25 Jul 2022

A New African American Identity: The Harlem Renaissance

Press Released: 18 July 2022: At the end of the Civil War in 1865, hundreds of thousands of African Americans newly freed from the burden of slavery within the South began to dream of greater participation in American society, which included equality in opportunities for economic growth, and cultural self-determination.

This ideal was, unfortunately, largely in suffocation by the 1870s. White supremacy was quickly reinstated in the Reconstruction South. White legislators at both the state and local level adopted "Jim Crow laws", which made African Americans second-class citizens. Although a few African Americans were allowed to own land, the majority were required to work as sharecroppers. This was a system that made them poor and powerless. The hate groups, like the Ku Klux Klan (KKK), perpetrated lynchings, and waged intimidation and terror campaigns to stop African Americans from exercising their fundamental rights or exercising their voting rights. To learn extra information on community, you've to browse social justice site.

Many African Americans saw the North and Midwest as a desirable place to work in the industry realizing that they could live in an improved standard of living and a more accepting environment. In the early 20th century and the Great Migration was underway as hundreds of thousands of African Americans relocated to cities such as Chicago, Los Angeles, Detroit, Philadelphia, and New York. The Harlem part of Manhattan is just three square miles, was home to nearly 175,000 African Americans, giving the area the highest concentration of black people around the globe. Harlem was a popular location for African Americans of all backgrounds. They had similar experiences to the emancipation process, slavery and racial oppression.

The Great Migration drew to Harlem some of the greatest minds and brightest talents of the time and a staggering array of African American artists and scholars. Between World War I and the mid-1930s, they ushered in one of the most important eras of cultural expression in the history of the United States--the Harlem Renaissance. The cultural explosion was observed by Los Angeles, Cleveland and other cities that were shaped by the massive immigration.

Poetry and prose were both part of the Harlem Renaissance. They also included painting and sculpture and poetry, music as well as swing, opera and dance. These diverse art forms were joined by their realistic depiction of the black culture of America. Langston Hughes described the Harlem Renaissance as an "expression of our individual dark-skinned selves" and a new movement to protect their rights as citizens.

W.E.B. was one of the most influential Renaissance contributors. W.E.B., Cyril Briggs and Marcus Garvey were among the most important Renaissance artists. Additionally, Josephine Baker and Paul Robeson were electric performers. Zora Nealehurston and Effie Le Newsome were both writers and poets. Augusta Savage was a visual artist. There's a fascinating list of legend musicians including Louis Armstrong and Billie Holiday, Billie Holiday and Jelly Roll Morton.

However, the Harlem Renaissance's impact on America was profound. This was the key factor in the recognition of the outstanding artworks of African American art and it influenced and inspired future generations of African American intellectuals and artists. Self-portraits of African American life, identity and culture that originated from Harlem was transmitted to the rest of the world in a way that challenged the racist and disparaging stereotypes of the Jim Crow South. It also radically redefined how people of other races viewed African Americans and understood the African American experience.

Most importantly, the Harlem Renaissance instilled in African Americans across the nation a new spirit of self-determination and pride, an increased social consciousness and a renewed commitment to political activism. All of this could be the basis for the Civil Rights Movement of the 1950s and 1960s.

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