The Harlem Renaissance

Topics: Harlem Renaissance, Black people, African American Pages: 5 (1844 words) Published: June 16, 2005
In 1917, the United States found itself buried in a conflict with many different nations. Labeled as World War I, the United States goal was to support the fight for democracy across the world. As the war progressed, there was a need to fulfill many jobs due to the labor shortages that the North had been experiencing. To be more exact, the North received a major labor blow, due to the large enlistment of men into the Army. The draft also helped to cripple the labor supply of the North. The fact that the North was primarily industry based, caused many jobs to become vacant, and created an extremely high demand for an immediate labor force. Large numbers of African Americans migrated from the South to the North in response to the need for a steady labor force, and in hopes of finding economic growth. As World War I ended, many more African Americans migrated from the south to the north due to an overwhelmingly large amount racial tension in the aftermath of the war. This great migration of African Americans, from the south to the north led to black settlements in some of the larger northern industrial cities, such as Washington D.C., Philadelphia, and New York. In about 1920, many of the African Americans who had moved to the north from the south were beginning to embrace the concept of the "New Negro", which was a movement that was not only a social revolt against racism, but also served as a literary movement, as well as redefined African American expression. This movement better known as the Harlem Renaissance was a key contributor to African Americans, and the way that their roles changed in the United States, on the road to equal rights as well as economic equality. The Harlem Renaissance will forever be remembered as the turning point in African American culture, as well as their place in America today. Harlem Renaissance

An era of written and artistic creativity among African Americans that occurred after World War I, and lasted until the middle of the 1930's depression; This is the definition that you would probably get for the Harlem Renaissance if you looked it up in a book, but the Harlem Renaissance was much more than that. The Harlem Renaissance was an expression of redefined African Americans who felt a sense of self-pride, and promoted the celebration of their African American heritage. It was a time period in which movements were lead by prominent African Americans whom were leaders and forefront runners of the Black intelligentsia. Names such as Marcus Garvey, Richard Wright, Zora Neal Hurston and Langston Hughes were some of the top figures of this movement. The Harlem Renaissance is important in history, because it is the first time in which African Americans openly expressed literary writing. A sense of liberation, and freedom was felt for the first time. Blacks were coming together to share in the "New Negro". This movement was marked by advancements in the arts. Poetry, fiction, drama, and essay were the major components of the writings. These works express the hardships of slavery as well as racism, and discrimination. These works also called for a sense of racial consciousness, and if self internalization. A push toward racial integration was pursued, as well as the development of music, especially jazz, spirituals and blues, and many other genres. With so many prominent and intellectual African Americans of that time period, it is hard to touch on the advancements and contributions that each person made to the movement, but the few great ones will always be remembered. As the years passed during the Harlem Renaissance, African Americans began to establish themselves economically, paving the way blacks to be able to survive in a capitalistic society. For a period of about ten years, Harlem became one of the most thriving, and exciting cities in the North. The Renaissance reigned on for around ten years, but eventually fell, mostly due to the impending crisis of the great depression. Yet the Harlem...
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