The Harlem Renaissance

1178 Words3 Pages
During the 20th century a unique awakening of mind and spirit, of race consciousness, and artistic advancement emerged within the African American community in New York City. This emergence has brought about the greatest artistic movement in African American history. After the failure of the Reconstruction period the Negro was not considered either a person or an America. The idea that a Negro was an American was totally unacceptable to the white ruling class. The acceptance of lynching and denied voting rights and equal protection under the law, and equal education and housing in Southern states affirmed their non- personhood in America. During the 20th century a new generation of Blacks, looking back on the enslavement of their parents and grandparents, wanted more. They wanted racial equality , they wanted equal justice, they wanted to change the bad perception of Black people and their culture in America. How could this be done, what could they do to change things.? World War I , the immigration law of 1921, the Mississippi River flooding of 1927 and other factors led to the Great Migration northward. This allowed thousands of Negroes to finally leave the backward Southern states and move to the progressive . North. Many migrated to New York City and ended up in Harlem. Harlem was essentially a Jewish neighborhood , until the Black community settled in. Harlem, where Blacks eventually became the majority. In Harlem a new black cultural identity began to emerged. It came forth through social, religious, civic and cultural organizations,also through newspapers and journals devoted to black interest. Hearing t... ... middle of paper ... ...night is dark. Black like the depths of my Africa. I’ve been a slave Caesar told me to keep his door steps clean I brushed the boots of Washington. I’ve been a worker. Under my hands the pyramids arose. I made mortar foe the Woolworth Building. I’ve been a singer. All the way from Africa to Georgia. I carried my sorrow songs. I made ragtime. I’ve been a victim. The Belgians cut off my hands in the Congo. Works Cited Encyclopeida of The Harlem Renaissance, Aberjhani & West S. (2003) New York, Checkmark Before and Beyond Harlem , Berry, F. (1992) New Jersey, Carol Publishing Co. The Collection Poems of Langston Hughes, Rapersad, A. & Roessel, D. ( Eds.) (1995) , New York, Vintage Books
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