Wilson stated that ''The truth is that often where there are esthetic criteria of excellence, there are also sociological criteria that have traditionally excluded blacks.'' He then continued on to say ''... raise the standards and remove the sociological consideration of race as privilege, and we will meet you at the crossroads, in equal numbers, prepared to do the work of extending and developing the common ground of the American theater.'' Through these powerful words Wilson is saying that in order to reflect American culture in the theater, the history of African American’s must be reflected. There have always been systems in place that have excluded African Americans and white Americans will never understand the way that sense of oppression felt. White Americans will never understand how it feels to be enslaved, be powerless in protecting your family, and being sold off as property, as Eliza Harris from Uncle Tom’s Cabin, and millions of other slaves felt. Photographing the “American Negro” by Shawn Michelle Smith presented the idea that white Americans have tried to take away the histories of other races in America. People have always turned against embracing the histories of the African Americans because they were seen as alien to their owners. Their different skin tone separated them from the white Americans who thought of them as uncivilized before they were brought to work for them. Ultimately Wilson calls for Black Theaters to prevent the culture of the
Thousands of white Americans came to Harlem to experience the night life. The nightclubs in New York appealed to the whites as they were very famous. Jazz music was thriving in the area. It originated in the Unites States among African-American musicians. It was at this time that jazz was at its most famous point. Many people would host rent parties which were very popular at the time. Apartment owners would hold a party and would charge a fee to those who wanted to enter. They used this money in order to pay off their rent (Worth). The influence of jazz also brought musical reviews. Soon white novelists, dramatists and composers started to exploit the musical tendencies and themes of African Americans in their works. Composers used the literary works of African-American poets in their songs. Negros began to merge with Whites into the classical world of musical composition (Wikipedia). Soon, the works of artists were being displayed in nationwide magazines. Their culture began to spread with great velocity.
Langston Hughes, in “When the Negro Was in Vogue,” writes about the time when whites started to enter the city of Harlem. The once traditionally African American clubs became over run by those of the opposite race. Since this was during the time of the Jim Crow, African Americans were no longer allowed in their former clubs; the only exception was for celebrities. Even though they wanted to return the hostility, the African Americans did no such thing. However, this caused whites to believe that the African Americans had no qualms with their city being ran over. This lead to an influx in clubs banning African Americans from their club; this was an error, for the whites only came to watch the African Americans “amuse themselves.” Artist such as Gladys Bentley were also hired to bring in crowds. Since then, the author believes Harlem has
The 1920’s were a period or rapid growth and change in America. After World War I American’s were introduced to a lifestyle of lavishness they had never encountered before. It was a period of radical thought and ideas. It was in this time period that the idea of the Harlem Renaissance was born. The ideology behind the Harlem Renaissance was to create the image of the “New Negro”. The image of African-American’s changed from rural, uneducated “peasants” to urban, sophisticated, cosmopolites. Literature and poetry abounded. Jazz music and the clubs where it was performed at became social “hotspots”. Harlem was the epitome of the “New Negro”. However, things weren’t as sunny as they appeared. Many felt that the Harlem Renaissance itself
By the 1920’s the amount of African Americans in New York City had more than doubled. Meanwhile the roadways and subway system had just begun to reach Harlem, where some of the most influential Blacks had situated themselves. Soon after, Harlem became known as “The Black Mecca” and also as “The Capital of Black America”.
