Harlem Renaissance

Good Essays
Powell’s overall thesis is, “The Harlem Renaissance was a cultural and psychological water-shed, and era in which black people were perceived as having finally liberated themselves from a past fraught with self-doubt and surrendered instead to an unprecedented optimism, a novel pride in all things black and a cultural confidence that stretched beyond the borders of Harlem to other black communities in the Western world.” Powell’s overall point in this article is the beauty of the Harlem Renaissance and the cultural influence in brought to North America, not only to African American communities but to communities of other racial ethnicities as well. The utilization of black arts (literature, visual arts, and music) brew throughout the United …show more content…
Powell stats that the beginning and end, on the other hand, was from the 1920s to the 1930s. The influence of the Harlem Renaissance stretched out from Harlem and reached black communities throughout the Western world. The Harlem Renaissance, itself, describes the African-American communities and their cultural experiences that are located in Harlem New York City. “It not only locates this black creativity in Harlem but situates it between the end of the First World War and the 1929 stock-market crash and ensuing worldwide economic depression” (16). It also refers to a particular type of art (overwhelmingly literary and music, and occasionally visual) and frequently excludes certain art forms (like film and, curiously, graphic design) and certain …show more content…
Many of the artists described impose “modern” and cultural aspects into their pieces to present the black Harlem culture during that particular time. Although, as Powell clearly states on several occasions, African American art and their ideas remain unrecognized by some despite the role these works have played in the construction of modernity (Powell, 20). Powell continues his discussion by listing and describing several artist who contributed towards the Harlem Renaissance such as: James VanDerZee, Archibald J. Motley Jr., Aaron Douglas, Miguel Covarrubias, and much more. Overall, the combination of all forms of art are what made the Harlem Renaissance such an amazing period in time. Men and women who were going through similar hardships, in approximately the same area create beautiful works for art (literature, music, and visual art) focused their pain and sadness in a very creative manner which inspired other to do the same. Those who were not able to copy, did what they were capable of doing. For me, this is an amazing topic to consider because of how these African Americans used their hardships to create…things, beautiful things. What amazes me even more is that it was a cultural event, where large masses of people used art to express themselves instead of violence (even though that still existed during the Harlem

You May Also Find These Documents Helpful

  • Good Essays

    Harlem Renaissance was African-American’s cultural movement that began in 1920, it was blossoming of African American culture in terms of literature and art starting in the 1920 to 1930 reflecting the growth of Black Nationalism and racial identity. Some universal themes symbolized throughout the Harlem Renaissance were the unique experience of thralldom slavery and egressing African-American folk customs on black individuality. African American population of United States highly contributed in this movement; they played a great role to support it. In fact, major contribution was made by black-owned businesses and publication of their literary works. Nevertheless, it relied on the patronization of whites.…

    • 630 Words
    • 3 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Good Essays

    The Harlem Renaissance was a literary, artistic, and intellectual movement that kindled a new black cultural identity, spanning the 1920s and to the mid-1930s. While reading the article “Black Renaissance: A Brief History of the Concept” I learned that the Harlem Renaissance was once a debatable topic. Ernest J. Mitchell wrote the article, explaining how the term “Harlem Renaissance” did not originate in the era that it claims to describe. The movement “Harlem Renaissance” did not appear in print before 1940 and it only gained widespread appeal in the 1960s. During the four preceding decades, writers had mostly referred to it as “Negro Renaissance.”…

    • 105 Words
    • 1 Page
    Good Essays
  • Powerful Essays

    During the period from 1917 to the mid-1930, there was a big boom of African-American cultural expressions that swept through the North and the Midwest of America. But the largest wave of cultural expression happened in Harlem, New York. This time period is known as Harlem Renaissance. The reason for this boom was due to the Great Migration, the migration of 6 million African-Americans from the rural areas of the South to the urban areas of the North, Midwest, and West between 1910 and 1970. The term “renaissance” is French for the word “rebirth”. Due to the large population of African-American poets, political leaders, musicians, artists, and writers, rebirth couldn’t have been a better name. The Harlem Renaissance could be seen as one of the most influential and even impactful time periods in American history, compared to times of slavery, reconstruction, and modern day.…

    • 999 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Powerful Essays
  • Powerful Essays

    Harlem Renaissance

    • 3640 Words
    • 15 Pages

    When Harlem was in Vogue, David L. Lewis’s celebrated account of the Harlem Renaissance, was published by Knopf in1981. The latest edition, a Penguin paperback with a luminous new preface added by the author, appeared in 1997.…

    • 3640 Words
    • 15 Pages
    Powerful Essays
  • Good Essays

    Racial Mountain

    • 882 Words
    • 4 Pages

    What is the Harlem Renaissance? The Harlem Renaissance was a movement that was prompted by the advocacy of racial equality that began in the early 1920s and lasted into the 1930s. Also known as the “New Negro Movement”, the Renaissance was the development of African American culture, and was the most influential movement in African American literary history, cultural literature, and music, theatrical and visual arts. Participants such as Zora Neal Hurston, W.E.B. DuBoise, and Langston Hughes, among others sought to reconceptualize “the Negro” apart from the white stereotypes that had influenced African-American’s relationship to their heritage and to each other. In this paper we will discuss the contributions Langston Hughes made to the movement and his thought process and reasoning for doing so.…

