Harlem Renaissance Research Paper

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The Harlem Renaissance American Studies 3.4 2 June 2015 Peter Spikmans | 1219456 | E3PF Tutor: Gorp, van, GME 1521 words This page is intentionally left blank Introduction For many, the 1920s evokes images of floppers and speakeasies. But for one group of Americans, the decade was also one of rebirth. It was known as the Harlem Renaissance. For the first time, African-Americans artists, writers and musicians were renowned for their contributions to world culture. Their goal was ‘through emphasise group expression and self-determination as a means of achieving equality and civil rights’. When the First World War broke out, American factories experienced a shortage of workers. Many black Americans living in the south, saw…show more content…
The freedom that the African Americans enjoyed after the end of slavery ensured a substantial relatively well educated part of the black population. Living in the Northern cities, one can identify a black middle class which is culturally very self-conscious. This time of economic welfare, has been proven to be an excellent time for the African Americans to become culturally avant-garde. That is, that Harlem was in the early 1920s the epicentre of cross American culture. The African Americans started to inspire other parts of society and Harlem became not only the centre of Black culture but a melting pot in which the African Americans shared their cultures and inspired the white American population. The Harlem Renaissance had a long lasting impact, even when in the time of the Great Depression the booming years were long gone, it continued to inspire artists from various cultures. Art forms that flourished in these times were music (of which Jazz is the most known), dance and fashion. But also poetry, cinema and drama experienced a revival during the Harlem Renaissance. The themes and inspiration varied, but it is known that most forms of expression during the Harlem Renaissance had the purpose of challenging racism and stereotypes and promote progressive or socialist politics instead. Furthermore through art and expression the African Americans…show more content…
The Great Depression was a severe worldwide economic crisis that started in October 1929 on Wall Street. It was the most widespread, severe and longest depression of the 20th century, as in only three years, the worldwide GDP fell approximately by 15% (Nelson, 2015). In these interwar times, the worldwide economy had to cope with one of the most challenging conditions ever. And it was not until the start of the second world war, that the American economy started to show signs of recovery. Even today, the Great Depression is still regarded as the worst economic crisis of modern times (History.com,

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