The 1920's were a period or rapid growth and change in America. After World War I American's were introduced to a lifestyle of lavishness they had never encountered before. It was a period of radical thought and ideas. It was in this time period that the idea of the Harlem Renaissance was born. The ideology behind the Harlem Renaissance was to create the image of the "New Negro". The image of African-American's changed from rural, uneducated "peasants" to urban, sophisticated, cosmopolites. Literature and poetry abounded. Jazz music and the clubs where it was performed at became social "hotspots". Harlem was the epitome of the "New Negro". However, things weren't as sunny as they appeared. Many felt that the Harlem Renaissance itself
What was the Harlem Renaissance? The Harlem Renaissance was a period of time in American history that emphasized African American culture in the form of music, art, and poetry. The Harlem Renaissance of the 1920s was plagued by poverty and racial inequality. African Americans held the dream of upward mobility and racial equality, through mediums such as poetry and jazz: a new form of music originating from the African American community of Harlem. The community of Harlem was initially designated as a place where ambitious middle class workers could live. However, the community and housing of Harlem outgrew the transportation system. This caused the white real estate owners to sell their property to a lower income group of people which were mainly African Americans. By the time that the public transportation systems were extended to Harlem, many African American intellectuals, artists, and poets had already “set up shop” there. One of the places in which they did so was Harlem’s Cotton Club. This cabaret was famous for launching the careers of jazz musicians such as Duke Ellington and Louis Armstrong. However, the club was owned by whites, and its primary audience was whites. Still, the importance of the club is untestable. It was "the" way for upper class White Americans to experience what the African American culture was like at the time. A select group of prestigious African Americans would go to the cotton
Between 1910 and 1920, in a movement known as the Great Migration, hundreds of thousands of African Americans uprooted from their homes in the South and moved North to the big cities in search of jobs. They left the South because of racial violence and economic discrimination. Their migration was an expression of their changing attitudes toward themselves, and has been described as "something like a spiritual emancipation." Many migrants moved to Harlem, a neighborhood on the upper west side of Manhattan. In the 1920's, Harlem became the worlds largest black community; also home to a highly diverse mix of cultures. This unprecedented outburst of creative activity exposed their unique culture and encouraged
It appeared that minorities such as African Americans and Latin Americans came to the Los Angeles area in search for a better life for themselves and their families. They both came to the same place for the same reason: “sharing
Lilia Fernandez is a Chicago native who rights about how the city’s neighborhoods changed in the 20th century. The history that she describes in her book with the newcomers that have settled within the city’s urban spaces have transformed it now in the 21st century in conjunction with the changes in the racial dynamics and the physical structure that were seen during the 20 year span from 1950-1970. She explores the question of how these tens of thousands of Latinos ended up settling in Chicago. Her work traces the roots of Mexican and Puerto Ricans particularly in terms of their historical roots and their migration, settlement and overall experiences in Chicago. She writes about the neighborhoods they lived (Pilsen, Lincoln Park and Humbolt
In “Part Two: The Making of a Ghetto,” Osofsky shifts from a macro-study of Black migration in the United States, to a micro-study of Harlem, a remote neighborhood approximately eight miles from City Hall. He describes how Harlem was once a town sparsely populated by an affluent bunch that wanted to be as far away as possible from downtown. But like most of New York, Harlem’s growth was what Osofsky called “a by-product of the general development of New York City.” He attributes this growth to the annexation of Harlem to New York City and the subsequent developmental projects the city undertook in Harlem, such as filling in marshlands and extending transportation lines to the rural retreat of the aristocrats of New York City.
Through its inspiring start up with the Renaissance Harlem with that alone has produced a lifetime worth of culture and knowledge to Americans during the 1920s and early 1930s. Even with its downfall during the 1930s through the late 1980s and disowning from its very own golden child James Baldwin, Harlem grew old and unpleasant yet still held onto its own wisdom. Today, Harlem is a completely renovated area made possible by the rich and the famous and is constantly sought after by young families and businesses. Though it hasn’t been a pretty journey Harlem has provided so much value to America which is why even though Harlem has been through a lot of changes over the last century it is still a beautiful place and important to American
New York City, Chicago, Cleveland, and Detroit were one of the first cities that accepted a huge invasion of African-Americans from the South. These African-American migrants were optimistic of a better life in these cities. Later, the mass exodus of African-Americans from the South was an economic explosion in nature. In the following sections, we examine how the Great Migration in the 1900s changed the nature of cities and urban centers.
The immigrants from abroad and the African-Americans both left their homelands of restricted opportunities and sought to find better ones. The African-Americans came without proper clothing and skills, unaware of the future obstacles ahead. Their environment and surroundings were significantly different in the South than the lively cities in the North. Before migrating, the African-Americans lives consisted of mainly working in the fields in the blistering, hot sun, or working as servants or tenants for white property owners; they had never laid eyes upon a building or factory. For the immigrants, coming to urban America was an enormous change as well. They were oblivious to the American culture, American politics and economics, and were unable to read or speak English, in most cases. While settling in the northern cities, there were certain harsh conditions that the African Americans along with the immigrants experienced. They both were forced to live with their families in small, unsanitary living spaces due to the intense persecution and racialization from American outsiders. Families in neighborhoods grouped together, and each family member contributed economically to the family income. To relieve these challenges and harsh conditions, both African-American and immigrant groups were obliged to do certain tasks in the new, metropolitan surrounding.