Nella Larsen: The Harlem Renaissance

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The Harlem Renaissance fostered a new sense of cultural identity for African-Americans during the 1920’s that would open up doors of opportunity for centuries to come. “With racism still rampant and economic opportunities scarce, creative expression was one of the few avenues available to African Americans in the early twentieth century” . One of the most common forms of expression was through writing. African Americans became prominent authors and poets of the decade, publishing many well-known works. The new sense of acceptance helped African-Americans to become proud of their race, a far cry from the insecurity and inferiority many felt prior. “Black-owned magazines and newspapers flourished, freeing African-Americans from the constricting influences of main stream…show more content…
The white literary establishment soon became fascinated with the writers of the Harlem Renaissance and began publishing them in larger numbers. But for the writers themselves, acceptance by the white world was less important, as Langston Hughes put it, than the “expression of our individual dark-skinned selves” One of the most influential writers of the Harlem Renaissance was Nella Larsen. Nella Larsen was born ‘Nellie Walker’, in 1891, to a Danish mother and African-American father. Her parent’s relationship was a controversial issue amongst the whites of that time period, and Nella’s mother’s family strictly forbade the union. Shortly after Nella was born, her parents split up and her mother remarried a white man named Peter Larsen. “Davis speculated that Larsen’s father, who was apparently light-skinned, did not die, but assumed a different name and remarried Larsen’s mother in order to live with their second daughter as a whole family” . Her parents may have brainwashed
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