It was the hope that this exhibit would give one a holistic image of life and culture during the Harlem Renaissance by exploring different aspects of it. This event is considered to be the largest shift in African American culture that occurred during the 20th century as African Americans from across the country began to discover themselves and personally define what it meant to be “black”. This time period also marked the beginning of a shift in white recognition and acceptance of African American culture as whites across the country joined their black counterparts in enjoying jazz music and black literature. However, such a change didn’t mean that racism and racial prejudice were erased entirely. Such problems remained prevalent throughout the Harlem Renaissance, though their effects were limited by the sheer size and power of such a movement.
The New Negro Renaissance, more formally known as the Harlem Renaissance, earning it’s name from the 1925 anthology by Alain Locke, had many effects on many people, but it can be best described as a revolution, a cultural uprising where the high level of Black poetry, production and art demanded, and, in turn, received the mainstream appreciation and accolade which it rightly deserved. It is described as the most important and so discussed period in African American literacy, and indeed twentieth century literacy as a whole. Black poets felt segregating in their writing, and forced into the inforced, repressive form of the western white poets of the time. With their writing founded upon tribal, native songs full of pride and passion, the migration to a set form imposed upon them left a stale taste, a further example of how black people were repressed, not allowed to even express themselves in the form which they were used to, the form with which they grew up with. In his book, “The New Negro”, Alain Locke said that the writings of the Renaissance showed a “new spirit [..] awake in the black masses.” This spirit is that of “new Negro”, who has come to replace the “Old Negro” who “ had become more of a myth than a man.” (Locke) This spirit, spurred and cultivated by years of enslavement, both literal and, in a sense, figurative, is what led to the writings that are regarded part of a monumental era for black writing, and writing in general.
However, the 1960s was also characterised by a fundamental change in other aspects of American society, such as civil rights and women’s rights. ‘Americans protested to demand an end to the unfair treatment of black citizens… and to demand full equality for women,’ (9) shows that besides the peace and anti-war movements, lots of focus was given to bettering the lives of African Americans and women. African American citizens were actively protesting the “separate but equal” lives they lived in America. Their entire lives were separate from those of white Americans. They had segregated schooling, transport and toilets under the Jim Crow laws.
The 1960s brought about a great movement of the arts as the oppressed people and the activists spoke out against the unfair laws through their various art forms. Because of anger and built up black frustration, the Civil Rights Movement was at a peak from 1955-1965. The Black Arts Movement stemmed from
Beginning in 1903 W.E.B. Du Bois started the fire when striking up controversy in his publication of “ The Souls of Black Folk”, in which a call to action to strengthen civil rights was apparent. Six years following the NAACP was founded represented by both black and white activists. Focused on the equality of african american population in wages, society, and combatants. With the help of the Women’s rights Movement, not only supporting African American rights, but that of women helped pair these organizations to influence society for the better of all mankind.
They liked Roosevelt because he was big on helping them out on getting their rights that they deserved. "One important demographic change underlay the experience of African-Americans during the Roosevelt years. The migration of African-Americans from the South to the urban North, which began in 1910, continued in the 1930s and accelerated in the 1940s during World War II. As a result, black Americans during the Roosevelt years lived for the most part either in the urban North or in the rural South, although the Depression chased increasingly large numbers of blacks to southern cities as well. In the North, blacks encountered de facto segregation, racism, and discrimination in housing and public services; nevertheless, they were able to vote and had better job opportunities.
Many movements were formed in South Africa as a result of nationalism. Each community, culture or ethnic group united and resisted British control as they were desperate for change, and change would only happen out of radical actions. Several African movements were created as a rise against British control and to fight for the rights of black Africans. African nationalism wanted to unify and transform the identity of black South Africans so that they could assemble against the increasing oppression that had originated from colonial segregation policies. The Land act of 1913 was a catalyst to black resistance and the formation of the African National Congress Youth League in 1940.this made way for more radical and active forms of protests.
Fortunately, in the twenty first century, black performers are not treated in the same manner. This is not to say that bias racial casting, bias stereotypes, and racism have been completely obliterated (although this would be nice), but the entertainment industry and black performers seem to be making attempts to make change. In terms of the entertainment industry’s role, bringing more diversity onto the stage and screen, and allowing for black artists to have the stage to themselves to express their viewpoint, and most often than not, struggles they face being black in America. Contrasting completely from blackface, the entertainment industry is giving black artists the chance to speak out about their culture. These black artists can be themselves on stage, without disguising their physical and outward appearance, and they are not being guarded about who they are as black individuals.
In the perspective of jazz as an entity, it is discernible without hesitation that artists such as Louis Armstrong and Bessie Smith have made an extended contribution, not only to the performance of Jazz but the techniques, timber and style of instruments used within the genre in the modern era. The prominence of these early jazz musicians had a larger impact on the African American population of America. They created a sense of liberation, far from the miseries of everyday life as a second class citizen. I have regarded the socio-cultural climate in New Orleans prior to the creation of Jazz as one of the passions which drive the soul of the music. The portrait of
During the late 19th century and early 20th century, different minorities in New Orleans came together and performed improvised music for the dancers (“A New Orlean Jazz”). The existence of this diversity in musicians and need to play music by these performers is the main cause such a unique genre of music culture could form. As the jazz culture became widespread, it influenced other parts of art such as novels and poems. It become more than music; it was culture. During the late 20th century, jazz was an important revolution that helped gain minority the recognition and importance it had longed for.