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Aspects Of The Harlem Renaissance Essay

1980 words - 8 pages

In most literary movements, the question is whether the movement affected the nation or whether the nation affected the movement, but in the case of the Harlem Renaissance that question cannot be answered because the answer is not clear. The Harlem Renaissance both affected the nation and was affected by the nation.During the early twentieth century, the time of the Harlem Renaissance, the political scene was in disarray. There were two major political ideologies that influenced the spark of the Harlem Renaissance, Marxism and Nationalism. Marxism took place mostly in Russia and was led by Karl Marx. It was Nationalism in America that led to this literary revolution. The black writers of this time period were looking for social equality and this new ideology provided the black writers with the hope that they could put slavery, racism and segregation behind them. Literature was the means to put these problems behind them (Dawahare xi). Through Literature writers could hope to affect the nation in a non violent way.There is much conflict between historians and researchers on what sparked the Harlem Renaissance. According to David Krasner, author of A Beautiful Pageant, there are three main things that led to the renaissance. The first two of these items can be attributed to W.E.B Du Bois. He was a cofounder of NAACP, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People. He also wrote a journal called Crisis both these two events in 1910. But the real spark of the Harlem Renaissance cannot be attributed to a book or in fact, a piece of literature. This Spark refers to a particular boxing match. It was The 4th of July 1910, and the heavyweight title match was fought. It was Jack Johnson (the black) vs. the "white hope" Jim Jefferies. Johnson won the title and his followers led a rebellion in the angst of inequality and many of them were killed. As a result this single boxing match helped to spark a literary movement that would last for more than 30 years.The Harlem Renaissance was a sub movement inside of a much bigger literary movement. The reason why there was this sub movement called the Harlem Renaissance was because of key writers such as Langston Hughes, W.E.B. Du Bois, and Wallace Thurman. The literature and general behavior of this sub period was unique and had different aspects then the other literature and general behavior of the main movement, and it helped to pave the way the black people were viewed in America.The Harlem Renaissance was a movement extremely unique to the time period, never before had colored people been so influential to a movement. This movement was the result of thousands of blacks flocking from the south to places where they could find freedom, places such as St. Louis, Chicago and ultimately the place called Harlem. At first the Movement consisted of many "no name" artists but by 1913 many artists had started to emerge (Hill 1). Among the most influential artists were Langston Hughes, W.E.B Du Bois and...

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