10 INTERESTING FACTS ABOUT THE HARLEM RENAISSANCE

Harlem Renaissance was an African American cultural, social and artistic movement that reached its peak during the 1920s. The center of the movement was Harlem, a Harlem area within New York City. The movement spread across the United States and reached as far as Paris.

Primarily by the Great Migration, Harlem Renaissance declined and came to an end with the Great Depression. Also known by the name of the New Negro Movement at the time, Harlem Renaissance is most closely connected to Jazz and the growth in African American arts. Here are 10 fascinating details concerning Harlem Renaissance and about its origins, consequences and achievements.

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FACTS ABOUT THE HARLEM RENAISSANCE 

#1 THE MOST IMPORTANT CAUSE of HARLEM RENAISSANCE was THE Great Migration

Great Migration is an expression used to describe the Migration in African Americans in America from the South to the North and the Midwest. From 1910 to 1930, during the initial Great Migration, around 1.6 million people relocated from the institutionalized racism within the South to pursue an opportunity to live in the prosperous north-facing economy.

The states of the south had passed numerous statutes that discriminated against African Americans which, among other things , barred blacks from registering for voting and required racial segregation. The labor shortage caused during the First World War was seen as an opportunity for blacks to get jobs to work in the North. The Migration from African Americans from the rural South to the urban North was key to the beginning of Harlem Renaissance. Harlem Renaissance.

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A painting from the famous Migration Series by African-American modern artist Jacob Lawrence

#2 IT IS CALLED AFTER THE HARLEM NEIGHBORHOOD OF THE MANHATTAN BOROUGH NYC

Harlem is a thriving neighborhood in the northern part of Manhattan’s New York City borough. Harlem was initially an exclusive neighborhood for white people, however, in the latter half of the 19th century, most residents moved south. Harlem was transformed when the Great Migration turned Harlem into an African American neighborhood.

The black population within Central Harlem increased from approximately 10 percent at the time of 1910 to over 70% by the year 1930. Harlem Renaissance is called so because the movement was primarily focused on Harlem and became the home or a gathering point for many African American intellectuals who contributed to the movement.

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#3 THOUGH CELEBRATED IN HARLEM It was a ALL OVER MOVEMENT

New York was the capital of the U.S.’s cultural and financial world and the most essential place for writers to publish their work. Therefore, Harlem’s geographical location made it an ideal location for African Americans’ creation and advancement of innovative work. Although it was centred in Harlem however, Harlem was not the only place to be. Renaissance was a broader movement. The extent of its influence can be seen through how it affected the French black writers of the African or Caribbean colonies who resided in Paris.

#4 PRIMITIVISM WAS A PART in popularizing the Renaissance white citizens.

The main factors that influenced Harlem Renaissance were dramatic rise in literacy rates for black people; the establishment of several national associations that were dedicated to their cause such as the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) as well as increased interactions between black intellectuals, the growth of pride in their race, and a determination to give them their own identity.

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Freudian psychology believed that people who were primitive had a closer relationship to nature. Also known by the term primitivism, it brought about a growing fascination with the works of creativity that African Americans created among white citizens. This was just one of many developments that contributed to the further popularity of the Renaissance.

#5 WHEN IT HAPPENED, HARLEM RENAISSANCE WAS CALLED THE NEW NEGRO MOVEMENT

The Harlem Renaissance is considered to be beginning in the late-1910s and continued to flourish until around the mid-1930s. In 1925, The New Negro: An Interpretation an anthology comprising poetry fiction along with essays and poems on African and literary works and art of the African-American, was published.

The editor was Alain Locke, an African American philosopher and writer often called the “Dean” of the Harlem Renaissance. The New Negro is considered by experts as the ultimate version of the period’s writings. Harlem Renaissance, which is supposed to have reached its peak between 1924 to 1929 was known by the name of “New Negro Movement” at the time, but it wasn’t until much later that it was recognized as the current name.

#6 JOURNALS played an integral role IN THE FORMATION OF THE MOVEMENT

In 1910 in year 1910, the NAACP began its official publication, The Crisis. The Crisis published the works of numerous young African-American writers who were part of The Harlem Renaissance, including Arna Bontemps, Langston Hughes, Countee Cullen, and Jean Toomer.

In 1917, The Crisis had over 100,000 readers. In 1917, Hubert Harrison was described as “the father of Harlem radicalism” established The Voice and the Liberty League and The Voice, the first organization and first publication specifically dedicated exclusively to the Harlem Renaissance. Opportunities, The Messenger, and Negro World were other prominent publications connected to the movement.

#7 It was marked by Unprecedented Development in AFRICAN AMERICAN Arts

Harlem Renaissance laid the groundwork for the rest of African American literature and had a huge impact on later global black consciousness. The work is often called double awareness and an African American experience. The term was originated by W. E. B. Du Bois describes the psychological struggle for the African American to view himself differently, not just from his own perspective but also the way the world of whites thinks of him.

This was because of his African roots and European childhood in slavery and education. Harlem Renaissance saw unprecedented development in not just African American literature but all forms of art.

#8 JAZZ MUSICAL OF AFRICAN Americans have become an international Craze

African American music, such as blues, spirituals, and particularly Jazz, was a global phenomenon and helped to boost the revival. Harlem Stride Piano is a jazz piano style that was invented in the 1920s and was instrumental to the spread of this music style in the elite.

In addition, blacks started appearing within the classical world of music compositions, a field that was previously predominantly white. Charleston is an original dance form that grew from the black folk dance, a jazz-influenced dance that quickly became a global craze. The popularity of Jazz in the eyes of whites that it led to an “Negro Vogue” in cities such as New York and Paris.

Ma Rainey Georgia Jazz Band in the 1920s. The effect of Jazz that the time was called the ‘Jazz Age.’

#9 LANGSTON HUGHES is the most well-known name of THE HARLEM RENAISSANCE

Harlem Renaissance was characterized by fierce debate and a variety of literary styles. Many writers such as Countee Cullen employed poetic forms that were which were associated to Europe or whites. In contrast, others such as Langston Hughes picked African as well as African American folk-inspired forms in their work.

Hughes is probably the most well-known name associated with the Renaissance. It believed it was essential for black writers to draw attention to folk art and develop distinctive “Negro”-inspired art. Hughes was also among the first to develop the art form that is now known in the form of the jazz poet and was famously known for his writing about the time when “the Negro was in fashion.”

#10, IT HAD PROFOUND AND FAR-REACHING CONSEQUENCES

Harlem Renaissance declined after the Wall Street Crash of 1929 and then faded with its decline due to the Great Depression that came. The major achievements of the movement included creating an identity for black people and reducing prejudice based on race and transforming the way people viewed people of color, and bringing an entirely new dimension to art forms that have influenced artists for generations.

Harlem Renaissance had profound and vast implications and set the foundations for the community that would later become the basis for the African-American Civil Rights Movement between the years 1950 and 1960.

About Chris

Chris Evan was born in Quebec and raised in Montreal, except for the time when he moved back to Quebec and attended high school there. He studied History and Literature at the University of Toronto. He began writing after obsessing over books.

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