The Harlem Renaissance
A foundation of African-American
intellectualism to which AfricanAmerican writers, artists, and musicians
still contribute.
Quick-write
• The great migration sent hundreds of
thousands of African-Americans north to the
big cities. How do you think the people of the
north embraced this?
Voices in the 1920’s
• Between 1910 & 1920 hundreds of thousands
of African Americans had travelled from the
South to the big cities.
• Not everyone was welcoming and in 1919 race
riots were common.
Quick-write
• What options might African-Americans have
when facing similar discriminations in the
north?
African-American Goals
• The newly formed NAACP urged African-Americans
to protest racial violence.
• W.E.B. DuBois would often lead marches to end
violence against African Americans.
• James Weldon Johnson of the NAACP fought for
legislation to protect African Americans.
The UNIA
• Marcus Garvey, an immigrant from Jamaica, believed that
African Americans should build a separate society.
• He founded the Universal Negro Improvement Association
(UNIA).
• He urged many to return to Africa, though originally popular
the movement died out by the mid 20’s.
Quick-write
• Why do you think UNIA movement died out so
quickly?
Renaissance
• The Harlem Renaissance, was a literary and artistic movement
celebrating African-American culture.
• Claude McKay, a novelist used militant verses to encourage
resistance.
• Langston Hughes the best known from the era described the
difficult lives of the working-class African American.
African-American Performers
• Many African-Americans like Paul Robeson
(son of a former slave) became actors and
performers.
• Louis Armstrong made jazz a global
phenomenon.
Jazz Explodes
• The likes of Duke Ellington started to take their 10
piece orchestra to the famed Cotton Club in NYC.
• Women got involved as well, Bessie Smith a female
blues singer probably had the best voice of the
decade.