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Issues of Racial Identity during the Harlem Renaissance

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The early 1900s was a very challenging time for Negroes especially young women who developed issues in regards to their identities. Their concerns stemmed from their skin colors. Either they were fair skinned due mixed heritage or just dark skinned. Young African American women experienced issues with racial identity which caused them to be in a constant struggle that prohibits them from loving themselves and the skin they are in. The purpose of this paper is to examine those issues in the context of selected creative literature. I will be discussing the various aspects of them and to aid in my analysis, I will be utilizing the works of Nella Larsen from The Norton Anthology of African American Literature, Jessie Bennett Redmond Fauset, and Wallace Brown. The Harlem Renaissance was a period of great rebirth for African American people and according to the online encyclopedia Wikipedia, the “Harlem Renaissance was a cultural movement that spanned the 1920s and 1930s.” Wikipedia also indicates that it was also known as the “Negro Movement, named after the 1925 Anthology by Alan Locke.” Blacks from all over America and the Caribbean and flocked to Harlem, New York. Harlem became a sort of “melting pot” for Black America. Writers, artists, poets, musicians and dancers converged there spanning a renaissance. The Harlem Renaissance was also one of the most important chapters in the era of African American literature. This literary period gave way to a new type of writing style. This style is known as “creative literature.” Creative literature enabled writers to express their thoughts and feelings about various issues that were of importance to African Americans. These issues include racism, gender and identity, and others that we... ... middle of paper ... ...dmon. Plum Bun: A Novel without Moral. 1929. Boston: Beacon Press. 1999. Print. “Jessie Redmon Fauset.” Wikepedia. 2011. Wikimedia Foundation, Inc… 7 May 2011 Larsen, Nella. “Quicksand.” The Norton Anthology of African American Literature. 2nd ed .Ed. Henry Louis Gates Jr. and Nellie Y. McKay. New York: W.W. Norton & Company, Inc. 2004. 1085-1167. Print “Nella Larsen.” Wikepedia. 2011. Wikimedia Foundation, Inc… 7 May 2011 “The Harlem Renaissance.” Wikepedia. 2011. Wikimedia Foundation, Inc… 7 May 2011 Thurman, Wallace. The Blacker the Berry. 1929. New York. Dover Publications. 2008. Print “Wallace Thurman.” Wikepedia. 2011. Wikimedia Foundation, Inc… 7 May 2011
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