Harlem And The Middle Of The 1930s

1791 Words Jan 15th, 2015 8 Pages
The Harlem Renaissance was the name given to the cultural, social, and artistic explosion that took place in Harlem, New York between the conclusion of World War I and the middle of the 1930s. During this period, Harlem was a cultural center, drawing black writers, artists, musicians, photographers, poets, and scholars. Many had come from the South, fleeing its oppressive caste system in order to find a place where they could freely express their talents; this became known as The Great Migration. Among those artists whose works achieved recognition were Langston Hughes, Claude McKay, Countee Cullen, Arna Bontemps, Zora Neale Hurston, and Jean Toomer. The Renaissance involved racial pride, fueled in part by the violence of the "New Negro" demanding civil and political rights. The Renaissance incorporated jazz and the blues, attracting whites to Harlem speakeasies, where interracial couples danced. However, the Renaissance had little impact on breaking down the rigid barriers of Jim Crow that separated the races; while it may have contributed to a certain slackening of racial attitudes among young whites, perhaps its greatest impact was to reinforce race pride among blacks. The importance of the social movement we refer to as the Harlem Renaissance cannot afford to be overlooked. Like the musicians of their day, Harlem Renaissance poets advocated for an equal society, and incorporated personal anecdotes and historical snippets into their compositions to make the…
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