The Harlem Renaissance
In Harlem between the 1920’s and 1930’s the African American culture flourished, especially in areas such as music, art, literature, dance, and even in film. This soon became known as the Harlem Renaissance. With the entire positive and the negative situations of this time period the African Americans still seemed to have it all. The Harlem Renaissance came about because of the changes that had taken place in the African American community after the abolition of slavery because of World War I and the social and cultural changes in early 20th century in the United States. After harsh conditions for African Americans after the Plessy vs. Ferguson Trial many of them decided to move to the North to New York. By staying in the South they became more and more economically depressed and there was less of a demand for labor. Moving to the North became one of the best things African Americans did for themselves. There, men could vote and there was a better education system for children. As a result of World War I and the Industrial Revolution there were better job opportunities for African Americans as well.
At the end of the American Civil War in 1865 many free African Americans searched for a place with education and employment opportunities. They ended up finding this place in Harlem, New York. This was where the first black middle class was created. In the early 1900’s the African American middle class began to publicize for racial equality. During this time W.E.B DuBois was the head of the civil rights movement. Soon after, he began to work closely together with other civil rights workers and activists. Together they discovered the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, also known as the NAACP. This group would try to annihilate discrimination of any kind and to provide equal right to all people in areas such as education, socially, politically and economically. Also during this time Marcus Garvey founded the Universal Negro Improvement Association and African Communities League (UNIA-ACL), in which they both aimed to bring opportunities into the African American community. Not only did this help make African Americans feel proud of their race, but it also brought them together, not only in New York, but all over the country. They soon began to create a lifestyle for themselves that was equivalent to the White Americans and began to advance in the areas of jazz music, art, and literature. All this is what was starting to become known as the Harlem Renaissance.
By the 1920’s the amount of African Americans in New York City had more than doubled. Meanwhile the roadways and subway system had just begun to reach Harlem, where some of the most influential Blacks had situated themselves. Soon after, Harlem became known as “The Black Mecca” and also as “The Capital of Black America”.
The Harlem Renaissance embraced all types of art forms. Jazz, literature, art, film, and dance were some of the main...