Harlem Renaissance

Harlem Renaissance
History 222
LaTasha Gatling 
October 23, 2011

TOPIC: Harlem Renaissance
VIEWPOINT: The Harlem Renaissance represented a shift in the role of African Americans in society.
  * Originally called the New Negro Movement, the Harlem Renaissance was a literary and intellectual flowering that fostered a new black cultural identity in the 1920s and 1930s. Critic and teacher Alain Locke described it as a "spiritual coming of age" in which the black community was able to seize upon its "first chances for group expression and self-determination."
  * The social foundations of the movement included the Great Migration of African Americans from rural to urban spaces and from South to North, dramatically rising levels of literacy, and the development of national organizations dedicated to pressing African American civil rights (the NAACP), “uplifting” the race and opening up socioeconomic opportunities (the National Urban League), and developing race pride, including Pan-African sensibilities and programs (the United Negro Improvement Association and the Pan-African conferences).
  * Black-owned magazines and newspapers flourished, freeing African Americans from the constricting influences of mainstream white society. Charles S. Johnson's Opportunity magazine became the leading voice of black culture, and W.E.B. DuBois's journal, The Crisis, with Jessie Redmon Fauset as its literary editor, launched the literary careers of such writers as Arna Bontemps, Langston Hughes, and Countee Cullen.
  * One of the first notable events of the Renaissance came shortly after the NUL began publishing Opportunity: A Journal of Negro Life. Believing that art and literature could lift African-Americans out of their situation, the magazine’s editor, Charles S. Johnson, began printing promising black writers in each issue. During Johnson’s work for Opportunity, he met Jessie Fauset, the literary editor for Du Bois’ NAACP magazine, Crisis. Fauset told...