The Harlem Renaissance: The Renaissance Movement In African American Literature

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THE HARLEM RENAISSANCE around 1918–37 was the most influential movement in the African American literary history. Embracing creative art, participants sought to redefine “the Negro” apart from the white stereotypes that had influenced black peoples’ relationship to their heritage and to each other. Never dominated by a particular school of thought but rather characterized by intense debate, the movement laid the groundwork for all later African American literature and had an enormous impact on subsequent black literature and consciousness worldwide. Located just north of Central Park, Harlem was a formerly white residential district that by the early 1920s was becoming virtually a black city within the borough of Manhattan. While the renaissance…show more content…
The common theme of Harlem Renaissance literature was the racial injustice of life and Popel’s “Flag Salute” reflects the same. Published in the August of 1934, it was written in response to a lynching and riot on Maryland’s Eastern Shore in 1933 that received widespread coverage because of the area’s proximity to New York. The area had been simmering with racial tension and the gruesome details of what transpired next are much as Popel reports in her poem, in which she presents the lynching in ironic counterpoint to the Pledge of Allegiance. In a classroom in a Negro school a pupil gave as his news topic during the opening exercises of the morning, a report of the Princess Anne Lynching of October 18, 1933. A brief discussion of the facts of the case followed, after which the student in charge gave direction: “pupils, rise, and give the flag salute!” they did so without…show more content…
She was always courageous, fearless and stood up for the change she believed America was capable of. Making use of every opportunity she had to fight for the rights of not simply herself, or the African American students at Dickinson College, she became a history maker by breaking stereotypes and providing African Americans even today, almost a century later, a role model to look up to - an intellectual woman of the supposed “inferior race” denying the status of a victim and always proving that African Americans were as American as any
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