    • 882 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Good Essays

    “A people without the knowledge of their past history, origin and culture is like a tree without roots” - Marcus Garvey. The Harlem Renaissance was a period of time in which racial pride and culture were thrust away in favor of a more traditional style of art. However, during this time, racial pride was best expressed through folk art via the means of relatable structure, understandable word choice and everyday subject matter. Common poets of the time chose not to imitate the formal and restrictive style of the European influenced “high art” and instead believed in a more down-to-earth, conversational style of writing. In these choices, poets began to shape a new form of art called “folk art” that gave readers content inspired by daily life and no longer barred by the restraint of European art.…

    • 568 Words
    • 3 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Good Essays

    A Renaissance is a cultural movement, rebirth, and reinvention. The Black Chicago Renaissance began in the 1930’s where Chicago experienced a cultural renaissance that lasted into the 1950’s and was in comparison of the Harlem Renaissance of the 1920’s. I don’t believe that the Harlem and Chicago Renaissance should be compared due to the fact that these were two places that were of importance for black people that made a difference. I think it’s irrational to compare the two due to blacks worked so hard for everything they had and I think Harlem and Chicago were two different places that did similar changes for where they lived to make a difference. In the book Hines touched on creativity of music, performing arts, visual, social science scholarship, and literary artistic expressions. These were gifts that blacks were blessed with to share with Chicago. Chicago became a place where numerous of African Americans became involved with the performing arts. Blacks were really talented and they let it show through their music, art, and singing. Chicago was also a popular industrial center that gave an uncommon working class to the cultural work that took place in Chicago. This book analyzes the Black Chicago Renaissance in comparison to the Harlem Renaissance which took place in New York.…

    • 1062 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Powerful Essays

    Gilroy, Paul. Modern Tones, Rhapsodies in Black: Art of the Harlem Renaissance. Exhibition devised and selected by Richard J. Powell and David A. Bailey. London: Hayward Gallery: Institute of International Visual Arts; Berkeley: University of California Press, 1997.…

    • 1907 Words
    • 8 Pages
    Powerful Essays
  • Satisfactory Essays

    Fences

    • 380 Words
    • 2 Pages

    In the early 1900’s, many black artist be flood the streets of New York City. In our generation now, there aren’t many kids who see art as poetry or music, but as a piece of painting that we can make using pencils, paint, and markers. Out of those few kids, there are a great number of them who see art in poetry more than a composition framed in a museum. Now out of those few, there would be a wide range of African American artist to become big-time artist. Who would have given us an opening to get such a great opportunity to become known in the world that use to be segregated years ago? In the 1920’s, many talented African Americans came to New York City and began showing their talents. Out of all of those talents, a few was selected. One of those talents were poetry. Artist like Langston Hughes and Zora Neal Hurston became big-time artist. They were liked by all races which made them a great African American poets. They talked about the American dream and ways lives could have been, which I’m sure many African Americans could relate to and what others wanted to know. They talked about their feelings which and everyday life. As time went on, they passed away, but their poetry remained for many years. In the 1950’s, there was a play named: Fences by August Wilson. The play was about growing up being an African American. The play talks about how Negros couldn’t drive garbage trucks and how one man can make an opening for other African Americans. The poetry written during the Harlem Renaissance plays a huge role in the 1950’s because of what the play is about. It is about how life then and how it begins to change. The renaissance opened door for future generations. The legacy of the Harlem Renaissance opened doors and deeply influenced the generations of African American writers (Poets). Without the renaissance we wouldn’t have as many opportunities to express our talents. August Wilson shows in his play: Fences that…

    • 380 Words
    • 2 Pages
    Satisfactory Essays
  • Satisfactory Essays

    The Harlem Renaissance took place towards the end of World War I and The mid 1930s. It was a rebirth for African americans, allowing them to open up and to be a person. Not everyone agreed with this, it was actually illegal for a white and black person to communicate and to be in the same building. In Harlem, everyone was welcome, everywhere. African Americans were pretty happy about that, although it was hard to get a job, it wasn’t impossible. Black people were able to express themselves socially, through music, and literature.…

    • 93 Words
    • 1 Page
    Satisfactory Essays
  • Best Essays

    Zelaya, Alicia, Personal Interview, December 10,2009, Alicia Zelaya (my great aunt) talks about living in Spanish Harlem, singing in a jazz band and she told me about the rent parties.…

    • 2788 Words
    • 12 Pages
    Best Essays
  • Powerful Essays

    Driskell, David C., David L. Lewis, and Deborah Willis. Harlem Renaissance: Art of Black America. New York: Studio Museum in Harlem, 1987. Print.…

    • 1339 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Powerful Essays
  • Good Essays

    The Harlem Renaissance was an artistic and cultural explosion among African-Americans in Harlem, New York in the 1920's. The Harlem Renaissance created the greatest Americans artists, musicians, and writers of all time while expanding the identity and culture of a group that was powerless for hundreds of years.…

    • 48 Words
    • 1 Page
    Good Essays
  • Satisfactory Essays

    . Visual artists connected with the movement are less generally known. Among the painters are Aaron Douglas, Palmer Hayden, Malvin G. Johnson, and William H. Johnson. The best-known sculptor is probably Augusta Savage. Photographers include James Van Der Zee…

    • 436 Words
    • 2 Pages
    Satisfactory Essays
  • Powerful Essays

    Harlem Renaissance

    • 1613 Words
    • 7 Pages

    Harlem Renaissance, an African American cultural movement of the 1920s and early 1930s that was centered in the Harlem neighborhood of New York City. According to Wintz:…

    • 1613 Words
    • 7 Pages
    Powerful Essays