The Harlem Renaissance was an African American cultural movement that started in the early 20th century. The name was given to the cultural, social, and artistic explosion that took place in Harlem between the end of World War I and the middle of the 1930s. The Harlem Renaissance was also known as the “New Negro Movement” that was named after the 1925 anthology by Alain Locke. During this period, Harlem was the Mecca where black writers, artists, musicians, photographers, poets, and scholars traveled in order to find a place where they could freely express their talents. The Harlem Renaissance was the first time mainstream publishers took African American literature seriously.
One of the reasonings behind the making of the Harlem Renaissance was the Great Migration of African Americans to northern cities between 1919 and 1926. The Jim Crow segregation of the south and the start of World War I were the two major causes that fueled the Great Migration. When Europe was the beginning of World War I, the African Americans escaped the economic deficiency of the South and migrated to northern and urban cities, mostly New York, in an anxious attempt to find good jobs and economic safety as well as searching for a more racially opened minded society. The Harlem Renaissance was a literary, artistic, and intellectual movement that kindled a new black cultural identity.
The Harlem Renaissance was more than just a literary movement, it was a cultural movement based on pride in the African American life. They demanded civil and political rights. This movement changed the way African Americans were viewed by society. The Harlem Renaissance helped to define who they were and what they believed in by leaving an impact on a society that needed change.
During the Harlem Renaissance, jazz music was thriving in the area. It originated in the United States among African American musicians. Many people would host rent parties which were very popular at the time. Apartment owners would hold a party and would charge a fee to those who wanted to enter. They used the money to pay off their rent.
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