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In the period from 1918 to 1937, the Harlem Renaissance arose as one of the most prominent trends in African American culture. This movement immersed individuals in expanding their knowledge of the many concerns impacting African American life by utilizing contemporary art forms such as literature, music and film. The Harlem Renaissance was bigger than a literary movement, it may be characterized as a revolution in which African Americans were allowed to escape from the white prejudices. It additionally provided an outlet for African Americans to voice their racial experience, which spread to all aspects of black life, and the Harlem Renaissance came to represent a cultural revival.
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How the Harlem Renaissance introduced African Americans into American culture
The Harlem Renaissance presented African Americans with things to be proud of, they were close to their roots and enabled them to express their heritage in a variety of manners without the biases they had previously experienced. African-Americans were empowered to speak up for their convictions and, ultimately, gained recognition and acceptance on a national scale. The movement gave African Americans a way to communicate their opinions about racial identity and pride. It encouraged them to become more self-assured and embrace their culture.
It was the first time that publishers took African-American literature seriously, and it was a significant turnaround in the reception of African-American literature for the entire American culture. The Harlem Renaissance is one of the most prominent movements in American history and in African-American culture, and it is likewise renowned as the golden age of African-American literature.
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Throughout this time period, there were many methods for African Americans to convey their art and opinions. Through the use of art, music, dance, literature, and poetry, they were empowered to express themselves in a manner that revealed the hardships they had suffered. Gazettes and journals such as The Messenger, Crisis, Opportunity: A Journal of Negro Life became significant because they exposed white Americans to the shameful ways in which they were oppressed. Many African Americans honored these literary works and provided them with a reference point.
Artists’ contribution to the development of the Harlem Renaissance
The writers sought to portray the African American as a gifted human being who deserved the same respect as white Americans. Authors such as Claude McKay and Langston Hughes contributed not only to transforming the way blacks were depicted in theaters through history, but also paved the way for upcoming generations. Poetry has been employed to popularize African American history and to develop political consciousness.
One of the most prominent poets to appear out of the Harlem Renaissance was Langston Hughes. Hughes was born in Joplin, Missouri, and lived most of his childhood in the Midwest. Hughes studied at Columbia University, but dropped out after his freshman year to journey through Africa and Europe, and released his first poem in 1921. His first collections, The Weary Blues (1926) and Fine Clothes to the Jew (1927), received poetry awards and gained him broad acclaim. In contrast to many of his contemporaries who sought poetic fulfillment, Hughes investigated the reality of the black dialect in the urban and rural black lifestyle, and his poetry revealed a pattern of the difficulties experienced by African Americans. Because he resided in a white male-dominated society, he employed his poetry as a tool through which he could communicate efficiently the cultural and ethnic characteristics of his black race to form society.
Hughes pioneered the first black American to become a skilled writer and published over sixty works. He was among the first American writers to gain major critical acclaim for his realistic depiction of black Americans. Through the use of poetry, Hughes emerged as an important spokesperson for the value of black culture and African American freedoms.
Claude McKay was another influential poet of the Harlem Renaissance. He was a voracious reader who started composing poetry when he was ten years old, capturing the horror he experienced at American discrimination. McKay became the most assertive figure in the Harlem Renaissance, and his poetry was long admired by African Americans during the movement and raised social and political concerns. Langston Hughes and Countee Cullen recognized McKay as a major inspiration, although he did not take up the pen in the modern sense of the word.
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Another outstanding author and poet, James Weldon Johnson, brought a new realism to black literature in his writings such as The Autobiography of an Ex-Colored Man and God’s Trombones. His explorations of black poetry, music, and theater contributed to many white Americans’ appreciation of the true imaginative spirit of African Americans. Johnson also spearheaded vigorous civil rights movements aimed at addressing the legal, political, and social barriers that impeded black progress. Johnson’s diverse background is a testament to his intellectual breadth, self-reliance, and conviction that the future brought new possibilities for black Americans. Not only did the Harlem Renaissance produce remarkable works of art, it also brought about a massive shift in white American attitudes toward African Americans and their culture.