Neal was just one of the important writers of the Black Arts Movement era. Other writers, poets, and essayists illustrated a new beginning for the black community to overcome their hardships and to rise up artistically. The concept of Black Power stemmed from the Black Arts Movement. Black Power was a political movement that arose to express a new racial consciousness among Blacks in the United States. Black Power represented a racial dignity leading to freedom from white authority in economic and political grounds.
The Harlem Renaissance took place between 1919 and 1935; it was a movement that included literary arts, specifically the portrayal of black life from a realistic view; it is known as one of the most influential movements as it was the development of the African American culture (Hutchinson 1). In the renaissance blacks essentially made a new identity for themselves; known as the “new negro”, this included no longer allowing whites to treat them as if they were not humans; additionally they would breakdown the stereotypes of blacks and not let whites dictate them because of their color, past, or financial status (Morgan 214). The Harlem Renaissance is fundamentally a group of black literati, such as writers, poets, etc. that got together and decided to change the perception of blacks amongst whites in order to prove to whites that blacks could be just as capable as them in life. Some of the writers involved in the renaissance were poets, Langston Hughes, Countee Cullen, and Claude McKay; in these poets works there are distinctive characteristics of the Harlem Renaissance that are present.
The Norton Anthology of African American Literature. 2nd ed. New York: W.W. Norton and Company , Inc. , 2004. Print. Harden, Renata, Christopher K. Jackson, and Dr. Berlethia J. Pitts.
HARLEM RENAISSANCE Throughout the history of African Americans, there have been important historical figures as well as times. Revered and inspirational leaders and eras like, Martin Luther King and the Civil Rights Movement, Nat Turner and the slave revolt, or Huey Newton and the Black Panther Party. One such period that will always remain a significant part of black art and culture is the Harlem Renaissance. It changed the meaning of art and poetry, as it was known then. Furthermore, the Harlem Renaissance forever left a mark on the evolution of the black culture.
Franklin, John Hope. From Slavery to Freedom A History of Negro Americans. New York: Vintage Books, 1969. ?Harlem Renaissance.? 14 Feb. 2000 Lewis, David Levering.
A great deal of the work created at this time was very opinionated and designed to empower and uplift African-Americans. The movement holds a tremendous effect and influence on writers that have come in the later part of the on-going insurgence. The themes, concepts, and social questions that the Black Arts Movement artists had influenced a new generation of writers who extended and related to the Black Aesthetic in more contemporary times. Conscientious novelists now write with the purpose to communicate the definition of blackness and the variety of the “Black Experience” correlating with writers of the movement. Natasha Tretheway‘s poem “Help 1968” is one that was subsequently influenced by the logic and perspectives of the movement.
Many things came about during the Harlem Renaissance; things such as jazz and blues, poetry, dance, and musical theater. The African-American way of life became the “thing.” Many white people came to discover this newest art, dancing, music, and literature. The Great Migration of African-American people from the rural South to the North, and many into Harlem was the cause of this phenomenon. Harlem was originally a Dutch settlement. Harlem became one of the largest African- American communities in the United States, and during the Harlem Renaissance became a center for art and literature.
The Harlem Renaissance proved to America that African Americans also have specialized talents and should also be able to exhibit their gifts. The Harlem Renaissance also obtained the notoriety expeditiously that participants of this movement needed to modify America’s perspective of black environments. To sum up, the Harlem Renaissance “New Negro Movement” was a cultural movement that celebrated black life and culture. This movement assisted in gaining a new significance and vigorous race relation in the United States; it awakened black communities all over the world-- especially Harlem to utilize their gifts and talents and make the best of it. Initially, the “Harlem Renaissance derives from the fact that Harlem served as a symbolic capital of the cultural awakening-- a dynamic crucible of cultural cross-fertilization.
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".