Essay on The Harlem Renaissance

1184 Words 5 Pages
During the 20th century a unique awakening of mind and spirit, of race consciousness, and

artistic advancement emerged within the African American community in New York

City. This emergence has brought about the greatest artistic movement

in African American history.

After the failure of the Reconstruction period the Negro was not considered either a

person or an America. The idea that a Negro was an American was totally unacceptable to

the white ruling class. The acceptance of lynching and denied voting rights and equal

protection under the law, and equal education and housing in Southern states affirmed

their non- personhood in America. During the 20th century a new generation
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African Americans throughout the United States and abroad became part of the movement in Harlem.

. New forms of blues, jazz, and ragtime flourished during this time. The

development of the phonograph, radio, and works by Scott Joplin, and Eubie

Blake became the most popular music in Harlem and in America. This new sound

influenced the more conservative sounds of European and folk music. It also brought

forth black Broadway musicals beginning with Eubie Blake and Noble Sissle’s musical

“Shuffle Along” in 1921.By 1930, this music brought forth such musical legends as

Jelly Roll Morton and Louis Armstrong, from New Orleans, and the voice of Billie

Holiday and Ella Fitzgerald made the music more well known.

Poets, playwrights, novelists and artists came from all over the United States

to Harlem , to share their thoughts, their stories of the past, and art that expressed

Negro life and the beauty seen through their eyes even though racism existed. Sometimes

it was difficult to get recognition or exposure in the literary community. But W.E.B. Du

Bois presented many works in his magazine the Crisis. Also Mr. Spurgeon Johnson, a

member of the National Urban League, hosted parties for newcomers

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