Harlem Renaissance Essay Examples

Essays on Harlem Renaissance

Unfolding in New York City, the Harlem Renaissance became the Golden age of black culture. As many blacks escaped the discrimination and social injustices they found themselves migrating from the South to the North.

Photographers during the Harlem Renaissance
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The years between World War I and the Great Depression was a period of prosperity for the United States. 1 There were plenty of jobs in the city especially in the North which caused 750,000 African Americans to migrate from the South. Harlem, a section of New York City, drew a great number of African Americans, consequently making it the largest community of African Americans in the whole world. In the 1920’s, the African Americans that have settled in Harlem…...
Harlem RenaissanceMarcus Garvey
Harlem Renaissance Music
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Harlem Renaissance describes the advancement of African-American arts and culture in the United States, right away after the World War I. According to reports, the advanced advancement in the arts and culture started in Harlem, New york city, hence the name "Harlem Renaissance." Harlem Renaissance is thought to have happened in between years 1919 and 1930, with 1924 to 1929 as the years when it reached its peak (Charters S. and Kundstadt L.; "Harlem Renaissance"). The initiators and participants of…...
Harlem RenaissanceMusic
The Harlem Renaissance Poets
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The Harlem Renaissance was a wonderful allotment of advancement for the black poets and writers of the 1920s and early ‘30s. I see the Harlem Renaissance as a time where people gather together and express their work throughout the world for everyone to see the brilliance and talent the black descendants harness. The two authors I picked were W.E.B Du Bois and Langston Hughes. The reason why I picked these two is because of the dedicated work they have flourished…...
Black History MonthHarlem Renaissance
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Paul Dunbar’s Poem ‘Sympathy’ and Maya Angelou’s Poem ‘Cage Bird’ Comparison
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“I am no bird; and no net ensnares me: I am a free human being with an independent will.”- Jane Eyre Freedom is a normal human right but in our author’s case, it wasn’t. In 2001 Alicia keys wrote a song version of Maya Angelou's caged bird poem. Both were called caged birds and were inspired by Paul Dunbar’s sympathy poem, which was written in 1899. In the three versions, a constrained and imprisoned bird wants to feel free and…...
Caged BirdComparisonHarlem RenaissanceMaya AngelouPoemsRacism
The Cultural Impact of Langston Hughes
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A lot of people like poetry while others despise it. Is it because it’s a list of words and sentences so, they don’t bother to read it because they might not like to read? Although some people might hate poetry others love it for its the use of a form of speech to cover an ongoing issue. It is used to talk to other people in a specific style depending on the writer. In this case, it’s Langston Hughes. Hughes…...
Harlem RenaissanceLangston HughesRacism
Tom Buchannan reflects important attitudes and values in real-life American society in the 1920s
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Tom Buchannan reflects important attitudes and values in real-life American society in the 1920s. With reference to appropriately selected parts of the novel, and relevant external contextual information on attitudes and values in real-life American society in the 1920s, give your response to the above view. Tom Buchannan is certainly one of Fitzgerald’s most opinionated and distinct characters, and his social commentary reflects important attitudes and values in real-life American society in the 1920s. These attitudes and values are mostly…...
AttitudeHarlem RenaissanceRacismSocietyThe 1920sThe Great Gatsby
Mother to Son Poem Review
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Mother to Son Mother to Son is a poem written by Langston Hughes and was first published in 1922 in Crisis Magazine. Langston was an African American poet who lived in Mississippi (Roychowdhury, 2014). The poem's speaker is a mother who happens to be giving an advice to her son from the experiences of her own life. She states how her life has had hard and difficult times that she had to bear with all the time. In line 3-4,…...
FamilyGender EqualityHarlem RenaissanceOppressionPoemsSexism
Langston Hughes – Poem
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I struggled with choosing a topic for my research paper but after some recent events that occurred in my life, I found Langston to be a good fit. I have chosen some of his political poems which I think best fit time we are living in right now. The Harlem Renaissance also called The Golden Age in the African American culture. It was the development of the neighborhood of Harlem in the early 20th Century. It to the social and…...
DreamHarlem RenaissanceLangston HughesPoems
Double Consciousness In Black Culture Cultural Studies Essay
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In his book The Souls of the Black Folk, WEB Du Bois is sing the state of affairss the Africans, who were American citizens after the American Revolution war faced. These where people who were slaves afore clip and had become American citizens after being freed from bondage by Abraham Lincoln. The Whites looked down upon these black Americans, who were African Americans. They besides mistreated and despised these African Americans. The Whites considered themselves superior than the inkinesss and…...
CultureDouble ConsciousnessHarlem RenaissanceThe Souls of Black Folk
“The Lynching” by Claude McKay and African American Communities
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The 1920s intellectual life flourished with the African American communities in the US and their representation in the literary texts. With the return to historical events such as the oppression of black people or post-slavery events, the literature focuses on significant events in the history of the black community. Some people though they would free themselves by fleeing the slavery the South forces and migrating to the North. The poetry from the Harlem Renaissance reflects the diversity of forms and…...
African American CultureCommunityHarlem RenaissanceLiterature
Perspective on Race Theme for English B
