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The Rise and Fall of Jim Crow A Century of Segregation
Jim Crow Stories
A National Struggle
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Jim Crow Stories

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The Harlem Renissance (1917-1935)
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The Harlem Renaissance was the name given to the cultural, social, and artistic explosion that took place in Harlem between the end of World War I and the middle of the 1930s. During this period Harlem was a cultural center, drawing black writers, artists, musicians, photographers, poets, and scholars. Many had come from the South, fleeing its oppressive caste system in order to find a place where they could freely express their talents. Among those artists whose works achieved recognition were Langston Hughes and Claude McKay, Countee Cullen and Arna Bontemps, Zora Neale Hurston and Jean Toomer, During this period Harlem was the Mecca to which black writers, artists, musicians, photographers, poets, and scholars traveled.Walter White and James Weldon Johnson. W.E.B. Du Bois encouraged talented artists to leave the South. Du Bois, then the editor of THE CRISIS magazine, the journal of the NAACP, was at the height of his fame and influence in the black community. THE CRISIS published the poems, stories, and visual works of many artists of the period. The Renaissance was more Sign: Father and Son Banquetthan a literary movement: It involved racial pride, fueled in part by the militancy of the "New Negro" demanding civil and political rights. The Renaissance incorporated jazz and the blues, attracting whites to Harlem speakeasies, where interracial couples danced. But the Renaissance had little impact on breaking down the rigid barriers of Jim Crow that separated the races. While it may have contributed to a certain relaxation of racial attitudes among young whites, perhaps its greatest impact was to reinforce race pride among blacks.

-- Richard Wormser

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Did you Know ...


Langston Hughes' first published poem was "The Negro Speaks of Rivers." It appeared in the June, 1921 issue of THE CRISIS.
Related Pages
W.E.B. Du Bois
The Crisis
Marcus Garvey
The Great Migration
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