Significance of the Harlem Renaissance

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The Harlem Renaissance was a pivotal point in history. While it did not break down the racial barriers associated with Jim Crow laws, the attitudes toward race did change. Most importantly, black pride became paramount as African Americans sought to express themselves artistically through art and literature, in an effort to create an identity for themselves equal to that of the white Americans. Many writers influenced this period with their works, and African Americans gained their rightful place in American Literary history (Gates Jr. and McKay).
The Harlem Renaissance was the period of time between the end of World War I and the middle 1930s depression. Also called the New Negro Renaissance, it was a period in history when talented African American writers produced volumes of literary works. Larry Neal described this movement in his aesthetic manifesto, “The Black Arts Movement,” : “The Black Arts Movement represents the flowering of a cultural nationalism that has been suppressed since the 1920s. I mean the “Harlem Renaissance” – which was essentially a failure. It did not address itself to the mythology and the lifestyle of the Black Community. It failed to take roots, to link itself concretely to the struggles of the community, to become its voice and spirit. Implicit in the Black Arts Movement is the idea that Black people, however dispersed, constitute a nation within the belly of White America.” (Yost)
Larry Neal saw the Harlem Renaissance as a failure, because many

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