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The poem “Theme for English B” is based on an assignment the speaker receives from his college English class. He is told to write a page about whatever comes to his mind as long as it’s true. Hughes, however, portrays the writer’s dilemma and uncertainty about what to write and what is necessarily true. Ultimately, the author provides a wide of range of audiences, from the African American youth to college students today, with a glimpse of how he perceives…...
EnglishHarlem RenaissanceLangston HughesPoetryRace
Chapter 28 The Rise of Totalitarianism Section 1
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Jazz Age Name for the 1920s, because of the popularity of jazz-a new type of American music that combined African rhythms, blues, and ragtime Louis Armstrong United States jazz trumpeter and bandleader (1900-1971) Duke Ellington United States jazz composer and piano player and bandleader (1899-1974) flapper Women in the 1920's who bobbed their hair, wore short skirts, and defied the morals and restrictions of the earlier generations - F. Scott Fitzgerald's wife, Zelda, was one Miriam Ferguson first female Governor…...
Harlem RenaissanceHistoryMrs DallowaysPeriod
AP Lit final
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2 branches of American Realism Naturalism- Looking at science to understand nature/ humans vs. nature Regionalism- dialect and mannerisms 55 Degrees - Jack London, - To Build a Fire, - the temperature the narrator thought it was when in reality it was much colder - SIGNIFICANCE → relates to naturalism: man always loses The Cage Experiment - The Lowest Animal - Mark Twain - humans of different nationalities and religions stuck in a cage and killed each other, same experiment…...
Cold WarHarlem RenaissanceHistoryPeriodReasonWar
The Great Migration 2
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In the early 1900s, the Chicago Defender was an African American newspaper The Harlem Renaissance helped bridge cultural divides in between which groups? whites and African Americans Who was called the" Shakespeare of Harlem" throughout the Harlem Renaissance? Langston Hughes Which description best defines allure of the Harlem Renaissance? Jazz combined four African American musical customs Throughout which duration did the Great Migration primarily take place? 1910-1930 The Harlem Renaissance commemorated the culture and creative achievements of which group? African…...
Harlem RenaissanceMigrationThe Great Migration
In The Great Gatsby Fitzgeralds characters present attitudes and values which allow readers to sympathise with their situations
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In The Great Gatsby Fitzgerald’s characters present attitudes and values which allow readers to sympathise with their situations. With reference to appropriate episodes and external info about attitudes and values for 20th and 21st century readers, give your response. This statement suggests that readers (both nowadays and in the 1920s) would be able to sympathise with the attitudes and values of Fitzgerald’s characters. It is possible to agree with this statement because there are several characters whom the readers can…...
AttitudeCharacterF Scott FitzgeraldHarlem RenaissanceThe Great GatsbyValues
The Harlem Renaissance History
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Think about the roaring twenties. What do you see? You probably imagine flapper dresses, nightclubs, pencil mustaches, old movies, and jazz; but do you also picture poverty, the growth of intolerance, and the increasing struggle of black Americans living in the U.S? Probably not. Even though the twenties brought about one of the most cultural, artistic, and political eras of our country, there were still downsides to this golden age. When we think of times where everything was at peace…...
Harlem RenaissanceHistoryRoaring Twenties
Jacob Lawrence
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1.0 Background Jacob Lawrence, one of the most essential artists of the 20th century and best understood for his series of narrative paintings depicting essential moment in African American history was born on 7th September 1917 in Atlantic City (pbs.org, para. 1). He invested a part of his childhood life in Pennsylvania after which his parents separated in 1924. Jacob and his siblings opted for the mother to New york city and settled in Harlem. He was presented to art…...
ArtCityHarlem RenaissanceHistoryLawNew York City
Poetry’s Influences on the Harlem Renaissance
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Racial equality has been the topic of many works for centuries. Many of those works weren’t written by those actually affected by inequality. During the 1920’s African Americans began to express their opinions on the issue more frequently through the arts. Poetry was among the most prominent forms of art used for spreading equality and justice. Poets like Langston Hughes, Countee Cullen, and Claude McKay wrote many poems that spoke on equality in society. African Americans felt betrayed after the…...
Harlem RenaissanceInfluenceLangston HughesPoetry
A Harlem Renaissance Poem by Langston Hughes
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The Harlem Renaissance took place in 1920s to the mid 1930s, it happened in New York City and it was a cultural bloom. The literary and artistic movement spurred a new black cultural identity. The reason why it occurred was because after the civil war the former slaves all went and lived in the same area, and that was the area where people started creating their own art and literary to define who they were. During the Harlem Renaissance the…...
Harlem RenaissanceLangston HughesPoemsPoetry
Harlem and “A Dream Deferred”
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Harlem poetry is one of the outputs of the Harlem Renaissance period in American History. During these times, African-Americans started to have a growing influence in politics, literature, music, culture, and society all over the country. It was also a time characterized by oppression and racial discrimination, and these societal issues fueled the Harlem poetry. Because of discrimination and oppression towards African-Americans, the themes of Harlem poetry revolved around hatred and injustice. Langston Hughes’ “A Dream Deferred” is good example…...
DreamHarlem Renaissance
Renaissance in Harlem City in the Viewpoint of Toni Morrison’s Jazz
