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Harlem Renaissance
"The Mecca for the New Negro"

THESIS: The Harlem Renaissance unified lots of African Americans in the 1920s. It created a sence of community for people who had been struggling their whole lives. It was a time for Black people to express the feelings they had built up in the form of art and poetry.

  • In the 1920s African Americans flocked to Urban cities in the North, like Harlem Chicago, Detroit and Cleveland.
  • The migration to the north came towards the end of World War I. African Americans were looking for opportunities unavailable to them in the south
  • African American led artistic and politcal movements flourished
  • Leaders like Langston Huges, and James Weldon Johnson led the poetic movement
  • Artists such as Augusta Savage and Archibald Motley, Jr created a unique African-American art formexternal image jeunesse.jpg
  • Many white people went to these cities to experience the newly formed Black culture

​​Langston Hughes:
  • James Langston Hughes was born February 1, 1902, in Joplin, Missouri
  • In November 1924, he moved to Washington, D.C. Hughes's first book of poetry called The Weary Blues
  • Langston Hughes began writing in high school, and even at this early age was developing the voice that made him famous
  • Hughes entered Columbia University in the fall of 1921
  • In Langston Hughes's poetry, he uses the rhythms of African American music, particularly blues and jazz
  • Langston Hughes died of complications from prostate cancer in May 22, 1967, in New York.
  • In his memory, his residence at 20 East 127th Street in Harlem, New York City, has been given landmark status by the New York City Preservation Commission, and East 127th Street has been renamed "Langston Hughes Place."

A Dream Deffered
By Langston Huges
What happens to a dream deferred?
external image 20060823-Harlem%20Renaissance%20Neighborhood.jpgDoes it dry up
like a raisin in the sun?
Or fester like a sore--
And then run?
Does it stink like rotten meat?
Or crust and sugar over--
like a syrupy sweet?
Maybe it just sags
like a heavy load.
Or does it explode?

  • Brought many black people together out of poverty
  • Gave African Americans a chance to start a new life after gerations of slavery
  • It helped African Americansbecome recognized for their intellect and significant contributions to American culture
  • What was once an upper-middle class White neighborhood turned in to a a middle-class black neighborhood for writers, musicians and intellectuals interested in the advancement of the African American community
  • Gave African Americans the freedom to express themselves
  • They unified with one another sharing the same cause: To be recognized for their contributions, taken seriously about their political views, and most of all, to be treated equally

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external image CottonClub-1936.jpg Connection to Today: The Harlem Renaissance was a place for many black people to unite and creat their own art. This is quite similar to the hip-hop and urban movement in the 21st century. Many African Americans still occupy many big cities and have created a new kind of art through rap and hip hop music and different forms of street dancing. So whether it is Langston Hughes in the 1920s, or Lil Wayne in the 2000s, African American people still express similar feelings through art.