Intro to US 2 27 March 2012 The Harlem Renaissance The Harlem Renaissance was a time in American history when African American culture could finally intermingle with the culture already established in America. Starting after World War 1, the HR was “about creating art that could be shared with others—both whites and blacks” (Rau 5). The influx of African Americans moving to Harlem was caused by the increasing hostility towards African Americans in the South. Around the start of the Great Migration, which was the movement of six million African Americans from the South to the North, there was a surge in Klu Klux Klan activity. Even thought there was not much more opportunity in the North, at least there was racial tolerance, something the African Americans of the South were craving.
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.
The Harlem Renaissance was a cultural movement that spanned the 1920’s and 1930’s. During a 90 day period in the 1920’s, 12,000 African Americans left the state of Mississippi to head north with a promise of new jobs due to the war, and this was happening all across the south. At the time it was known as the “New Negro Movement” named after the 1925 anthology by Alain Locke. Although it was centered in the Harlem neighborhood of New York, many French speaking black writers from African and Caribbean colonies who lived in Paris where also influenced by the Harlem renaissance. The Harlem Renaissance is believed to have its social roots traced back to the great migration during the First World War and its philosophical roots back to the turn of the century and the work of black historian and sociologist W.E.B.
One of my all-time favorites is jazz music; but where did it all start? “Jazz is one of America’s greatest cultural achievements and exports to the world community giving powerful voice to the American experience. Born of multi-colored society, it unites people across the divides of race, region, and national boundaries and has always made powerful statements about freedom, creativity and American identity at home and aboard” according to Jazz Literature. Jazz music originated in the 1700s and can be traced back to the times of slavery. This type of music played a major part of the African American culture because they used to communicate, express, and uplift.
This fall from American attention also led to a new form of music that was just developing in the streets of New York City during the same time period, a new form of music that derives from the same culture, spirit, and same principles as jazz music. A form of music that in time became accepted and integrated into the jazz community. This form of music was Hip Hop. Growing up amidst terrible discrimination within society, many African American’s channeled their pain and suffering into a musical movement. In the 20’s this music was Jazz.
Whether it is a poem by Maya Angelou or a hip-hop song by Nas, it all has a feeling of expression that someone or a whole group of people can relate too. The format that the slaves used in their gospels are still present in today’s form of music. The vernacular tradition is an ever growing art form as said in the text “black vernacular forms are works in progress, experiment in a still new country” (pg.8). In African American history this vernacular art which is used day in and day out is a way of life, a way of survival, and a way of hope. African Americans have been subjected for centuries, no matter it be 300 years ago or yesterday you can hear that oppression being expressed in the music, speeches, poems, screen plays, a gospel, or just about any art form.
Justin Galley Professor L. Pennington English 1301 26 June 2012 A Celebration of African American Heritage “The Negro Speaks of Rivers” is one of Langston Hughes best poems because it is a musical celebration of African American culture and heritage. The poem was written at the beginning of the Harlem Renaissance, the most important literary and arts movement during post-slavery. The best and brightest intellectuals, entrepreneurs, and artists settled in Harlem. Jazz music, African American fine arts, African American literature were absorbed into the Harlem culture. The Harlem Renaissance was a time in which many Africa Americans struggled with their identity as a freed person and asked the question: Who am I?
English 2312 September 22, 2011 Realism 1865 – 1890 Realism was a literary movement in America, which spanned from 1865 to 1890. Grace Kings “The Little Convent Girl” is a great example of realism in literature. Kings writing and most writings of the realism movement were merely a political movement. This gave readers an opportunity to feel the hardships that the black citizens of America endured. This work gives a great view of life in America after the Civil War, when our country was under reconstruction and was going thru a significant part of our history.
Negro History Week grew in popularity throughout the following decades, with mayors across the United States endorsing it as a holiday.  In 1976, the federal government acknowledged the expansion of Black History Week to Black History Month by the leaders of the Black United Students at Kent State University in February of 1969. The first celebration of Black History Month occurred at Kent State in February of 1970.  Six years later during the bicentennial, the expansion of Negro History Week to Black History Month was recognized by the U.S. government. Gerald Ford spoke in regards to this, urging Americans to "seize the opportunity to honor the too-often neglected accomplishments of black Americans in every area of endeavor throughout our history.
Through exploring the history of songs, the role of songs in society, and how they express the point of views of society an understanding of how important music is to our population will be discovered. Starting with the early history of America (1607-1820), songs of this time come from British, English, African-American, and French inheritance. The earliest songs that are most recognized by Americans are songs like “Yankee Doodle” and the “Star Spangled Banner.” Along with these two songs hymns, ballads, and drinking songs came from the English descent. American songs grew popularity through shows known as minstrel shows. These shows spread comic relief and political influence through songs performed by blackface performers in the 1800’s.