Harlem Renaissance

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Harlem Renaissance: A literary and art movement that occurred throughout the time period of the 1920's to the 1930's. After the civil war, African Americans were basically forced to search for a safe place so that they would be able to explore their new identities as free beings. This took place in Harlem, NY and it was the birth place of a cultural revolution. Its status was the capital of black America. Practically all the black freed slaves moved to the north thanks to the harsh racism in the south, it was known as the great migration.

Section 1

The north had granted all men with the right to vote, provided better educations for blacks, added greater job opportunities as a result of World War I and the industrial revolution. Between the 1900 to the 1920's the black population in New York had doubled. Many of the best black artists, entrepreneurs, and intellectuals had moved to Harlem. They also brought institutions and businesses necessary to support them, and also a lot of talents and ambitions as well.

Marcus Garvey founded the universal negro improvement association and African communities league. He was one who helped blacks feel pride in their heritage and race. They provided a rare opportunity for white to collaborate with black intellectuals, social activists, educators and artists.

Section 2

Langston Hughes was a man had been born February 1, 1902 in Joplin, Missouri. He was raised by his grandmother thanks to his parents divorce and his father moved to Mexico. She had raised him until he was only thirteen and then he moved to Illinois to live with his mother and her husband. Langston had started on poetry once he was in Illinois and after graduation he decided to spend a year in Mexico and a year at Columbia University. During these two years, he had held four strange jobs as an assistant cook, launderer, busboy and he traveled to Europe and Africa working as a seaman . November 1924, he moved to Washington, D.C. where his book, The Weary Blues, was finally published by Alfred A. Knopf, 1926.

Section 3

Countee Cullen was born in Louisville, Ky. Cullen is a poet, novelist, translator, playwright, and children's writer. He was born on March 30, 1903. A few years later, after his college career, he had achieved a considerable amount of literary fame during the era known as the New Negro or mainly, Harlem Renaissance.

"Cullen won more major literary prizes than any other black writer of the 1920s: first prize in the Witter Bynner Poetry contest in 1925, Poetry magazine's John Reed Memorial Prize, the Amy Spingarn Award of the Crisis magazine, second prize in Opportunitymagazine's first poetry contest, and second prize in the poetry contest of Palms. In addition, he was the second black to win a Guggenheim Fellowship."


Historical Significance

In this section, you will write at least one paragraph (5-7 sentences) answering the following questions:
- Why is this topic significant for the 1920s (or later)?
- Would the 1920s have been the same without this topic? Why or why not?