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“Jazz”, a novel by Toni Morrison, is a chronicle of the lives and struggles of the African Americans during the Harlem Renaissance in the United States. The novel begins with an African-American community in Harlem New York in the year 1926. What makes it a credible commentary on that specific period in the history of the United States and that of the African-American people is the vivid description of the author of the “glittering city (Morrison 1992)” of Harlem, the…...
CityHarlem RenaissanceThe Great Migration
Harlem Renaissance in Literature
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The Harlem renaissance is considered to be one of the most important periods in the history of African Americans literature. It marks the period between the early 1920’s and the late 1930’s when the African Americans demonstrated their capabilities in the literature art. The literature in the Harlem renaissance has been rated as one of the greatest attempts to define the identity of women in the American society. The period saw the rise of African American writers both men and…...
American literatureHarlem RenaissanceLiteratureMexico
Harlem Renaissance
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I. Introduction The Atlantic slave trade caused the large movement of Africans across different parts of the world largely in the Americas, Europe, and Asia. This African Diaspora brought about eleven million of black people in the New World (P. Larson. “Reconsidering Trauma, Identity, and the African Diaspora: Enslavement and Historical Memory in Nineteenth-Century Highland Madagascar”). The descendants of those that were brought in the Americas, chiefly those in the United States working as slaves in the south, later experienced…...
Harlem Renaissance
Analysis of Harlem Renaissance Poetry by Langston Hughes’
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Langston Hughes wrote the poem, “I, Too” in the midst of the Harlem Renaissance, a period of Black American history which brought to light unique views of the world through the eyes of a people who were often subjugated and downtrodden. Issues of racial prejudice were prevalent during the Harlem Renaissance and segregation a fact of life. In the poem, “I,Too,” Hughes brings attention to this subjugation by portraying the life of a black male servant. He puts forth his…...
Harlem RenaissanceLangston HughesPoetry
Art or Propaganda?
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1. Introduction. W.E.B. Dubois and Alain Locke were important contributors to the epoch called "Harlem Renaissance". With their writings atrists wanted to do something against racism, they wanted to show that the African - Americans don't have to feel inferior. Writing in the April, 1915, issue of Crisis, DuBois said: "In art and literature we should try to loose the tremendous emotional wealth of the Negro and the dramatic strength of his problems through writing ... and other forms of…...
ArtDouble ConsciousnessHarlem RenaissanceMarcus Garvey
A Comparison of Two Poems by Black Poets
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Countee Cullen and Langston Hughes are two of the most acknowledged African American poets of the Harlem Renaissance. Countee Cullen's "Yet Do I Marvel" and Langston Hughes' "I, Too" are equivalent poems in that their similar styles are representational of the authors' personal adversities of racial inequality. By comparing these two poems, we get a glimpse of the reality of the injustices of bigotry throughout the 1920's by 2 popular Black poets. Cullen and Hughes were born within a year…...
ComparisonHarlem RenaissanceLangston HughesPoemsPoetryPoets
Langston Hughes and the Civil Rights Movement
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During the early 1930s many black writers begin to produce works that helped to shape and define the Civil Rights movement. Among them was Langston Hughes whose poems and writing contributed directly to the rhetoric of the day and inspired many African-Americans, both in and out of the Civil Rights movement. Much of this grew out of what was called the Harlem Renaissance, which emerged during turbulent times for the world, the United States, and black Americans. World War I…...
Civil RightsCivil Rights MovementHarlem RenaissanceLangston Hughes
Analysis of Theme for English
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The premise behind this poem is that the speaker is a black college student whose instructor has given his students an assignment to write a paper about themselves. While the poem takes the reader through his walk home from class and his thought process about “who he is”, the final line of the poem, “This is my page for English B” (ll. 41) suggests that this poem is the paper he has written for class. Langston Hughes wrote this poem…...
EnglishHarlem RenaissancePoetry
Impact of Harlem Renaissance on Countee Cullen’s Poetry
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This poem is titled “Heritage” and is by Countee Cullen (for Harold Jackman). The social issue that motivated Cullen to write Heritage is the oppression that blacks faced and their eagerness to go back to the place that their ancestors were taken from. In the poem Cullen reflects the urge to reclaim the African arts, during this time, the Harlem Renaissance, blacks called this movement negritude. Cullen depicts the negro speaking on the view of Africa, by the all negroes.…...
Harlem RenaissancePoetry
Art Analysis: Midsummer Night in Harlem, by Palmer Hayden
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‘Midsummer Night in Harlem is an oil painting painted by Palmer Hayden. Palmer C. Hayden was an American painter who depicted African-American life as he saw it, especially during the Harlem Renaissance. The painting Midsummer Night in Harlem appears to depict African American people departing and relaxing after an evening at church in Harlem. This painting shows the energy and positive attitudes of the people through the use of vibrant colors and the happy expressions of the faces. The people…...
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African American Museum
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I firmly believe that the point of visiting a museum is to educate one on how things once were in the past through its display of artifacts, exhibits, art, cultural objects, etc. Its purpose is to let you imagine what it was like during a time you were not apart of or, in some cases, allow you to look back at a time you were apart of when you were very young. The African-American Museum of Long Island did a…...
African American CultureBlack History MonthHarlem RenaissanceHistoryMalcolm XMuseum
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Great Migration and the Harlem Renaissance

