The Harlem Renaissance
a movement in the 1920s and 1930s that introduced the voices of African-American artists and writers into the mainstream of the United States. The Harlem Renaissance was influenced by the African-American migration north and by jazz music and the Jazz Age. Though there had been African-American writers before the Harlem Renaissance, there had never been such a concentration of black voices all at once and all discussing what it was like to be a minority race in America at that time. There were many famous writers that came out of the Harlem Renaissance, including W.E.B. Du Bois, Alain Locke, Zora Neale Hurston, Countee Cullen, Langston Hughes, and Claude McKay.
W.E.B. Du Bois
was the most widely read spokesman for civil rights for a period of more than 30 years. The Souls Of Black Folk was one of Du Bois’ most prolific works that both anticipated and inspired much of the black consciousness and activism of the 1960s. Today, he is considered one of the most recognized of sociologists in our history. helped found the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, also known as the NAACP. He wrote essays and books that helped to spark the Harlem Renaissance movement, and he also served as editor of the NAACP’s magazine, The Crisis.
wrote what some people believe to be the most influential work of the Harlem Renaissance, The New Negro. In it, he collected essays and stories by a variety of black writers.
Zora Neale Hurston
wrote poems, plays, and novels. Her most famous work is Their Eyes Were Watching God, a book that examines gender and race issues through the eyes of a mixed-race woman in the South.
the most celebrated Harlem Renaissance poet besides Langston Hughes. They both presented the lives of African Americans in their poetry. Countee Cullen’s ‘Heritage’ wrestles with the role of Africa in the hearts and minds of African Americans.
the most celebrated Harlem Renaissance poet besides Countee Cullen. They both presented the lives of African Americans in their poetry. In ‘Harlem,’ he discusses the dream of equality and implies that if it’s not given, people of all races will end up paying the price. In ‘I, Too, Sing America,’ he points out that, despite being treated badly, he is part of America, just like the white people who received better treatment than him.
a famous Jamaican-American writer and poet of the Harlem Renaissance who talked about the issues that faced black immigrants. His poem ‘America’ discusses the love-hate relationship many blacks had with America at the time. His poem ‘If We Must Die’ encourages African Americans to stand up for themselves, both literally (during the race riots of 1919) and figuratively (by lending their voices to the Harlem Renaissance).