The Role Of African Americans During The Harlem Renaissance

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The Harlem Renaissance was a time where African Americans were recognized for their talents: such as writers, artists, musicians, photographers, poets, and more. This era was important because it demanded civil and political rights for African Americans and it gave them a great amount of pride. There were clubs, dance halls, and speakeasies that attracted whites and allowed colored and white couples to dance. With the amount of change that has been taken on by African Americans, there is a greater amount of interaction with white folks, being faced with discrimination from rich white folks, and talent being supported by white folks. The story “Slave on the Block” consists of an African American by the name of Luther, who had tremendous talent while working for his white employers (Michael and Anne Carraway). White folks became interested when they realized the amount of talent these Negroes held, which influenced them to partake in these gatherings. “They saw all the plays with or…show more content…
“I never heard of a job where I had to pay the boss, instead of the boss paying me” (Hughes, 23). Many white folks took advantage of the fact that these African Americans were once slaves and they could cheat them out of pay. African Americans believed that, “Before I’d be a slave I’d be buried in ma grave and go home to my Jesus and be free” (Hughes, 28). Unfortunately, with the past still lingering within this era, white folks still believed they could treat them poorly or as slaves. This would anger African Americans, leading them to distrust white folks. “A white bastard! … Just because they pay you, they always think they own you. No white man’s gonna own me…” (Hughes, 65). Because of the boost in the black culture, African Americans were able to stand up for themselves, showing that “Blacks would no longer allow themselves to be murdered defenselessly by whites…” (Foner,
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