What Are The Changes In African American Society

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Final Paper: African Americans Maurice David HIS204: American History Since 1865 Instructor Naomi Rendina March 17, 2014 Final Paper: African Americans From 1865 to present day, America underwent countless numbers of changes and developments to shape it into the nation as we know it today. During these changes and developments, among other important individuals, African Americans, along with some white American activists, played predominant roles in the African American society in an effort to obtain civil rights, freedom, justice, and equality for the African American race in general. Needless to say, many people lost their lives in this effort; from white Americans to African Americans. However, those lives were not lost in vain…show more content…
The Harlem Renaissance also freed white Americans from convention. According to Swartz (1993), “For the African American, a return to primitive was a search for or a return to roots. For the white audience the primitive implied exoticism and the African-American artist embodied an “exotic other,” an escape from “civilization.” This white audience was alienated from “civilization” by horrors of trench warfare and gas and by an increasingly mechanistic industrial society with its accompanying machine-age iconography” (Masks and Masquerade: The Iconography of the Harlem Renaissance, pg.51, para.4). Therefore, the Harlem Renaissance not only allowed African Americans to “take control”, it also enabled white Americans, those who supported the Harlem Renaissance, to escape the harsh realities of life during this time. Even more fascinating, was the fact that clubs, music, and dancing were (and still are) predominant parts in Harlem “life” (Swartz, 1993). During the Harlem Renaissance era, music played an important role in American society, especially in Harlem, because it created the most cultural and artistic appreciation for African American artists (Swartz, 1993). Also, music, musical artists, and new dance forms were what essentially attracted white American audiences to the more “sexually free and primitive” Harlem (Swartz, 1993). The Harlem Renaissance was able to spread the African American culture and heritage and allowed African Americans to be proud of their race, even though they were facing racial inequality, while enabling other races to see what is what like to be an African
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