This migration, also known as the Great Migration, ultimately reshaped “black America.” While not confined to Harlem, there was a strong concentration of intellectuals and leaders that settled there. The forefronts for the Harlem Renaissance were Zora Neale Hurston, Jean Toomer, and Langston Hughes who produced novels, poetry, short stories and memoirs. But also painters like Jacob Lawrence, Charles Alston, and Romare Bearden; and musicians and composers such as Duke Ellington were essential. The Harlem Renaissance, a movement for all different classes, became a many of firsts for African Americans. Starting around the 1910s to the 1930s, this Golden Age allowed the African American identity to emerge. (History.com)

This was a time where African Americans were able to break of the stereotype that were set by the white people, and focus on their heiratege. Characterized by intense debate, the movement was a foundation for future black literature and an inspiration. African Americans used their suffrage and their ancestors’ stories as an inspiration for their art. The concept of pluralism surfaced, such that cultural differences should be together “side by side in harmony.” The Renaissance holds a strong patriotic value, since African Americans yearn for freedom and democracy. (Hutchinson)

Harlem Renaissance in Literature

“America” by Claude Mckay, amplifies the duality of hate and love towards America. The narrator’s love for the country is overshadowed by the hate that consumes within it. The first person point of view signifies that what the narrator is feeling is also what many African Americans at that time felt, and becomes a symbol for African Americans. Mckay begins the poem with personification of America. She feeds him, but it’s a “bread of bitterness.” The narrator values America, however, he is drowning within her. Even with the pain she gives him, Mckay stresses the narrator’s love for her. While America has “giving me strength” to fight against hate, but he still acknowledges that she the pedestal for it. Mckay is referencing the Jim Crow laws, a legalization of discrimination and segregation in the South, but that same America as allowed African Americans to organize the Civil Rights Movement, which wasn’t fully developed until the 1950s (Gedal). The narrator has to “stay within her walls” and when he’s peacefully protesting. But the fact he is has the opportunity to protest is shown as a token of appreciation and he wouldn’t think of saying “a word of jeer.” The narrator speaks of the future which he describes as dark. The capitalization of the word “Times” is used to signify that the time is passing and if America won’t acknowledge African Americans she will “sinking in the sand.” The concept of pluralism is conveyed in the poem, as the narrator wishes to peaceful live “within her walls.” Claude Mckay’s “America” represent the feeling of what many African Americans felt back then (Hutchinson). African Americans were still discriminated, but this movement gave them hope to be accepted in mainstream America.

