Life During The Harlem Renaissance

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The Harlem Renaissance Following the migration of African Americans to the north during WWI, the city of Harlem would develop into one of the largest African American communities in the country. With the newfound development of the city of Harlem, came an explosion of culture, collaboration, etc. from the African American community. This massive change in Harlem occurring after WWI would come to be known as The Harlem Renaissance. During the Harlem Renaissance the first endeavors of a distinct African American culture, especially in the ars. New advancements in arts could be seen in music (jazz), theatre, and most importantly, literature. Writers such a Claude McKay and Langston Hughes would be two significant figures in terms of literature…show more content…
Of the many African American authors during this significant time period was Claude McKay. According to “The Harlem Renaissance” by Richard Worth, McKay’s poems express the many angles of the black experience (39). Of his many poems, one of the most influential was his poem “Harlem Shadows.” In “Harlem Shadows,” McKay refers to society ignoring the fact that young African American girls are forced into prostitution: “Ah, stern harsh world, that in the wretched way of poverty, dishonor and disgrace, has pushed the timid little feet of clay, the sacred brown feet of my fallen race!”(McKay) Another literary piece written by McKay was his novel Home to Harlem. In this novel he described the everyday lives of Harlem residents and emphasized its music, lifestyles, etc. (Worth, 41). Equally important during the Harlem Renaissance was author Jean Toomer. Throughout his life, Toomer had questioned his being as either an African American or a White due to the fact he was extremely light skinned (Worth, 43). He ultimately learned to accept himself as an African American and decided to express himself through his literature, depicting many semi-autobiographical experiences. For example, in Toomer’s book, Cane, he blended poetry and fiction with his own…show more content…
These emerging, new-born African American authors had inspired the works of many future authors to come, exploring new themes in their writings. These themes brought attention to the many problems that the African Americans of this time had faced and contributed to other significant events in the near

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