The Harlem Renaissance and Its Effect on the American Dream

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The Harlem Renaissance and its Effect on the American Dream What was the Harlem Renaissance? The Harlem Renaissance was a period of time in American history that emphasized African American culture in the form of music, art, and poetry. The Harlem Renaissance of the 1920s was plagued by poverty and racial inequality. African Americans held the dream of upward mobility and racial equality, through mediums such as poetry and jazz: a new form of music originating from the African American community of Harlem. The community of Harlem was initially designated as a place where ambitious middle class workers could live. However, the community and housing of Harlem outgrew the transportation system. This caused the white real estate owners to sell their property to a lower income group of people which were mainly African Americans. By the time that the public transportation systems were extended to Harlem, many African American intellectuals, artists, and poets had already “set up shop” there. One of the places in which they did so was Harlem’s Cotton Club. This cabaret was famous for launching the careers of jazz musicians such as Duke Ellington and Louis Armstrong. However, the club was owned by whites, and its primary audience was whites. Still, the importance of the club is untestable. It was "the" way for upper class White Americans to experience what the African American culture was like at the time. A select group of prestigious African Americans would go to the cotton
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