wearing a mask to hide something Speaker: African Americans; referred to in a 1st person POV. Shift: Line 8. “Nay, let them only see us…” Attitude/Tone: Tortured and strong-willed Figurative Language: • Repetition: • We wear the mask • Symbolism: • Mask: Covering of face to conceal an identity. • Personification: • “We ear the mask that grins and lies, it hides our cheeks and shades our eyes” • “Why should the world be overwise, in counting all our tears and sighs” • “Let the world dream otherwise” Structure: AABBC rhyme scheme Theme: Stay resilient/strong and fight for beliefs
Activity Choose a symbol. Write a brief poem about it while bringing it to life by using personification and other literary devices.
AP Prompt #1 The African American poet, Paul Laurence Dunbar wrote many poems during The Harlem Renaissance. Read the following poem, We Wear the Mask, and write an essay describing the literary devices to create a theme. We wear the mask that grins and lies, It hides our cheeks and shades our eyes,— This debt we pay to human guile; With torn and bleeding hearts we smile And mouth with myriad subtleties, Why should the world be over-wise, In counting all our tears and sighs? Nay, let them only see us, while We wear the mask. We smile, but oh great Christ, our cries To thee from tortured souls arise. We sing, but oh the clay is vile Beneath our feet, and long the mile, But let the world dream otherwise, We wear the mask!
Georgia Douglas Johnson • Born on September 10, 1880 in Atlanta, Georgia and died on May 14, 1996 • Graduated from Atlanta University’s Normal School and later studied music in Ohio at the Oberlin Conservatory of Music and the Cleveland College of Music • Worked as a substitute teacher and file clerk for the civil service, securing a position with the Department of Labor • Hosted gatherings called, S Street Salon, in Washington where many Harlem Renaissance writers (Jessie RedmonFauset, Langston Hughes, Zora Neale Hurston, etc.) attended and unveiled their new works there • Published her first poem in 1916 at age 36 • In addition to poems, she wrote plays (Blue Blood, Plumes, Blue-eyed Black Boy, Safe, A Sunday Morning in the South, etc.) • Wrote 28 dramatic works, but few were ever published or produced, and must have been lost • One of the most accomplished African American poets of the Harlem Renaissance
Notable Works • The Heart of a Woman (1918) • Bronze (1922) • An Autumn Love Cycle (1928) • Share My World (1962) • I Want To Die While You Love Me • Your World • Common Dust • My Little Dreams • The Heart of A Woman • Autumn • The Suppliant • Welt • Little Son • Black Woman • Old Black Men • Youth • Love Come And Gone • Smothered Fires • Foredoom • The Return • The Measure • Quest • Calling Dreams • Conquest • Lost Illusions • I Closed My Shutters Fast Last Night
Black Woman Don't knock at my door, little child, I cannot let you in,You know not what a world this is Of cruelty and sin.Wait in the still eternity Until I come to you,The world is cruel, cruel, child, I cannot let you in! Don't knock at my heart, little one, I cannot bear the painOf turning deaf-ear to your call Time and time again!You do not know the monster men Inhabiting the earth,Be still, be still, my precious child, I must not give you birth!
Analysis • Title: A black woman and a certain aspect in her life. • Paraphrase: A black woman is pregnant with a child but does not want to give birth to him/her because the world is full of cruelty and sin. So, she doesn’t want her child to live through what is going on in the world around her. • Figurative Language: • Metaphor: • “Don’t knock at my door, little child,” • The door is actually the woman’s stomach/womb where the child is kicking inside • “Wait in the still eternity” • The still eternity is inside the woman’s womb where the child will never be born • “You do not know the monster men” • The monster men are the white men that discriminate against the blacks • Tone: The author sets a tone of fear and sympathy because she does not want to give birth to the child due to the harsh realities she has to go through. She uses words such as, “cruelty,” “sin,” “cruel,” “pain,” “monster,” to portray the negative aspects she does not want her child to live through. • Title/Theme: Black woman have a hard time giving birth to children compared to white women because blacks experienced racism towards them. This poem can relate to almost every black women (during that time). • Racism affects the current lives, and future lives of many (black) people.
AP Prompt #2 Read the following poem Black Woman by Georgia Douglas Johnson, a famous African American poet during The Harlem Renaissance. Write an essay in which you analyze the use of figurative language to portray the era of The Harlem Renaissance. Don't knock at my door, little child, I cannot let you in,You know not what a world this is Of cruelty and sin.Wait in the still eternity Until I come to you,The world is cruel, cruel, child, I cannot let you in! Don't knock at my heart, little one, I cannot bear the painOf turning deaf-ear to your call Time and time again!You do not know the monster men Inhabiting the earth,Be still, be still, my precious child, I must not give you birth!
