Harlem Renaissance Essay

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As I look back on history, mentally I picture one of two things: World War I or the Civil War. But what on earth happened after? Who won? What’s the year? What happened to the slaves? The year is 1920 and the civil war has just ended. African-Americans are ever so pleased and confident once they were freed from the oppression. They were so thrilled and persevered they realized that they can do anything that white people can do thus created the uprising of African-American politicians, writers, musicians, and artists. I am here to speak on the topic of The Arts and how society and politics affected African Americans during the Harlem Renaissance.

There are many artists and writers that are well known to this day that came from the Harlem Renaissance. As for writers, Zora Neale Hurston’s name rings in my ear like a sweet melody. Hurston claimed her fame mainly from Their Eyes Were Watching God. She grew up in Eatonville, Florida and glorifies the town in her stories. There’s also Langston Hughes. He is well known for his symbolic poetry that shows how much the surroundings of the writers during this time were affected while writing their works of art. One of my personal favorites are 50-50, a poem about greed, and Cross, a short poem about being a biracial child. As for musicians, Duke Ellington and Billy Holiday are the first to take the stage. Duke Ellington engaged in directing and playing piano at the Cotton Club. He was also in the first African-American play Shuffle Along. Billie Holiday was a singer discovered in 1933 and is still known to this day as one of the greatest singers in history. Henry Ossawa Tanner, personally, is the most inspirational. He made the “white man” socially accept blacks into the arts community. T...

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...more influential but there is also some political aspects that caused the harlem renaissance. That is abolishing slavery. Abolishing slavery created opportunity to have African-Americans branch out and have their works showcased.

Why did I choose this topic? I chose it to show how much has changed and grown since then in the artistic community. The people who built up the Arts not only in the African-American community but all races. Billie Holiday, Zora Neale Hurston, and Duke Ellington. I look up to all of them. They are the people who I aspire to be like. To find pride in the color of my skin and tell ‘the man’ that I can do anything that he can do. Society affects them the same way society affects myself today. You have to feed off of it and make yourself better. Society and Politics affected The Arts during the harlem renaissance. How do The Arts affect you?
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