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Blacks

analytical Essay
1283 words
1283 words
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The Harlem Renaissance was an African American cultural movement that began in Harlem, New York after World War I and ended during the late 1930s. The Harlem Renaissance marked the first time that mainstream publishers and critics took African American literature seriously and that African American literature and arts attracted significant attention from the nation at large. It was a blossoming of African American culture, particularly in the creative arts, and the most influential movement in African American literary history. Embracing literary, musical, theatrical, and visual arts, participants sought to re-conceptualize “the Negro” apart from the white stereotypes that had influenced black peoples’ relationship to both their heritage and to each other. Never dominated by a particular school of thought but rather characterized by intense debate, the movement laid the groundwork for all later African American music and had an enormous impact on subsequent black music and literature worldwide. While the renaissance was not confined to the Harlem district of New York City, Harlem attracted a remarkable concentration of intellect and talent and served as the symbolic capital of this cultural awakening. The Harlem Renaissance marked the first time that mainstream publishers and critics, primarily White Americans, took African American creative arts seriously and that it attracted significant attention from the nation at large. The music of the Harlem Renaissance - including jazz, swing, and big band - was an inherent expression of the joyous revolt from the confinement of racial prejudice experienced by African Americans. Jazz became extremely popular in Harlem in the 1920s. Historians agree that the musical genre of jazz was most i... ... middle of paper ... ... wing and gave her some early training, and over the next decade Smith continued to perform at various theaters and on the vaudeville circuit. After having settled down in the earlier 1920s in Philadelphia, in 1923 she was discovered by a representative from Columbia Records, with whom she signed a contract and made her first song recordings. Among them was a track titled "Downhearted Blues," which was very popular and sold an estimated 800,000 copies, propelling Smith into the blues spotlight. With her rich, powerful voice, Smith soon became a successful recording artist and toured extensively. Along with her new gained spotlight, Smith gained more prejudicial treatment from Whites during the time. To avoid the prejudicial treatment that she and her traveling ensemble sometimes endured, Smith eventually bought a custom railroad car for them to travel and sleep in.

In this essay, the author

  • Describes the harlem renaissance as a blossoming of african american culture, especially in the creative arts.
  • Explains that jazz, swing, and big band was an inherent expression of the joyous revolt from the confinement of racial prejudice experienced by african americans.
  • Analyzes how thematic musical expressions african-american artists recorded during the harlem renaissance were used as a means of expressing their black identity. gender allowed for women to express their views on race and gender relations.
  • Explains that thomas wright waller was born on may 21, 1904, in new york city. he learned to play piano, reed organ, string bass, and violin.
  • Describes how fats waller branched out to radio with his shows "paramount on parade" and "radio roundup" from 1930-31, and the cincinnati-based "fats and his rhythm sextet."
  • Narrates how elizabeth "bessie" smith was born in 1894 in chattanooga, tennessee. she began performing as a street singer in 1912 and later in the rabbit foot minstrels.
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