Renaissance : The Harlem Renaissance

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Art has always been used to voice emotions or stories in a way that can easily be understood. Conquering nations used art to immortalize their leaders, warriors and conquests. Similarly, conquered nations used art to keep their cultures alive. This pattern of dueling voices, those in power versus the oppressed, is shown throughout American art. From slavery and the Civil War to World War II to the modern day, art has been there to stand up to oppressors and keep faith alive for the oppressed. No era better shows a revolution against oppression and cruelty through art than the Harlem Renaissance of the early 1920s.
The Harlem Renaissance is considered a golden age for African American art. From literature to music to art, this period of the early 20th Century highlighted the struggles and experiences in New York’s Harlem neighborhood, a predominantly black area turned cultural center. In order to properly understand the meaning of work produced during this period, one must know the history behind Harlem. Originally, Harlem was created to be an upper-class white neighborhood given its proximity to Manhattan, however overdevelopment of the area caused that to change. In the early 1900s, African Americans began moving from the South to the North hoping to find work in the factories of the North rather than the fields of the South in an event known as the Great Migration. The Harlem neighborhood became the most popular destination for those moving up and was soon the

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