preview

American History: The Harlem Renaissance

Good Essays
There were many reasons why the Harlem Renaissance was an important time in American history. "The driving force behind the varied activities that made Harlem so vibrant in the twentieth century were sparked by the massive migration of black people from the rural South and the Caribbean.” (Bascom, Lionel C. A Renaissance in Harlem: Lost Voices of an American Community.) The Harlem Renaissance, which took place during the Great Depression, boosted the morale of African Americans. "Harlem in the 1920s was like nowhere else on Earth. During World War I (1914-18), a mass movement called the Great Migration, an exodus of 6 million blacks from the South to Northern cities like New York, Chicago, and Detroit (1916-70), began bringing African-Americans…show more content…
Poets like Langston Hughes and James Weldon Johnson impacted the Renaissance tremendously. Langston Hughes’ poems helped shape American literature. “The first black man to earn a Ph.D. from Harvard, W. E. B. DuBois, organized the first Pan African Congress, a political party in South Africa, in New York.” W. E. B. DuBois was an African American man who helped create the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, also know as NAACP in 1909 and was a supporter of Pan-Africanism and he was also a supporter of women’s rights. DuBois was the editor of the NAACP’s monthly magazine, The Crisis. Other people such as Duke Ellington, the African American creator of the big-band jazz, contributed by expressing himself through music. Duke Ellington’s style of music was jazz. Ellington’s music, and band, had a big influence on the development of big band-style swing jazz. Ellington’s music helped create the modern style of music people listen to today. During the Harlem Renaissance African Americans got more involved and really changed society. “Starting in 1910, a large block along 135th Street and Fifth Avenue was bought by various African-American realtors and a church group.” Since then African Americans started to voice their opinions and how they feel. That's exactly what Langston Hughes did. Langston Hughes was an African American poet and a novelist. He created poems to…show more content…
Billie Holiday was and will always be one of the best jazz singers of all time. Even though Billie had a tough early life, she found peace in music. She sang along to records of Bessie Smith and Louis Armstrong. Around the 1930s, Billie Holiday began to sing in local clubs, and she decided to change her name from Eleanora to Billie because of the famous film star Billie Dove. While Billie was performing at a Harlem jazz club, she was discovered by a man named John Hammond. She made several singles, two of them being “Miss Brown to You” and “What a Little Moonlight Can Do”. Billie Holiday wrote her own book, which was made into a 1972 film called Lady Sings the Blues. After her successful career, Billie Holiday was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, in
Get Access