The movement was not limited to storytelling in a traditional sense. Many famous artists emerged at this time conveying their ancestors and their own experiences. Black artists had begun developing styles related to black aesthetic traditions of Africa or to folk art, unlike pre-WWI who rarely connected themselves with their African culture. (Hutchinson)

The Family by Charles Alston

The Family by Charles Alston depicts an African American family. Although, the painting was created after the period, it still has the important elements of the Renaissance. The woman is sitting on the chair as her children and husband are both facing her. In the painting, the woman is seen in a position of strength. As if the woman was the “head” of the family. The women’s legs are visible underneath her dress as if you can almost feel the strength she has. The woman in the picture represents women’s role in their family. She is the focus of the painting and draws the most attention. Alston painted the woman half of the picture to illustrate the important role she has. But, moreover, the painting represents women during the Harlem Renaissance as more women became key leaders in the movement (Lewis).

The short story, Sweat by Zora Neale Hurston, conveys that after a period of suffering, peace will follow. The protagonist, Delia Jones, spends her day washing white people’s clothes in order to support her and her husband. However, her husband constantly emotionally abuses her and enjoys himself while doing so. The only time Delia Jones is finally free is when her husband, Sykes, is killed. To depict this idea, Hurston uses symbolism and imagery.

Through symbolism, Huston compares Sykes to the snakes. Delia Jones is “skeered Ah is of snakes” just like she is scared of Skyes. Sykes gets a sort of thriller when he knows Delia is suffering. After the second time when he brings the snakes, she has an epiphany that it’s Sykes who is the real problem, not the snake. The snake and Sykes are two main things Delia suffers from and yet the snake is the reason she is able to free herself. Delia runs away from the snake like she is going to run away from Sykes. Although Sykes is the one who dies from the snake, there was a point in the story where Delia felt she was about to die. The theme that a person will finally get their freedom after suffering, is used here because the snake was something that Delia struggled with but ended up being her redemption.

With the use of Imagery, Huston depics the extent of Sykes abuse as he constantly belittles Delia about her job. Delia Jones washes white people’s clothes and to Sykes, it seems disgraceful. “He stepped roughly upon the whitest pile of things, kicking them helter-skelter as he crossed the room.” Sykes makes Delia’s job harder, even though she is the one supporting them. Imagery to allow the reader to actually see the pain the Delia suffers on a daily basis.

With the use of symbolism and imagery the theme of suffering and struggles is portrayed. The symbolism between the snake and Sykes relates two things that Delia fears the most and just like she ran away from the snake, something she hated and was scared of for so long, she left Sykes. Finally, with imagery, we can envision the abuse Delia struggled on a constant basis. Zora Neale Hurston uses elements from the Harlem Renaissance, or, moreover, the story of the African Americans until the Harlem Renaissance. Their story is a story of suffering and after that came a period of hope, the Harlem Renaissance (humanitiestexas.org). African Americans have endured such pain that no one can seem to understand but them. Through Sweat, the readers can have an abstract glimpse of their suffering.

Effects of the Harlem Renaissance

The Harlem Renaissance brought hope to African Americans after World War I. With their migration to the North, they were concentrated in Harlem to bring about this movement. The poem “America,” by Claude Mckay, focuses on the duality that many African Americans felt and the concept of pluralism, living in harmony. The painting, Family, by Charles Alston shows the strength of the Woman in the family, and representative of the Women in that time. Finally, Sweat, by Zora Neale Hurston, illustrates the suffering African American underwent and the peace that followed it.

FAQ about Harlem Renaissance

In The Great Gatsby Fitzgeralds characters present attitudes and values which allow readers to sympathise with their situations
...To conclude, after careful consideration we determine that in The Great Gatsby Fitzgerald’s characters present attitudes and values which allow readers to sympathise with their situations. There may be some instances of conflict but these are outwe...

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