The Harlem Renaissance Poetry

1097 Words4 Pages
Starting around 1918, and progressing through the 1920s and 30s, a section of New York City called Harlem began to be the center of a group of talented African American artists, composers, poets, and dancers. This period of time, with all the literary works, music, art, and poetry coming out of the Black experience, was called the New Negro Renaissance, or the Harlem Renaissance. This was a time just after World War I when there was again hope hope that Whites and Blacks could coexist and appreciate the gifts each had to give, particularly in the arts. What united participants was their sense of taking part in a common goal and their commitment to giving artistic expression to the African American experience (Watson 1995, introduction, 1-14). For many Blacks, writing was a way to escape the realities of life when life was weary. The blues, for instance, were an open way to express feelings about sadness, hard times, and all the things that can happen when humans are unkind to another. The blues, like much of the Harlem Renaissance poetry, was filled with strong images of hatred, sexuality, and yet tenderness and a longing for a better time and better place. Perhaps better than any other music in history, the blues speaks about poverty and making ends meet, merging poetry with music to convey even more universal sadness (Wintz, 2007). Zora Neale Hurston was heavily influenced by Langston Hughes, and represented a more feminist view of the Renaissance movement. Her works
Open Document