The Harlem Renaissance was a time where African American accomplishments were admired because they gave the black community a voice as they learned to embrace their culture
The Harlem Renaissance was a time where African American accomplishments were admired because they gave the black community a voice as they learned to embrace their culture. The Harlem Renaissance was a movement of black art during 1920 and 1930. Poetry, drama, music, even works such as paintings as well as were celebrated. Not only did it take place in Harlem, the entire country was involved, but Harlem was the most well-known. The Harlem Renaissance brought a new sound in music and in literature that was all created by the black community. Cultural and social developments created a better way of life that created a voice for African Americans. The movement inspired blacks to celebrate themselves and their racial identity by accepting their African heritage and refusing to mimic white mainstream culture. The Harlem Renaissance was a movement where African American culture became more appreciated and flourished throughout America through art and literature despite racist attitudes that continued throughout the era.
During the Harlem Renaissance, jazz music became a form of communication for African Americans. It sparked during the 20s and roared throughout speakeasies and Cotton Clubs. The new style of music also helped African Americans express themselves on topics such as segregation while they turned away from traditional morals. Jazz had a significant impact on the public’s views during the Harlem Renaissance. Louis Armstrong especially had a great impact on the change. “His place in music history rests not on his popularity as an entertainer but on the body of jazz masterpieces made between 1924 and 1936, which in considerable measure shaped American jazz”. Louis Armstrong was an important figure during the Harlem Renaissance, and was famous for his jazz music. His music inspired and revolutionized the world of music. The music brought people’s spirits up when they were
struggling during the Great Depression and gave everyone much motivation to create other forms of music or other forms of art. Armstrong was a black man working and prospering in a very segregated society. He became the voice for many struggling and successful African Americans because his songs were easily related to the struggles that the black community faced with discrimination.
During the Harlem Renaissance, many individuals began expressing themselves through various types of literature, but poetry was most common during the time. Some authors such as Langston Hughes, Claude McKay, and Countee Cullen created poems that specifically related to the African American community and their challenges faced due to racial tension and segregation. Poets during the Renaissance were able to closely relate to the people around them and connected their troubles to hope. “The strong men …coming on The strong men gittin’ stronger. Strong men… Stronger…” . These poems displayed different views during the Harlem Renaissance. The public craved independence and had much pride in their race and expressed these thoughts through poetry. The messages that the poems had sent out challenged society’s perspective on the African American community and gave a greater understanding on their differences and similarities in their lifestyle. Poems were used to communicate through something other than music and were usually found in newspapers.
Langston Hughes was an American poet whose works greatly impacted the Harlem Renaissance. His literary works spoke for the African American community during the time and continues to do so today. Hughes’ poems brought attention to significant problems such as discrimination and racism. “It is for his poetry—with its gripping, plainspoken, jazz- and blues-influenced language—that he is most remembered. And the Harlem Renaissance, the period in which he began his career, simply would not have been the same without him.”. Authors such
as Langston Hughes were heard and recognized for their writings during the Harlem Renaissance. Through his famous works, he celebrated African American culture while he helped shape the era by giving the black community inspiration to find hope while facing tension with discrimination and segregation. Hughes reflected upon many traditional values in the black community. His works continue to inspire many people today, as they also brought attention to social discrimination. The poet helped the morals of the Renaissance continue through his words, and inspired many others to join.
Places to socialize also became popular during the Harlem Renaissance, especially Cotton Clubs. The first Cotton Club was originally founded by Owney Madden in 1923. Cotton Clubs had strict segregation policies, but people were still able to come together to socialize and to create an endless amount of memories. “The entertainment, however, was spectacular. Black waiters provided an elegant setting with their sophisticated demeanor, a contrast to the whirling servers in neighboring clubs.” Some of the public feared going to Cotton Clubs. The clubs had offered alcoholic drinks during times of prohibition. But, they were full of not only incredible entertainment with jazz music, but also diversity during a variety of floor shows. Cotton Clubs were part of the area of Harlem that was known as the “Jungle Valley” because it was densely packed with many kinds of clubs. These Cotton Clubs served as a spot where all races could meet and interact through common interests. Places such as these countered traditional morals during the time, and resisted racial tension and segregation.
The Harlem Renaissance was an important era for cultural movement for African Americans. There were many significant improvements during the time, ranging from short poems to newspapers read by many people. Many newspapers began positively recognizing the black community for their wide variety of accomplishments. Newspapers also brought
attention to current problems that had been faced during the time. “Like the journalists and other “crusaders” of the Progressive era, black authors tried to point out the injustices of racism in American life. Artists began to promote a more unified and positive culture among African Americans. With newspapers, the black community was now able to express their heritage and stand up for what they believed in during times of discrimination and segregation. Though much of the public was illiterate during the time, the literature itself was made much easier to comprehend, and was now mobile in newspapers and books which inspired some to learn.
Many different people and their works became well-known during the Harlem Renaissance. Poets, who were especially looked upon, were recognized for their works and how closely the black community was able to relate to it. Books were easier to get ahold of, and people were inspired to read. “Major New York-based publishing houses began to search for new black voices and print their works. White intellectual society embraced these writers and supported their efforts to educate Americans about their race, culture, and heritage through their art.” Throughout these famous author’s stories, the spirit of the Harlem Renaissance was expressed. People were mesmerized by these pieces of literature because these stories, traditions, and viewpoints were greatly based on actual representation of their lives.
The Harlem Renaissance was a movement where African American’s became celebrating their culture and refrained from following white traditional values. The era created advancements in black art and literature that they did not have before such as many newspapers and sculptures that were closely associated and relatable with their everyday lives. These works of art brought positive attention to the African American community and gave them a wide variety of opportunities that helped shape their culture. The Harlem Renaissance continues to affect the world today, for it was the start of recognizing the black community for their works
of art and literature that was closely connected to all lives and the struggles that were experienced during the time.