Social Change In The Harlem Renaissance

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Imagine Harlem, New York in the mid 1920’s; the rising amount of free African Americans to find a new life with jobs in the North. Imagine the burst of African American culture, the new music, art, and literature. This image represents the Harlem Renaissance; the rebirth of African American culture. The Harlem Renaissance is the name given to the cultural and social movement which took place in Harlem, New York between the end of World War I and towards the middle of the 1930s. The Renaissance focused on the culture of African Americans and the new forms of music, art, and literature. Specifically, jazz and blues, poetry, dance, and musical theater became more apparent. After struggling for years for the abolishment of slavery, African Americans…show more content…
To begin, Billie Holiday’s song, “Strange Fruit”, includes chilling imagery to help the listener imagine the treatment of African Americans. As sang in the song, “Here is fruit for the crows to pluck / For the rain to gather, for the wind to suck / For the sun to rot, for the trees to drop / Here is a strange and bitter crop,” (Holiday, 1939). The “strange fruit” refers to African Americans who had been lynched, and were hanging from the trees. The truly chilling imagery helps listeners come to grips with the horrible injustices of the South even long after slavery was abolished. Furthermore, “Wade In The Water” by Beverly McLean includes information about the Underground Railroad which was mostly led by Harriet Tubman. As stated in the song, “Wade in the water/Wade in the water, children,/Wade in the water/God’s gonna trouble the water,” (McLean). This song explains the struggle that slaves had to go through to escape using the underground railroad without getting caught. Additionally, the lyric, “Wade in the Water” was used by Harriet Tubman to signal the slaves to get off of the trail and into the water so the dogs of the slave owners wouldn’t be able to sniff out their
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