Harlem Renaissance & the Hip Hop Movement

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Harlem Renaissance and the Hip-hop Movement
The Harlem Renaissance and the Hip-Hop Movement are a culmination of co-related cultural art forms that have emerged out of the black experience. White people understood black people more through their expression of art during both movements. Both movements brought about a broad cross-racial following and, ironically, in both instances brought about a better understanding of the black experience for white America. The bridge between Be-Bop and Hip-Hop was made by Quincy Jones with the “Back on the Block” project; which featured such artists as Dizzie Gillespie, Miles Davis, Sarah Vaughn, Ella Fitzgerald, Tevin Campbell, Ice Tea, Big Daddy Kane, Al B Sure, Barry White and many others. The artistic elements of both movements include literature, art, music, dance, musical theatre, film etc. Both movements were born out of a desire to find the best possible way of expressing their humanity.[1] The Harlem Renaissance

The 1920’s usually stir up images of speakeasies and flappers, but for one group of Americans the decade became a time of rebirth known as the Harlem Renaissance. The Harlem Renaissance or Negro Renaissance is the term applied to the movement of Black Americans from the South to the North during the 1920s and 1930s. The Harlem Renaissance, which is also known as the Black Literary Renaissance and The New Negro Movement, began in the neighborhood of Harlem in New York City in which the spirituality and potential of the African-American community was articulated through different forms of artistic expression. The Harlem Renaissance was one generation removed from the Civil War. This time period coincided with black migration to the northern cities to look for employment opportunities that became available after World War I because these types of opportunities were not as readily available to blacks in the South. In the Southern states there was a lack of freedom of expression for African Americans because it was generally demoralized by the Caucasian citizens of the South, with their repressive attitudes and mandates of the old Southern order (black art and other forms of creative expression in black culture was simply censored or manifested itself in an underground forum). The migration to the North, more specifically Harlem, led to African Americans finding an outlet for group expression and self determination as a means of achieving equality and civil rights. This era impacted literature (poetry and prose), music (jazz played in the notorious Cotton Club and elsewhere), visual arts (painting), and acting in musicals. In social clubs like the Cotton Club, African Americans entertained on stage and waited the customers, while they catered only to white patrons. These “white patrons” would often travel to Harlem for the “exotic entertainment.” [2] Until the 20's, Harlem was home mostly to Irish immigrants. When they moved to the upper tip of Manhattan in the Inwood Section, however, the plentiful housing was made available cheaply, and became a magnet for the migrating blacks. Though racism subsequently caused the monthly rent rates to rise unfairly, Harlem was now a metropolis for blacks. The scales of the economy were unbalanced based on race, so black people had to be creative. Although the Harlem Renaissance demonstrated the creation of a national black culture, during the Harlem Renaissance, African-Americans did not control their economic circumstances. As a result of their lack of control over rent policies, small businesses, banking, and mortgage loans, Harlem became a ghetto. [2] [3] To deal with the poverty that was very real, even before the Depression, Harlem neighbors would often host house rent parties in their railroad flats. Perhaps, considered the most innovative form of black entertainment and an institution created in response to the sorry reality that Harlem's inflated rents ($12 to $30 a month) were...