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Harlem Renaissance. The Beginnings 1920-30s Literature Music Theater Art Politics Zora Neale Hurston

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Text of Harlem Renaissance. The Beginnings 1920-30s Literature Music Theater Art Politics Zora Neale Hurston

Harlem Renaissance

Harlem Renaissance1The Beginnings1920-30sLiteratureMusicTheaterArtPolitics

Zora Neale Hurston

2Renaissance = rebirth; the revival of art and literatureHarlem Renaissance = flourishing of black literary and musical culture during the years after World War I in the Harlem section of New York City

A cultural celebration...GroundworkEducationEmploymentGreat MigrationPublications

Langston Hughes

3Better education in Harlem and New York... one of the reasons for Blacks to flock there

Most regions enforced separate, but equal laws for schools

Better employment opportunities in industrial North

Push-Pull economics = agrarian South (tenant, sharecropper farms) pushed Blacks out of rural existences; pulled toward reported manufacturing jobs in North

Blacks migrated in huge numbers to large, urban centers in the North

Literary magazine The MessengerNAACP publication The CrisisAlain Locke's anthology The New Negro

4Rapid growth of Harlem

5This chart shows three groups of major contributors to the flowering of the New Negro Movement during the 1920's and 1930's in Harlem: Red = Niggerati writers (ironic combination of Negro and literati); play on Marxist term Green = New Negro intellectuals Yellow = Negrotarian (Negro plus humanitarian) white patrons

niggerati and negrotarian are witty terms coined by Zora Neale HurstonCharacteristicsRoots of the African-American experienceRacial prideSocial and political equity

6Cotton Club

7Diversity of ExpressionGhetto life jazzSophistication and glamourUrban life Rural SouthAudience black or white; not mixed

8Ending and InfluenceGreat DepressionSegregated HarlemHarlem exodusResurrected in 1980s and 90s

Louis Armstrong

9Lasting LegacyStrange FruitBillie Holiday

Southern trees bear a strange fruit,Blood on the leaves and blood at the root,Black bodies swinging in the southern breeze,Strange fruit hanging from the poplar trees.

Pastoral scene of the gallant south,The bulging eyes and the twisted mouth,Scent of magnolias, sweet and fresh,Then the sudden smell of burning flesh.Here is fruit for the crows to pluck,For the rain to gather, for the wind to suck,For the sun to rot, for the trees to drop,Here is a strange and bitter crop.

10Lasting Legacy'Tain't Nobody's Business If I DoBessie Smith

There ain't nothing I can do,Or nothing I can say,That the folks don't criticize me;But I'm gonna do just as IWould do anyway,And I don't care if they all despise me!If I should take a notionTo jump into the ocean,'Tain't nobody's business if I do, do, do, love, do, do. If I let my best companion,Drive me right in the canyon,'Tain't nobody's business if I do, if I do.

11Lasting Legacy"Nobody's Business"Rihanna feat. Chris BrownYou'll always be mine, sing it to the worldAlways be my boy, I'll always be your girlNobody's business, ain't nobody's businessAin't nobody's business,But mine, and my babyMine, and my baby,But mine, and my babyBut mine, and my baby, oohI love to love to love you babyI love to love to love you babyMe and you, get it?Ain't nobody's businessSaid it ain't nobody's business

12Echos Past and PresentIf We Must DieBy Claude McKay

If we must die, let it not be like hogsHunted and penned in an inglorious spot,While round us bark the mad and hungry dogs,Making their mock at our accursd lot.If we must die, O let us nobly die,So that our precious blood may not be shedIn vain; then even the monsters we defyShall be constrained to honor us though dead!O kinsmen! we must meet the common foe!Though far outnumbered let us show us brave,And for their thousand blows deal one death-blow!What though before us lies the open grave?Like men well face the murderous, cowardly pack,Pressed to the wall, dying, but fighting back!

13Before Harlem Renaissance: St. Crispin's Day Speech from Shakespeare's Henry V

After Harlem Renaissance: Urban legend that Winston Churchill recited If We Must Die to British people in preparation of Nazi attack. Nope. Just alluded to it...Art and Artists

Pablo PicassoWest African MaskAaron Douglas14Both Pablo Picasso and Aaron Douglas were influenced by West African sculpture. Note angular lines and color choices. Picasso used this inspiration to create cubism, and Douglas demonstrated cultural pride through technique and subject matter.We Wear the Maskby Paul Laurence Dunbar

We wear the mask that grins and lies, It hides our cheeks and shades our eyes, This debt we pay to human guile; With torn and bleeding hearts we smile And mouth with myriad subtleties,

Why should the world be over-wise, In counting all our tears and sighs? Nay, let them only see us, while We wear the mask.

We smile, but oh great Christ, our cries To thee from tortured souls arise. We sing, but oh the clay is vile Beneath our feet, and long the mile, But let the world dream otherwise, We wear the mask!


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