Last Updated 09 Jan 2023

The People, Art, and Literary Movement of the Harlem Renaissance

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Harlem Renaissance The harlem neighborhood was meant to be an upper white class neighborhood at first. Overdevelopment caused a lot of the buildings to become empty as such moving there became a lot cheaper. Some black families from a neighboring neighborhood began to move into harlem. Harlem renaissance was a movement in harlem new york. It was a movement on which African american literature and art boomed significantly. This was because many african americans started to move into harlem new york and thus a black community formed there. In this black community there were several pioneers of the art and literary movements, as well as music movements. Famous people during this movement were: langston hughes, W.E.B dubois, zora neal hurston, louis armstrong, paul robeson Langston hughes was big on the literary movement. Zora neal hurtson contributed with her involvement on a published magazine called FIRE! This magazine showed the life in harlem and encouraged people to go visit and experience the culture and nightlife there. The famous Louis Armstrong was one of the big jazz guys, jazz became so popular in fact that some whites also wanted to listen to it. This type of lifestyle became popular but some whites did not want to hang out with blacks as such clubs catered specifically for whites were built.

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Some found this unacceptable while others thought this was a sign of black culture moving forwards in the world. The culture boom gave a lot of black actors more opportunities that that they had ever had. They would get roles every now and then but they were usually either minor or playing some kind of stereotype. But with the harlem renaissance many of them were receiving important roles in various plays. One very famous actor was Paul Robeson an actor, singer, writer, activist, and more. He believed the arts were the best way to overcome racism against african americans. Visual art(paintings, drawings, etc.) was never welcomed if it was from a black person back then. Many black artists would often get shut down just because of their color and not because of their art. Dubois championed this people and pushed for African Americans to keep going in the visual art field. One of the early pioneers on this field was Aaron Douglas also known as the father of american art by many. He adopted african techniques in his paintings and art. The Harlem renaissance ended with the stock market crash of 1929 along with everything else and lingered a bit until alcohol prohibition was removed in 1933 and so patrons did not seek illegal clubs anymore, now that alcohol was legal again. Many moved on and seeked jobs and were replaced by the refugees coming from the south.

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