Issues of Racial Identity during the Harlem Renaissance Essay

2014 Words 9 Pages
The early 1900s was a very challenging time for Negroes especially young women who developed issues in regards to their identities. Their concerns stemmed from their skin colors. Either they were fair skinned due mixed heritage or just dark skinned. Young African American women experienced issues with racial identity which caused them to be in a constant struggle that prohibits them from loving themselves and the skin they are in. The purpose of this paper is to examine those issues in the context of selected creative literature. I will be discussing the various aspects of them and to aid in my analysis, I will be utilizing the works of Nella Larsen from The Norton Anthology of African American Literature, Jessie Bennett Redmond Fauset, …show more content…
The Harlem Renaissance produced a myriad of talented writers. These writers included Nella Larsen, Jessie Redmond Fauset, and Walter Thurman who told of the struggles with identity in their writings. Nella Larsen was of mixed ancestry born to a Danish mother and a West Indian father. It was a belief that her novel Quicksand, was based on her life. Larsen was born in Chicago, Illinois in 1891. According to Wikipedia, she lived in Denmark for a few years and attended Fisk University before settling in Harlem, where she worked as a nurse and later becoming a librarian. She published her highly successful novel Quicksand in 1928. Another popular writer of the Harlem Renaissance was Jessie Redmond Fauset. Fauset was the author of the widely popular novel Plum Bun: A Novel Without Moral, which she published in 1928. Fauset was born in New Jersey but spend some years in Philadelphia before going to New York to teach. According to Wikipedia, Fauset was the

The first work of creative literature that I will be examining is Quicksand by Nella Larsen. The time of the novel is during the 1920s in various American cities and in Copenhagen, Denmark. These places provide both the scene and the backdrop for the main character to act out her journey to find her identity. The first setting takes place in takes in the South at a school named Naxos. The school was known as “the finest schools for Negroes anywhere in the country, north or south…” (1087-1088). The next