The Harlem Renaissance:
Facts and Links

Using This Page
Definitions of the Harlem Renaissance
Harlem Renaissance Links
Links to Authors, Artists and Musicians


Using This Page

Welcome to Calliope's "Harlem Renaissance" site-in-progress. Whether you are a teacher or a student, you will find useful links here to the outstanding artists, musicians and writers of this great movement in twentieth-century America.
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Some Definitions of the Harlem Renaissance

1. Nathan Irvin Huggins: It is a rare and intriguing moment when a people decide that they are the instruments of history-making and race-building. ... In the opening decades of the twentieth century, down into the first years of the Great Depression, black intellectuals in Harlem had just such a self-concept. These Harlemites were so convinced that they were evoking their people's 'Dusk of Dawn' that they believed that they marked a renaissance."
- From Harlem Renaissance (1971)
by Nathan Huggins, the late historian at Harvard.

2. "Variously known as the New Negro movement, the New Negro Renaissance, and the Negro Renaissance, the movement emerged toward the end of World War I in 1918, blossomed in the mid- to late 1920s, and then faded in the mid-1930s. The Harlem Renaissance marked the first time that mainstream publishers and critics took African American literature seriously and that African American literature and arts attracted significant attention from the nation at large. Although it was primarily a literary movement, it was closely related to developments in African American music, theater, art, and politics."

3. Library of Congress: ("An African American Odyssey" exhibit) "In literature and the visual arts, the Harlem Renaissance - insofar as it can be defined - is described principally by a series of novels, books of poetry, paintings, and sculpture. Although African Americans wrote symphonies and sonatas in the period between the world wars, it was the nightclub music that seems to capture the period." More

4. Critic and teacher Alain Locke described it as a "spiritual coming of age" in which the black community was able to seize upon its "first chances for group expression and self determination." More

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Harlem Renaissance Links Paul P. Reuben's immense literature site at Cal State Stanhope covers the Harlem Renaissance. From here, you can link to pages about: Bontemps, Cullen, Du Bois, Garvey, Hughes, Hurston, C Johnson, J W Johnson, Toomer, and many others - as well as an Introduction, Selected Bibliography, and Research and Study Topics. The Schomburg Center exhibit site "Harlem 1900-1940" is full of one-page presentations of writers and artists of the Harlem Renaissance. Includes resources for teachers, focusing on interpreting photographs. A score of excellent links provided by the African American Literature Book Club site. This Harlem jazz site by Wayne Bremser uses intriguing pop-up menus where you can browse Harlem's musical history by chronology, artist, instrument, or style. Good music overview.

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Links to Individual Authors, Artists, and Musicians

Louis Armstrong, 1900-1971
Countee Cullen, 1903-1946
Josephine Baker, 1906-1975
Count Basie, 1904-1984
W. E. B. DuBois, 1868-1963
Duke Ellington, 1899-1974
Marcus Garvey, 1887-1940
Billie Holiday, 1915-1959
Langston Hughes, 1902-1967
Zora Neale Hurston, 1901-1960
Charles Johnson, 1883-1956
James Weldon Johnson, 1871-1938
Nella Larsen, 1891-1964
Claude McKay, 1891-1948
Jelly Roll Morton, 1884-1941
Paul Robeson, 1898-1976
Ma Rainey, 1886-1939
Bessie Smith, 1895-1937
Jean Toomer, 1894-1967

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Other Musical and Visual Artists

James Reese Europe (1881-1919) & the Harlem Hellfighters
Aaron Douglas, 1899-1979

Meta Warrick Fuller, 1877-1968
Palmer Hayden, 1890-1973
William H. Johnson, 1901-1970
James Van Der Zee, 1886-1983

Harlem Renaissance Connection, Presented by Calliope