How Did African Americans Influence The Harlem Renaissance

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During the early 1900s, African Americans in the South faced several difficult struggles. To escape these hardships, many decided to travel to the North in search of a better life. The time period when millions of black Americans abandoned their old southern lives and migrated to cities in the Northeast, Midwest, and West is known as the Great Migration. (Wilkerson). Once settled in these cities, African Americans were pleased find that they were able to express themselves through art, literature, and music. This creative movement was known as the Harlem Renaissance. The Great Migration influenced the Harlem Renaissance because it led African Americans to northern cities where they gathered together and made amazing creative achievements. …show more content…

The struggling economy led to the Great Migration because it gave many African Americans another reason to travel to the North. Not only did the South have economic problems, but there was also discrimination towards their black citizens. They put voting restrictions into place to keep African Americans away from the polls. Some of these restrictions include literacy tests, poll taxes, and grandfather clauses. Many blacks could not afford to pay the poll taxes, which kept them from casting their vote. Others were uneducated and illiterate, so they would not be able to pass to literacy tests. On the rare occasion that an African American was able to overcome these restrictions and actually cast their vote, they were exposed to a whole new threat known as the KKK. The KKK (Klu Klux Klan) was a hate group that used scare tactics and violence to keep southern blacks from exercising their right to vote. If the KKK received word that an African American had voted in the South, they would most likely go to his house in the night and either scare, hurt, or kill him. A popular tactic used by the KKK was lynching, which is a public hanging of someone without a legal trial. These voting restrictions and hate groups served as a push factor for African Americans to come to the North, since they realized that they were not seen as equals in the South. Black Americans had their sights set on northern cities like

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