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The Harlem Renaissance Movement

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The Harlem Renaissance, also known as the New Negro Movement, is a time period in American history that bred the likes of Langston Hughes, W.E.B Dubois, and Zora Neale Hurston. Despite the name, the Harlem Renaissance is not exclusive to the city of Harlem. The Harlem Renaissance period is an “interdisciplinary cultural movement” (Jones 2008) that unleashed creativity in the African American community and allowed the ingenuity of the community to be shared with the world. The Harlem Renaissance is the beginning of the age of modernism. This artistic movement included creative explosions in the areas of literature, poetry, dance, and music. Fifty-five years after the abolishment of slavery, descendants of former slaves move their families up north, attracted by the industrial economy and new cities. This great movement of people is most commonly known as The Great Migration. African Americans who move to the north no longer have to live the lives of poor agriculturalist, but can now move up in social stature. The concept of moving up in social ranks amongst black people introduces the statuses of the folk, the bourgeois, and the proletarians, to African American society and literature. The writers of the Harlem Renaissance produce work that focuses on ideas like race, class, marriage, and identity. African American writers who move north now have something more to write about than just the “poor negro.” These writers are now able to add depth to their characters and give them
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