Harlem Renaissance The Klu Klux Klan and other terrorist mobs in the South lynched hundreds of African-Americans every year, and regularly destroyed their property, houses, and businesses. Because of political and socio-economic hurdles on the path of African-American development, many of them were hardly able to recover from the reign of terror and vandalism. The exploitative and racist treatment at the hands of the White population in the South tremendously influenced the psyche of African-Americans who increasingly became despondent and hopeless. Given the grim situation in the South, many African-Americans decided to migrate to the North because many of them literally had nothing to lose.
The Southern Roots of Harlem Renaissance
The African-American artistic, literary, and intellectual self-development, known as the Harlem Renaissance, is one of the most important and pivotal moments in the history of African-Americans -- and that of the United States in general. The Harlem Renaissance greatly influenced African-Americans' perception of who they were, their roles in American society, and their place within the racialized society dominated by Whites. The Renaissance movement, however, did not start out of nothing. What happened in Harlem in the 1920s and '30s was the result of a series of socio-economic and political events that preceded it. Among the most important events that contributed to the emergence of the African-American Renaissance movement in Harlem was the great migration from the South. The failure of the post-Emancipation reconstruction in the South forced many African-Americans out of Southern states to the North where industrial boom required cheap labor. Many of these migrants settled in industrial cities in the North, including New York. The influx of these migrants to Harlem and the shared painful experiences of African-Americans inspired them to seek intellectual, literary, and artistic development. This in turn led to the emergence of Harlem Renaissance movement.
African-Americans of the early twentieth century had a fresh memory of slavery that had lasted for several centuries. Although slavery was abolished during the Civil War, racial discrimination on an institutionalized basis continued. The backlash against African-American limited gains in the South quickly relegated the country's colored population -- more than ninety percent of whom lived in the South -- back to the shackles of slave-like relationship. Segregation in schools, restrooms, restaurants, and other public places was institutionalized, while African-American laborers were forced into sharecropping where combined forces of exploitative agricultural system and "the high interest rates that white planters charged sharecropping families for seeds, tools, and other essentials, kept most sharecroppers in a state of perpetual economic dependency and ...
African-Americans who settled in the Northern industrial cities of Chicago, Detroit, Cleveland, and the New York City were not necessarily welcomed with open arms. Although large industries were keen to employ cheap labor, racial prejudice against blacks existed. African-Americans then decided to prove their worthiness and loyalty to the nation by joining the U.S. military during World War I. However, the end of the war led to new challenges for them as the returning White veterans of war and the increased immigration from Europe led to a renewed wave of labor competition and racial violence. In the wake of these developments, African-American intellectuals began to question Booker T. Washington's belief that blacks should first increase their wealth instead of fighting for civil rights. Among the new African-American intellectuals was W.E.B. DuBois who rejected Washington's ideas and called for the utilization of the "talented tenth," educated blacks who could demonstrate that blacks could be equal citizens and also work for group interest. DuBois called for political and social equality among Whites and African-Americans.
DuBois and other African-American intellectuals such as Marcus Garvey, Richard Wright, Zora Neale Hurston, and Langston Hughes were key figures in the development of the Renaissance movement. However, the Harlem Renaissance could not have happened without the Great migration from the South. Intellectuals in the North had the tools for cultural development -- some of them were middle-class citizens and could afford time…
The Klu Klux Klan and other terrorist mobs in the South lynched hundreds of African-Americans every year, and regularly destroyed their property, houses, and businesses. Because of political and socio-economic hurdles on the path of African-American development, many of them were hardly able to recover from the reign of terror and vandalism. The exploitative and racist treatment at the hands of the White population in the South tremendously influenced the psyche of African-Americans who increasingly became despondent and hopeless. Given the grim situation in the South, many African-Americans decided to migrate to the North because many of them literally had nothing to lose.
Their main arguments are based on historical assumptions and on facts which have represented turning points for the evolution of the African-American society throughout the decades, and especially during the Revolutionary War and the Civil War. In this regard, the Old Negro, and the one considered to be the traditional presence in the Harlem, is the result of history, and not of recent or contemporary events. From the point-of-view of
The roots of such music can be traced back still further to the gospel hymns, work songs, and field calls that developed amongst slave populations in the south during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries (Scholastic 2011). The Southern and decidedly African-American sounds of blues and early jazz were brought along with the Great migration, where New Orleans styles like Dixieland met with the calmer strains of the Mississippi blues
Modernism and Harlem Renaissance The Modernist Movement Modernism during the early part of the 20th century was a recognition of power in the human heart and mind ot make, improve, and reshape the environment (History of Visual Communication, 2012). This reshaping process was made possible with the assistance of science, technology, and experimentation. In addition to the political and cultural implications of this recognition, this reshaping process also manifested itself in the
They were followed in 1936 by the Harlem River Houses, a more modest experiment in housing projects. And by 1964, nine giant public housing projects had been constructed in the neighborhood, housing over 41,000 people [see also Tritter; Pinckney and Woock]. The roots of Harlem's various pre 1960's-era movements for African-American equality began growing years before the Harlem Renaissance itself, and were still alive long after the Harlem Renaissance ended.
This League advocated the peaceful and friendly expansion and recognition of African-American culture and roots in Africa. It also helped pave the way for more militant African-American advocacy groups that found their way into popular African-American culture and society during the Harlem Renaissance. The Universal African Legion also had affiliate companies and corporations, which gave African-Americans more cultural, economic, and political clout and representation during this time period. Garvey
The simultaneous convergence of these leaders, groups, and movements, is easy to understand when one considers the environment of the Harlem area during the early 1900s. With vast numbers of new African-American citizens having come from the racist south, the area was ripe with social, political, and cultural concepts that come with new found freedom. In such a charged atmosphere, leaders such as Garvey had an audience ready to listen,