The Harlem Renaissance : The New Negro Movement

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Taking place from the 1920’s to the 1940’s, a well-known period of time where black people’s ideas, morals, and customs were adapted and developed was known as the Harlem Renaissance. The main focus of the era for the African Americans was to establish some sort of identity and self-expression through literary, musical, theatrical, and visual arts. The story behind this began in 1890 when African American slaves migrated from the rural South to the urban North as they thrashed their way to freedom. Most of them migrated to New York, particularly in the district of Harlem (Bolarinwa). Harlem was characterized as “not merely the largest Negro community in the world, but the first concentration in history of so many diverse elements of Negro…show more content…
The paintings were “not meant to be mundane,” but rather express deep emotions for the first time since escaping slavery as they endeavour to cope with everyday economic and social struggles (Chambliss). In turn, authors and writers concluded the significance of the black culture as equally important as the white culture. A prominent writer, Zora Neale Hurston was one of many authors who centralized her writings on African American culture and women’s search for identity during the Harlem Renaissance. Hurston, an experienced folklorist, possessed traits that enabled her bring to light the African American culture and the need for women’s independence. Folklore was a major key factor during the Harlem Renaissance because it granted African Americans an opportunity to express their genuine civilization. One of Hurston’s recognized work, titled Their Eyes Were Watching God, presented the black tradition in Eatonville (“Zora Neale Hurston”). For instance, porch sitters played checkers, held philosophical debates, and shared tales with one another (“Zora Neale Hurston”). One such argument about whether one’s natural instinct or a sense of caution keeps an individual away from hot stoves was discussed between two African American bench sitters, Sam Watson and Lige Moss (Hurston 77). Moreover, Hurston illustrated their culture in the novel by examining mule-talkers take their stance in the “lying sessions” to share jokes about
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