Primitivism During The Harlem Renaissance

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The Harlem Renaissance had many sources in black culture, originally of the United States and the Caribbean. As its capital harlem was a role model for artistic experimentation and a popular site. Its location helped give the “New Negroes” guidance and opportunities for publication they couldn't find anywhere else . Harlem is located just north of central park, it was a formerly white residential district, but by the early 1920s it was becoming a black city of Manhattan.
New York City had an extraordinarily diverse and decentred black social world in which no one group could monopolize cultural authority. As a result, it was a particularly fertile place for cultural experimentation.While the renaissance built on earlier traditions of African American culture, it was profoundly affected by trends—such as primitivism—in European and white American artistic circles.
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The keys to artistic revolution and authentic expression, some intellectuals felt, would be found in the cultures of “primitive races,” and preeminent among these, in the stereotypical thinking of the day, were the cultures of sub-Saharan Africans and their descendants. Early in the 20th century, European avant-garde artists had drawn inspiration from African masks as they broke from realistic representational styles toward abstraction in painting and sculpture.
The act of such experiments caused black people to look on their African heritage in a different way and in many cases with a desire to reconnect with a heritage long despised or misunderstood by both whites and blacks.That is how the harlem renaissance has helped shape African American
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