African American Studies-Harlem Renaissance Artists Reading Response – Book Report/Review Example
Please explain why Harlem, New York was the center of the African American art world during the 1920 – 1940 Harlem Renaissance was a cultural movement that lasted about two decades – from the 1920s to 1940s . An anthology produced by Alain Locke known as the “New Negro Movement” was the starting point of the Harlem Renaissance. Although Harlem was in New York, many french -speaking black writers from other Caribbean or African backgrounds were influenced by this movement. One of the predominant reasons why Harlem became the birthplace of the Harlem Renaissance was that a growing African-American middle class population settled there in the 1910s. This numbers grew even more after the First World War which stopped the migration of cheap unskilled labour which was in high demand in a city like New York.
It all began in 1917, when Hubert Harrison established Liberty League. He tried to argue that many “Negro Literary Renaissance” writers from the mid 1850s were forgotten and he wanted to publish them in magazines and newspapers. Also a new way of playing the piano came into life – the Harlem Stride Style, which led to the creation of jazz music. 5th avenue became the base for gatherings of wealthy African-Americans who wanted to entertain themselves through all artistic means and for poor artists to gain recognition and earn a living.
The Harlem Renaissance celebrated black culture and gave opportunity for artists, musucians and writers to plant the seeds which later created the Civil Rights Movement. The Harlem Renaissance also instigated a powerful sociological and cultural development, because white people started to study and get involved in the black American culture.