The Harlem Renaissance Essay

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The Harlem Renaissance

Chapter 1

Introduction Harlem Renaissance, an African American cultural movement of the 1920s and early 1930s that was centered in the Harlem neighborhood of New York City. According to Wintz:
The Harlem Renaissance was “variously known as the New Negro movement, the New Negro Renaissance, and the Negro Renaissance, the movement emerged toward the end of World War I in 1918, blossomed in the mid- to late 1920s, and then withered in the mid-1930s. The Harlem Renaissance marked the first time mainstream publishers, critics took African American literature seriously, and that African American literature and arts attracted significant attention from the nation as a whole (1).”

Although
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In the early 1920s, three works signaled the new creative energy in African American literature. McKay’s volume of poetry, Harlem Shadows (1922), became one of the first works by a black writer to be published by a mainstream, national publisher (Harcourt, Brace and Company). Cane (1923), by Jean Toomer, was an experimental novel that combined poetry and prose in documenting the life of American blacks in the rural South and urban North (Andrews 4). Finally, There Is Confusion (1924), the first novel by writer and Editor Jessie Fauset, depicted middle-class life among black Americans from a woman’s perspective (Andrews 4).

According to Bassett, these early works as the foundation and three events between 1924 and 1926 launched the Harlem Renaissance.
First, on March 21, 1924, Charles S. Johnson of the National Urban League hosted a dinner to recognize the new literary talent in the black community and to introduce the young writers to New York’s white literary establishment. The National Urban League was founded in 1910 to help black Americans address the economic and social problems they encountered as they resettled in the urban North . Because of this dinner, The Survey Graphic, a magazine of social analysis and criticism that was interested in cultural pluralism, produced a Harlem issue in March 1925. Devoted to defining the artistic ness of black literature and art, the Harlem issue featured work by black writers and was edited by black

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