Brief Summary of the Harlem Renaissance.

1863 Words Mar 8th, 2004 8 Pages
Harlem Renaissance

Variously known as the New Negro movement, the New Negro Renaissance, and the Negro Renaissance, the movement emerged toward the end of World War I in 1918, blossomed in the mid- to late 1920s, and then faded in the mid-1930s. The Harlem Renaissance marked the first time that mainstream publishers and critics took African American literature seriously and that African American literature and arts attracted significant attention from the nation at large. Although it was primarily a literary movement, it was closely related to developments in African American music, theater, art, and politics.

BEGINNINGS

The Harlem Renaissance emerged amid social and intellectual upheaval in the African American community in the early
…show more content…
Devoted to defining the aesthetic of black literature and art, the Harlem issue featured work by black writers and was edited by black philosopher and literary scholar Alain Leroy Locke. Later that year Locke expanded the special issue into a book, The New Negro, which became the landmark anthology of the age. The second event was the publication of Nigger Heaven (1926) by white novelist Carl Van Vechten. The book was a spectacularly popular exposé of Harlem life. Although the book offended some members of the black community, its coverage of both the elite and the baser sides of Harlem helped create a "Negro vogue" that drew thousands of sophisticated New Yorkers, black and white, to Harlem's exotic and exciting nightlife and stimulated a national market for African American literature and music. Finally, in the autumn of 1926 a group of young black writers produced their own literary magazine, Fire!! With Fire!! a new generation of young writers and artists, including Langston Hughes, Wallace Thurman, and Zora Neale Hurston, emerged as an alternative group within the Renaissance.

CHARACTERISTICS

No common literary style or political ideology defined the Harlem Renaissance. What united participants was their sense of taking part in a common endeavor and their commitment to giving artistic expression to the African American experience. Some common themes existed, such as an interest in the roots of the 20th-century African American experience in

More about Brief Summary of the Harlem Renaissance.