Harlem Renaissance

explanatory Essay
592 words
592 words

Harlem Renaissance

During the 1920's, the spiritual, social, and literary eagerness that raced through Harlem could be called the most important period of self-discovery in African-American history after the Civil War. Black literature went through a tremendous outbreak in Harlem, which is a district of New York City. In the middle of the changing atmosphere, a small group of black men and women began a public relations campaign to promote what they called the "New Negro" movement. While these men and women promoted art and literature, they were credited with starting much more than just and intellectual movement. This movement included poetry and writing, which forever changed the African-American lifestyle into a unique and more educated culture.

As the African American culture expanded their horizon, and viewed passed the obstacles and barriers that were set by other ethnic groups, many families migrated to the northern cities, including New York City. Harlem was a magical, transforming place then, and that was especially true for the forsaken civilians who went to New York in search of a greater opportunity. Many believe, the Harlem Renaissance truly began, when W.E.B. Dubois, editor of "The Crisis magazine" published "The Souls of Black Folks". He stated that "One ever feels two-ness-and American, a Negro, two souls, two thoughts, two unreconciled stirrings: two warring ideals in one dark body, whose dogged strength alone keeps it from being torn as under". There was an immediate reaction, it was clear that literature was definitely one art form that could bring the black culture together.

Even though slavery had been abolished 75 years earlier, were still able to relate to racism. For the first time, African Americans felt open minded, and in which their creativity strongly impacted every field of art and entertainment. They viewed poetry and writing as a form of expression, as a form of freedom and escape during the troubled life that many lived. As more and more people moved into Harlem, the job opportunities became larger. People felt confident and took greater risks. They often wrote about alienation and their own life stories, which were directed mostly to African American people and the third world of Africa, Asia and Latin America.

Very few became successful and flourish in every literary area. "The decade just past was the oleomargarine era of Negro writing," Hurston said (editor of "Opportunity" magazine). "Oleomargarine is the fictionalized form of butter.

In this essay, the author

  • Describes the harlem renaissance as the most important period of self-discovery in african-american history after the civil war.
  • Explains that the harlem renaissance began when w.e.b. dubois published "the souls of black folks".
  • Explains that african americans felt open minded, and their creativity impacted every field of art and entertainment. as more people moved into harlem, the job opportunities became larger.
  • Opines that the oleomargarine era of negro writing was the fictionalized form of butter. people looked passed the skin color and honored them rightly with awards, prizes, and fellowships.
  • Explains that the growing popularity in harlem created a positive public image of blacks in the american society. the poetic movement became joy and hope to some, and perhaps to others it was an inspiration and guide for the future generation to come.
Get Access