The New Negro Movement: The Harlem Renaissance

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The “New Negro Movement,” better known as the Harlem Renaissance, was a period in American history in which African American culture became increasingly influential in the arts. To put it into more vivid terms, the Harlem Renaissance was “...the blossoming of jazz, infused with the breath of southern black musical traditions and a spirit of improvisation.” (National Geographic 91). Mediums such as painting, literature, and music were all given a touch of African stylization during the Harlem Renaissance. Hence the name, the Harlem Renaissance originated in Harlem, New York. The artistic movement spread African American culture across a very white America, not just Harlem (Margulies 130). In turn, black artists across the United States were…show more content…
Aside from his highly praised works such as “I, Too” and “The Weary Blues,” Hughes faced heavy criticism for his more in-depth poems. Surprisingly, the judgement came from fellow black writers. Hughes was already under the watchful eye of a few of these famed writers at the early age of twenty-four (“Langston Hughes”). What set him apart from other writers at his age, was that Hughes was in love with the good and bad sides of being black in America. Most black writers wanted to take the beauty of being black and magnify it. This is what Hughes described as “...the mountain standing in the way of any true Negro art in America…” (Literary Movements and Genres 167). Hughes thought it best to show the world the beauty of black life as well as the parts that weren’t as glamorous. This is where the criticism and controversy stemmed from. His peers viewed his works as an “unattractive” portrayal of black life (“Langston Hughes”). Nevertheless, Hughes continued to produce more poems and novels and went on to become one of the most famous authors of the Harlem Renaissance period. Although black people were placed at the bottom of the social totem pole, women of all races were still discriminated against and still faced hardship. So Zora Neale Hurston (black and a woman) had to work twice as hard to be acknowledged in the world of art. Hurston was dedicated to her craft. She traveled all the way to the African…show more content…
Today, African Americans in the art world are celebrated, rather than shunned and turned away. Today, most of the artistry on display for the public (museums, art exhibits, etc.) are created by African Americans and other people of color. Even art that is showcased digitally, like movies and TV shows, are being created and directed by African Americans. This is something you just would not heard of before the Harlem Renaissance. In times before the Harlem Renaissance, black people were essentially censored from the rest of the world. They were restricted from developing what talents they had and sharing them with the world. And that is how the Harlem Renaissance made its impact. It freed black people from metaphorical artistic cages and allowed them to soar and spread their many gifts with the world while also spreading the message of equality to all that would
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