The Harlem Renaissance was an iconic movement of the nineteenth century. It was a social and intellectual eruption that was located in Harlem, New York. Legends such as Duke Ellington, Zora Neale Hurston, Aaron Douglas, and many more, all originated from this extraordinary movement. Claude McKay is one of the most legendary authors that contributed the Harlem Renaissance. McKay wrote many iconic pieces. To name a few, he wrote poems titled, “If We Must Die”, “Harlem Shadows”, and “America”. By doing the impossible and being heard when he could not speak, Claude McKay has used his voice for social justice and has changed the world for the better.
Festus Claude McKay was born September 15, 1889, in Sunny Ville, Clarendon Parish, Jamaica. His...
During this disastrous time, McKay wrote his best works, including “If We Must Die”. This extraordinary poem displays and defends black rights. Poetry formed the center of the Harlem Renaissance. McKay’s writing included racial issues and the working class.
McKay visited England for two years (1919 – 1921). In England, he was employed by Workers’ Drednought, a British socialist journal, and published his poetry collection “Spring in New Hampshire”. This poetry collection is said to be his most significant because it contained his best work, including the poem “Harlem Shadows”’.
When Claude McKay returned to America from England, he was involved with the Universal Negro Improvement Association and explored Communism more. After spending some time in America, he traveled to Europe and North Africa for eleven years. During those years, he wrote three novels, “Home to Harlem”, “Banjo”, and “Banana Bottom”. The novel, “Home to Harlem”, was the most popular novel he has written and was well received by critics. It was about a black soldier who disowns his military duties to return home. It shows a realistic way of life that African Americans had to go through during that time...
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