StudentShare solutions
Triangle menu

The Harlem Renaissance - Essay Example

Not dowloaded yet

Extract of sample
The Harlem Renaissance

Although generally considered an African-American literary movement, the Harlem Renaissance extended far beyond books and poetry to embrace art, dance, and music. The creative minds behind the Harlem Renaissance used artistic expression to make a significant impact on all aspects of society, while also endowing African-American with their first sense of identity not defined by slavery.
During the early 20th century, three-quarters of a million African-Americans escaped the economic depravation of the South and migrated northward to urban cities in a desperate attempt to find good jobs and economic security and also searching for a more racially tolerant society. 175,000 of these African-Americans settled in New York City (Wintz 15). To attach a stark beginning to the Harlem Renaissance by singling out one particular text is an exercise in futility and bound to spur debate. Black writers had been published since the 19th century, but the differentiation that makes the Harlem Renaissance easily definable as a turning point was the breadth of topics that black writers covered. The true origins of the Renaissance lay not in any single work that ignited a revolution, but in the various and multiple congregations of shared interests by those desiring to propagate the stunning burst of creativity through the publication of literary magazines and books. This collective urge to help one another was a primal element in turning the movement from a purely literary one into one that embraced all the fine arts; it was also integral in turning the Harlem Renaissance into a search for a new identity for an ethnic group previously defined by the centuries of slavery. Although the artists created vital and lasting works of literature, art and music, the Harlem Renaissance quickly became just as important for the way in which is gave African-Americans a real culture and a pride in acknowledging and embracing that culture. Prior to this era, the representations of African-Americans in American literature were that of the illiterate and inferior peasant who made his living in the dirt of the cotton fields. The intellectuals contributed to the significance of the Harlem Renaissance by understanding and contributing to its purpose in defining positive role models for blacks. One of the immensely important traits of the Harlem Renaissance is that cooperation was considered a better way to facilitate even the individual works than competition. An intuitive sense that any single artistic endeavor was going to define all others created an effort by everyone involved to create a cultural tapestry that served not just other artists, but audiences as well. In fact, the movement essentially created the idea of the black intellectual for both Americans and Europeans. The creation of the "New Negro" in Harlem represented the liberation of the last vestiges of slavery, those of low esteem and even self-doubt and self-revulsion (Kramer and Russ 134-136)
Critics, however, question whether the Harlem Renaissance really achieved its aims of forging a new identity for blacks separated from the history of slavery. One of the criticisms is that by trying to create distinct culture separated from the past abuses and even the contribution of Anglo-European traditions it succeeded only in alienation. A more potent criticism is that the Harlem ...Show more

Summary

The Harlem Renaissance remains one of the most significant artistic movements in American history, far surpassing its original importance to one specific minority. The renaissance served to create a consciousness of identity for African-Americans, while also forcing white American to confront the importance of an ethnic group too long considered inferior…
Author : rcruickshank
The Harlem Renaissance Essay essay example
Read Text Preview
Save Your Time for More Important Things
Let us write or edit the essay on your topic
"The Harlem Renaissance Essay"
with a personal 20% discount.
Grab the best paper

Related Essays

Harlem Renaissance
Impacted by the technological advancement and education, a new black generation is getting ready to assert itself in every segment of human activity. Among the black intellectuals, writers and poets, several voices are being heard, not always agreeing with each other, but growing like octopus in all the directions.
6 pages (1500 words) Essay
Harlem Renaissance Poets. Essay & Poem
It was a fight and a plea against racial discrimination. The Harlem Renaissance was part of the then called “New Negro Movement” which was largely founded by the Great Migration of colored Americans from the rural areas to the urban areas. (Harlem Renaissance (American literature and art), 2013) The Harlem renaissance is widely known for the literature of African-Americans.
3 pages (750 words) Essay
Langston Hughes: The Harlem Renaissance Genius
" the vernacular encompasses vigorous, dynamic processes of expression, past and present. It makes up a rich store house of material wherein the values, styles, and character types of black American life are reflected in language that is highly energized and often marvelously eloquent1."
6 pages (1500 words) Essay
Harlem Renaissance
Barnes, Jessie, Fauset, Rudolph Fisher, Countee Cullen, Langston Hughes, Nella Larsen, Angelina Grimke, Alain Locke, Claude McKay, Florence Mills, Richard Bruce Nugent, Willis Richardson, Anne Spencer, and Dorothy West. 3. Harlem Renaissance was a
11 pages (2750 words) Essay
Assignment for critical response essay Draft 1 nigger heaven and harlem renaissance
There is variability in the effect that has been produced for a particular faction depending upon the perception of the people and how they have taken the subject and views of the presenters. The
3 pages (750 words) Essay
Women's struggle during the harlem renaissance to modern times depicted through literature
Langston Hughes said, “Harlem was not so much a place as a state of mind” (Rau, 4). This period was a cultural progress that aimed to create art both for whites and blacks. The Harlem Renaissance heralded the identity of the blacks
4 pages (1000 words) Essay
Harlem Renaissance pt1
Out of this era emerged the New Negro Movement Crusaders. The ideals of this group consisted of racial pride, artistic expression, and retraction from the white American culture. Even
1 pages (250 words) Essay
Harlem Renaissance Poets
3). This essay aims at analyzing two poems by different authors from the Harlem renaissance namely; Langston Hughes’ The Negro Speaks of Rivers and
3 pages (750 words) Essay
Harlem Renaissance Poets
Harlem period presents such poets as Anne Bethel Spencer, who employed most of her time into composing poems that shunned racism besides exploitation rendered to African Americans. Spencer also undertook the role of spearheading black women
3 pages (750 words) Essay
Harlem Renaissance Poets
The movement began to bear fruits as these African-American artists were able to establish a cultural identity that resonated with the African-American community that they represented. Two of the many
4 pages (1000 words) Essay
Get a custom paper written
by a pro under your requirements!
Win a special DISCOUNT!
Put in your e-mail and click the button with your lucky finger
Your email
YOUR PRIZE:
Apply my DISCOUNT
Comments (0)
Rate this paper:
Thank you! Your comment has been sent and will be posted after moderation