The Harlem Renaissance and Pop Art: Is it Possible That They Are Related? The Harlem Renaissance refers to the period in the early 1900s when African American art, writing and drama began to take hold in the cultural hotbed that was Harlem, a neighborhood in New York City. Due to the anti-black legislation that was being passed in the South and the general culture of hatred and fear in the former slave states, African Americans flocked north and west in the Great Migration; they hoped to find a place where there was more social and economic freedom for African Americans. This grouping of black people from all walks of life, from poor former sharecroppers, to the black middle class, to recent immigrants from the Caribbean and other areas, lead to a blossoming of ideas and artistic styles that created a new black culture. This Harlem Renaissance period began when a white playwright put complex and thoroughly human African-American characters into his plays.
Assignment 2: Project Paper World Cultures II – HUM 112 The Harlem Renaissance was a renewal and flourishing of black literary and musical culture during the years after World War I which started approximately around 1914 and ended around 1919, in the Harlem section of New York City. This topic is also very historical, and creative, literally and figuratively. But, overall it is something different instead of writing about World Wars and the Civil Rights Movement; it is imperative to know the history of where “black arts” comes from. The Harlem Renaissance was the most influential times of cultural black history, in so many different aspects. (Bontemps, 1972) The Harlem Renaissance helped “black folk” in ways that catapulted them to a higher level in the arts, music, and literature.
Their portrayals of poverty and the black experience through art were beautiful creations birthed from something once viewed as ugly. One of the liveliest personalities of the Harlem Renaissance, Zora Neale Hurston was born in Eatonville, Florida. In 1924 she was encouraged by Howard University educator and philosopher Alain Locke to re-locate to Harlem, New York (Hine, Hine, Harrold 386). There she became active in folklore and anthropology, ultimately combing folklore language and culture in her novels. In the late 1920s Zora studied at Barnard College where she became famous for the attempt to disprove a theory that black people had smaller brains .She actually stood on a street corner measuring the heads of black people (Wall 22)!
Rachael Darrabie Professor Doku Freshman Composition 26 October 2011 “The South” “The South”, a poem written by Langston Hughes, represents the mindset that many migrants held during this time; an attitude that was the sole inspiration and motivation for the powerful racial pride that initiated the Harlem Renaissance. It was a demeanor developed from the social constructions in the South fused with the hopes and dreams of life in the North. The years between World War I and the Great Depression were good economic times for the United States, and jobs were plentiful in cities, especially in the North. Many southern blacks took advantage of this economic period which led to the start of the Great Migration; this gave Harlem its geographical importance. The Harlem Renaissance, also known as the New Negro Movement, was direct product of the Great Migration through location, racial pride, and social construction.
Another famous figure of the Harlem Renaissance was Langston Hughes. Hughes was a poet/playwright/novelist, who defined the era of the Harlem Renaissance with his essay, “The Negro Artist and the Racial Mountain” (Hughes 6). A prominent female figure of the Harlem Renaissance was Zora Neale Hurston. Hurston was a writer and poet who was most known for her famous novel, Their Eyes Were Watching God. During the Harlem Renaissance, the famous jazz musician, Duke Ellington was able to find his place in the era.
The Lawless Decade The Roaring Twenties, the Era of Wonderful Nonsense, the Era of Aspiration, the Jazz Age, the Boom, The Decade of the Dollar, the Dry Decade; These are just a few nicknames that describe the exciting era of Harlem Renaissance. This idea of this time period originated from a small city in New York called Harlem that was booming with African American culture and heritage. This time period played a big part on the social equality movement of the Negro Society. Many distinguished authors were born out of this time period, such as Langston Hughes and W.E.B Dubois. Although the talent of many brilliant African Americans were suffocated through the efforts the American society during this time, published works such as “Democracy”
The Harlem Renaissance was a time period where culture became a big issue in the African American community. More writers, poets, play wrights and other artistic figures came into place. Through this time (early 20th century) the term New Negro became more developed. The term originated from the 19th century as a sort of nick name for newly arrived slaves. The New Negro term included “violent resistance to oppression and the conservative anti-protest orientation of Booker T. Washington.” (Ferguson, 3) Writers had a big influence on the community throughout newspapers, magazines, etc; and most writers believe d that the New Negro should exemplify creativity, independence, strength, power, equality, and improvement.
In the decades immediately following World War I, huge numbers of African Americans migrated to the industrial North from the economically depressed and agrarian South. In cities such as Chicago, Washington, DC, and New York City, the recently migrated sought and found (to some degree) new opportunities, both economic and artistic. African Americans were encouraged to celebrate their heritage and to become "The New Negro," a term coined in 1925 by sociologist and critic Alain LeRoy Locke in his influential book of the same name. Countee Cullen thought long and hard in his poems about his own and collective African-American identity. Some of his strongest poems question the benevolence of a Creator who has bestowed a race with such mixed blessings.
Bontemps moved to New York City shortly after his first poem “Hope” was published in THE CRISIS: A RECORD OF THE DARKER RACES (August 1924). Bontemps was an influential and significant member of the Harlem Renaissance. Many of the themes of his work had an integrative approach to African American writings; his attitude toward folk material and Africa, and his racial protest, reflect the primary concerns of Harlem Renaissance literature.
AFRICAN-AMERICAN LITERATURE African-American literature is the body of literature produced in the United States by writers of African descent. It begins with the works of such late 18th-century writers as Phillis Wheatley and Lucy Terry, reaching early high points with slave narratives of the nineteenth century. The Harlem Renaissance of the 1920s was a time of flowering of literature and the arts. Writers of African-American literature have been recognized by the highest awards, including the Nobel Prize to Toni Morrison. Among the themes and issues explored in this literature are the role of African Americans within the larger American society, African-American culture, racism, slavery, and equality.