Harlem Renaissance Essay

1751 words - 8 pages

The Harlem Renaissance is considered one of the most important cultural movements in history, since it gave African Americans a new identity. The Harlem Renaissance gave many non African Americans their first exposure to the music, poetry, and art of African Americans. Langston Hughes was a famous poet in the 1920's that overcame racial prejudice, and had a strong sense of racial pride. The Harlem Renaissance proved that African Americans were capable of doing the same things whites could do, as long as one had pride, determination and endurance to follow his dream. Langston Hughes inspired other African Americans to do what they love, and to create an identity for themselves. The poem ...view middle of the document...

African Americans like W.E.B Dubois, William E Harmon, Alain Locke, and Charles Johnson inspired other African Americans to stay true to themselves and not change who they were to impress others. They pushed for full civil rights and increased political representation for African Americans. (Dozier) W.E.B Dubois felt that rights were not something blacks had to ask the whites for. He felt that it was their duty to fight and press for full equality. William E. Harmon established the Harmon Foundation, which helped gain recognition for African-American artists who otherwise would have remained largely unknown. Alain Locke encouraged black artists, musicians, and writers during the Harlem Renaissance to ignore social bias, and choose African and other black subject material as the inspiration for their works. Charles Johnson was a highly respected advocate for children, racial equality, and civil rights. Most African Americans still experienced racism and economic deprivation in the North. They struggled to get the same rights whites did and racial segregation still existed. Also African American authors, musicians, and poets would often have to alter their works to make it more popular among critics and white audiences. (Werlock) African Americans worked just as hard as whites did and still were never able to achieve the amount of success and popularity whites did. African Americans in the North were still forced to go to different schools, restaurants, restrooms, and much more. The Harlem Renaissance ended with the coming of the Great Depression of the 1930s, when money for the arts became limited and attention became more focused on political and social issues. (Altman) The economic downturn led to the departure of Harlem's prominent writers. The Harlem Renaissance had plenty of effects on not only African Americans, but also on everyone living in America. For the first time, blacks and whites began associating and collaborating in public. African-Americans were encouraged to explore and celebrate their heritage. This era also built strong black urban areas. Although the Harlem Renaissance lasted a brief time, it had an enduring influence on later black writers and helped ease the way for the publication of works by other black authors.Langston Hughes was one of the most influential writer in American history, and showed the whole country that African Americans were just as talented as whites. Langston Hughes was born in Joplin, Missouri. He moved to Harlem at the age of nineteen in September 1921. (Bloom) At this point in time Harlem was in the midst of its greatest period, and Hughes had to go to college. Columbia University, with its proximity to Harlem and history of academic excellence, held great appeal to Hughes. (Dyson) Langston Hughes was a poet, novelist, and playwright. Hughes was inspired to write poetry by his rough upbringing in Cleveland, OH. He remained distant with his father and his mother, struggled to take care of him and the...

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