The Harlem Renaissance Essay

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“I’d rather be a lamppost in Harlem than Governor of Georgia.” (Watson 14) Why would such a phrase become the saying amongst colored people of the early twentieth century? In Harlem, New York, before there was a revolution full of art, music, and innovation the majority of blacks were treated with disgrace. It was not until the 1920s and 30s, when the renaissance was at its prime, did the white’s attitudes slowly begin to change. W.E.B. Dubois, Langston Hughes, and Shuffle Along were just a few of the well-established Harlem people and products that earned their title and credibility in the twentieth-century. Harlem provided an area free of discrimination where whites and blacks could bond over the arts. The Harlem Renaissance led to …show more content…
Due to this mentality of acceptance, Harlem brought artists, poets, musicians, and intellectuals from across the country to New York (Campbell and Schmidt 14). Between 1890 and 1920 nearly two million blacks traveled from the south to the north (Howes xii). Southern blacks escaped the Jim Crow laws and migrated north. These new groups became integrated through ethnic pride as well as activism in politics (Campbell and Schmidt 14). Jean Toomer was both black and white; Claude McKay was both Jamaican and American; Wallace Thurman was both black and a homosexual. It is clear to see that Harlem did not discriminate on any basis. This does not stand to reason that these people felt as complete people. W.E.B. DuBois found that “One ever feels his two-ness – an American, a Negro; two souls, two thoughts, two unreconciled stirrings: two ideals in one dark body.” (Watson 10). The tolerance of all people created an open image for Harlem. It was progressing African American life and culture. The term renaissance is used to represent advancements of intellect and society within history. It must be a time where something or someone

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