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The Harlem Renaissance I like the Very Short Introduction series that OUP has published They are exactly what they say short intros into large topics This one on the Harlem Renaissance is excellent at laying out the history of the movement It provides a list of suggested reading from the movement itself as well as The Harlem Renaissance Was A Cultural Awakening Among African Americans Between The Two World Wars It Was The Cultural Phase Of The New Negro Movement, A Social And Political Phenomenon That Promoted A Proud Racial Identity, Economic Independence, And Progressive Politics.In This Very Short Introduction, Cheryl A Wall Captures The Harlem Renaissance S Zeitgeist By Identifying Issues And Strategies That Engaged Writers, Musicians, And Visual Artists Alike She Introduces Key Figures Such As Langston Hughes, Zora Neale Hurston, Claude McKay, And Jean Toomer, Along With Such Signature Texts As Mother To Son, Harlem Shadows, And Cane In Examining The New Negro, She Looks At The Art Of Photographer James Van Der Zee And Painters Archibald Motley And Laura Wheeler And The Way Marita Bonner, Jessie Fauset, And Nella Larsen Explored The Dilemmas Of Gender Identity For New Negro Women Focusing On Harlem As A Cultural Capital, Wall Covers Theater In New York, Where Black Musicals Were Produced On Broadway Almost Every Year During The 1920s She Also Depicts Harlem Nightlife With Its Rent Parties And Clubs Catering To Working Class Blacks, Wealthy Whites, And Gays Of Both Races, And The Movement Of Renaissance Artists To Paris.From Hughes S The Negro Speaks Of Rivers To W.E.B Du Bois S Novel Dark Princess, Black Americans Explored Their Relationship To Africa Many Black American Intellectuals Met African Intellectuals In Paris, Where They Made Common Cause Against European Colonialism And Race Prejudice Folklore Spirituals, Stories, Sermons, And Dance Was Considered Raw Material That The New Negro Artist Could Alchemize Into Art Consequently, They Applauded The Performance Of Spirituals On The Concert Stage By Artists Like Roland Hayes And Paul Robeson The Harlem Renaissance Left An Indelible Mark Not Only On African American Visual And Performing Arts, But, As Cheryl Wall Shows, Its Legacies Are All Around Us. Informative survey of the Harlem Renaissance that emphasizes how this artistic and intellectual movement was not merely a geographically centered development but consisted of non Harlem writers, musicians, and artists responding to the African American exerpience during the interwar period Surprisingly broad in scope, it explores the tensions inherent in the movement centered on issu A solid overview. engaging very informative The Harlem Renaissance In The Very Short Introduction SeriesThe Very Short Introduction Series of Oxford University Press offers accessible, pocket size books to introduce readers to a broad range of subjects Cheryl Wall s recent 2016 book, the 479th in the series, offers a short but detailed survey of the Harlem Renaissance and its significance Wall, a literary critic and Professor of English at Rutgers University, has written earlier books about black women writers in the Harlem Renaissance she has also edited the two volume Library of America collection of the works of Zora Neale Hurston, an author who is prominently featured in this Very Short Introduction.Wall s The Harlem Renaissance takes the reader through the origins and nature of the Harlem Renaissance and some of its major figures The Harlem Renaissance was a literary, intellectual, and artistic movement of African Americans to forge a new identity for themselves and to break free of demeaning stereotypes The movement centered in but was not limited to Harlem Scholars disagree about the scope and chronological boundaries of the movement, but Wall places it, roughly, in the period between the World Wars Wall Very good and fun to read a little book like this Taught me a lot about the Harlem Renaissance I didn t realize that it was mainly a short time between the Great War and the Great Depression It spans to include artist than that, but it definitely only includes artists who were around Harlem during those


About the Author: Cheryl A. Wall

Cheryl A Wall is a Professor of English at Rutgers University.


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