The New Negro of Harlem Essay

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Between 1910 and 1920, in a movement known as the Great Migration, hundreds of thousands of African Americans uprooted from their homes in the South and moved North to the big cities in search of jobs. They left the South because of racial violence and economic discrimination. Their migration was an expression of their changing attitudes toward themselves, and has been described as "something like a spiritual emancipation." Many migrants moved to Harlem, a neighborhood on the upper west side of Manhattan. In the 1920's, Harlem became the worlds largest black community; also home to a highly diverse mix of cultures. This unprecedented outburst of creative activity exposed their unique culture and encouraged…show more content…
Visual artists were also a significant force in this era. One of the popular artists of the movement was Henry Ossawa Tanner, an man of international acclaim whose exhibits included the famed Paris Salon. His noted oil painting, "The Banjo Lesson," is a valued piece of the collection of the Hampton University Museum in Hampton, Virginia. During the 1920's, he was recognized as the most important black artist of his generation.

A few of the notable writers and poets were Countee Cullen, Langston Hughes, Jean Toomer, and Zora Neale Hurston. Langston Hughes was the most popular and gifted of all poets during this movement. Many of his poems described the different everyday lives of working class African Americans by adapting the rhythms of their music to his poetry. Some of the poems moved to the tempo of jazz and the blues. Another major figure was poet Claude McKay, a Jamaican immigrant whose militant verses urged African Americans to resist prejudice and discrimination. His poems also expressed the pain of life in the black ghettos of the 1920's, and the strain of being black in a world dominated by whites.

The most accomplished writer of the Harlem Renaissance was Zora Neale Hurston. Hurston's many novels, books of folklore, poems, and short stories portrayed the lives of poor, unschooled Southern blacks, whom, in her words, were the greatest cultural wealth of the continent. Much of her work celebrated,
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