Jessie RedmonFauset • Born April 27, 1882 in Camden, New Jersey & died on April 30, 1961 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania from heart disease • Came from a large, humble, cultural family stuck in poverty • Graduated at Philadelphia’s High School for Girls in 1900 and was the only African American student • She graduated Cornell in 1905 and search a teaching job at Philadelphia but was denied because of her color and sex • In 1919, she accepted W.E.B Dubois offer to move to New York City for a literary editor position in the National Associate for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) magazine The Crisis and The Brownies’ Book until 1926 • She published, helped, and discover famous Harlem Renaissance writers such as Countee Cullen, Langston Hughes, and George Schuyler • She also contributed in the magazine also with short stories, poems, and essays mainly on middle-class black families dealing with self-hatred. • One of the most intelligent woman novelist at the time earning the name “the midwife” • She received a Master in Arts Degree from University of Pennsylvania in 1929 • She wrote four novels, There is Confusion in 1924, Plum Bun in 1928, The Chinaberry Tree in 1931, and Comedy, America Style in 1933. • Receive small amount of recognition and honor
Notable Works Poems • Enigma • Oblivion • Dead Fires • Words! Words! • Noblesse Oblige • La Vie C'est la Vie • Touche • Rondeau • Rencontre • Oriflamme • Rain Fugue • Stars in Alabama • "Courage!" He said • Christmas Eve In France • Lolotte, Who Attires My Hair • Novels • There is Confusion (1924) • Plum Bun (1928) • The Chinaberry Tree (1931) • Comedy, America Style (1933)
Words! Words! How did it happen that we quarreled? We two who loved each other so! Only the moment before we were one, Using the language that lovers know. And then of a sudden, a word, a phrase That struck at the heart like a poignard's blow. And you went berserk, and I saw red, And love lay between us, bleeding and dead! Dead! When we'd loved each other so! How could it happen that we quarreled! Think of the things we used to say! "What does it matter, dear, what you do? Love such as ours has to last for aye!" --"Try me! I long to endure your test!" --"Love, we shall always love, come what may!" What are the words the apostle saith? "In the power of the tongue are Life and Death!" Think of the things we used to say!
Analysis Title: Words can mean a lot of things. Words can express people’s feelings Paraphrase: Two lovers are arguing and one of them said something bad to the other person. The argument turns to a fight where one is stabbed to death. Shifts: Line 5-11 the mood becomes intense/sharp Line 12-end the mood changes to sad and lament Figurative Languages: Personification- “In the power of the tongue are Life and Death!” Imagery- Lines 6-8 Repetition- “How did it happened that we quarreled?” “Think of the things we used to say!” Structure: Free Verse and some lines are AABB or ABAB Theme: Be careful to what you say others. Choose words wisely.
Activity Create a brief repetition poem using the theme of racism or any aspects of The Harlem Renaissance. Use other literary devices if needed.
Claude McKay • 1889-1948 • Born in Jaimaica, West Indies in 1889 • Educated by his older brother • Started writing poetry at the age of ten • Interested in Communism but in 1934 converted back to Catholicism • Enrolled in Tuskegee Institute, Alabama to study agronomy. • Poems based on racism
Notable Works • After the Winter • America • December, 1919 • Harlem Shadows • If We Must Die • Joy in the Woods • On Broadway • Romance • Subway Wind • The Snow Fairy • The Tropics in New York • The White City
After the Winter Some day, when trees have shed their leavesAnd against the morning's whiteThe shivering birds beneath the eavesHave sheltered for the night, We'll turn our faces southward, love,Toward the summer isleWhere bamboos spire to shafted groveAnd wide-mouthed orchids smile.And we will seek the quiet hillWhere towers the cotton tree,And leaps the laughing crystal rill,And works the droning bee.And we will build a cottage thereBeside an open glade,With black-ribbed blue-bells blowing near,And ferns that never fade.
Analysis Title: What happens AFTER winter comes, such as a specific event that will happen Speaker: African Americans; 1st person POV Shift: Line 4 “We’ll turn our faces southward,love…” Attitude/Tone: Hope, faith, determined Figurative Language: • Symbolism Winter (seasons changing) • Personification “And wide-mouthed orchids smile” “And leaps the laughing crystal hill” • Repetition - And Title: Finding a place to start a new life and find peace
Resources • http://www.poetryfoundation.org/bio/claude-mckay#about • http://www.english.illinois.edu/maps/poets/m_r/mckay/life.htm • http://www.dunbarsite.org/ • http://www.poets.org/poet.php/prmPID/302 • http://www.georgiaencyclopedia.org/nge/Article.jsp?id=h-989 • http://029c28c.netsolhost.com/blkren/bios/fausetjr.html • http://www.afropoets.net/jessiefauset.html • http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Harlem_Renaissance
Quiz! What is The Harlem Renaissance also known as? - The New Negro Movement
Quiz! Name two topics Harlem Renaissance poets addressed in their works: - History and future of African Americans - Racism - Slavery - Migration - Racial equality - American identity and the American dream - “High-culture” and “low-culture” or “low-life” - Modern black life in the urban North
Quiz! What was the theme in We Wear the Mask? - Stay resilient/strong and fight for beliefs
Quiz! Give one example of a metaphor in the poem Black Woman by Georgia Douglas Johnson: • - “Don’t knock at my door, little child,” • - “Wait in the still eternity” • - “You do not know the monster men”
Quiz! Which poet helped and discovered famous Harlem Renaissance writers? Name one of the writers. - Jessie RedmonFauset - CounteeCullens, Langston Hughes, and George Schuyler
Quiz! What is the theme in After the Winter by Claude McKay? • Finding a place to start a new life and find peace, or your interpretation of it!