29 Facts About The Harlem Renaissance


Harlem Renaissance was an intellectual and cultural revival of African American music, dance, art, fashion, literature, theater, politics and scholarship centered in Harlem, Manhattan, New York City, spanning the 1920s and 1930s.

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The movement included the new African American cultural expressions across the urban areas in the Northeast and Midwest United States affected by a renewed militancy in the general struggle for civil rights, combined with the Great Migration of African American workers fleeing the racist conditions of the Jim Crow Deep South, as Harlem was the final destination of the largest number of those who migrated north.

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The zenith of this "flowering of Negro literature", as James Weldon Johnson preferred to call the Harlem Renaissance, took place between 1924—when Opportunity: A Journal of Negro Life hosted a party for black writers where many white publishers were in attendance—and 1929, the year of the stock-market crash and the beginning of the Great Depression.

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The Harlem Renaissance is considered to have been a rebirth of the African-American arts.

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Many in the Harlem Renaissance were part of the early 20th century Great Migration out of the South into the African-American neighborhoods of the Northeast and Midwest.

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Harlem Renaissance grew out of the changes that had taken place in the African-American community since the abolition of slavery, as the expansion of communities in the North.

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In 1917 Hubert Harrison, "The Father of The Harlem Renaissance Radicalism", founded the Liberty League and The Voice, the first organization and the first newspaper, respectively, of the "New Negro Movement".

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Many poets of the Harlem Renaissance were inspired to tie in threads of African-American culture into their poems; as a result, jazz poetry was heavily developed during this time.

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The Harlem Renaissance encouraged analytic dialogue that included the open critique and the adjustment of current religious ideas.

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The Harlem Renaissance trained with Arthur Calhoun in Chattanooga, and at Fisk University in Nashville.

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The Harlem Renaissance began singing in public as a student, and toured with the Fisk Jubilee Singers in 1911.

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The fashion of the Harlem Renaissance was used to convey elegance and flamboyancy and needed to be created with the vibrant dance style of the 1920s in mind.

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Extraordinarily successful black dancer Josephine Baker, though performing in Paris during the height of the The Harlem Renaissance, was a major fashion trendsetter for black and white women alike.

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Some common themes represented during the Harlem Renaissance were the influence of the experience of slavery and emerging African-American folk traditions on black identity, the effects of institutional racism, the dilemmas inherent in performing and writing for elite white audiences, and the question of how to convey the experience of modern black life in the urban North.

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The Harlem Renaissance allowed for assistance to the black American community because he wanted racial sameness.

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The Harlem Renaissance led to more opportunities for blacks to be published by mainstream houses.

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Harlem Renaissance helped lay the foundation for the post-World War II protest movement of the Civil Rights movement.

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The Harlem Renaissance was more than a literary or artistic movement, as it possessed a certain sociological development—particularly through a new racial consciousness—through ethnic pride, as seen in the Back to Africa movement led by Jamaican Marcus Garvey.

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Harlem Renaissance was successful in that it brought the Black experience clearly within the corpus of American cultural history.

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Not only through an explosion of culture, but on a sociological level, the legacy of the Harlem Renaissance redefined how America, and the world, viewed African Americans.

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Urban setting of rapidly developing The Harlem Renaissance provided a venue for African Americans of all backgrounds to appreciate the variety of Black life and culture.

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Bentley was the club owner of Clam House on 133rd Street in The Harlem Renaissance, which was a hub for queer patrons.

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The Hamilton Lodge in The Harlem Renaissance hosted an annual drag ball that attracted thousands to watch as a couple hundred young men came to dance the night away in drag.

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Magazines such as The Crisis, a monthly journal of the NAACP, and Opportunity, an official publication of the National Urban League, employed Harlem Renaissance writers on their editorial staffs; published poetry and short stories by black writers; and promoted African-American literature through articles, reviews, and annual literary prizes.

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Major accomplishment of the The Harlem Renaissance was to open the door to mainstream white periodicals and publishing houses, although the relationship between the The Harlem Renaissance writers and white publishers and audiences created some controversy.

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The Harlem Renaissance explored this topic because it was a theme that during this time period was not discussed.

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However, some of the most popular clubs were exclusively for white audiences; one of the most famous white-only nightclubs in The Harlem Renaissance was the Cotton Club, where popular black musicians like Duke Ellington frequently performed.

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Certain aspects of the Harlem Renaissance were accepted without debate, and without scrutiny.

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Artists and intellectuals of the Harlem Renaissance echoed American progressivism in its faith in democratic reform, in its belief in art and literature as agents of change, and in its almost uncritical belief in itself and its future.

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