Harlem Renaissance

The Topic:
Harlem Renaissance

This project includes over one-hundred and fifty websites providing biographies of writers, poets, artists, musicians, entertainers, activists, thinkers, and leaders of the Harlem Renaissance movement. These additional biography resources have been placed on a 'bonus' webpage entitled Biographies of the Harlem Renaissance. Be sure to check it out!
Easier - Harlem Renaissance refers to an era of written and artistic creativity among African-Americans that occurred after World War I and lasted until the middle of the 1930s Depression.
Harder - A major factor leading to the rise of the Harlem Renaissance was the migration of African-Americans to the northern cities. Between 1919 and 1926, large numbers of black Americans left their rural southern states homes to move to urban centers such as New York City, Chicago, and Washington, DC.
This black urban migration combined with the experimental trends occurring throughout 1920s American society and the rise of a group of radical black intellectuals all contributed to the particular styles and unprecedented success of black artists. What began as a series of literary discussions in lower Manhattan (Greenwich Village) and upper Manhattan (Harlem) was first known as the 'New Negro Movement.' Later termed the Harlem Renaissance, this movement brought unprecedented creative activity in writing, art, and music and redefined expressions of African-Americans and their heritage.

Drop Me Off in Harlem from ArtsEdge
Discover the themes and works of the Harlem Renaissance.

Guide to Harlem Renaissance Materials from the Library of Congress
This guide presents the Library's resources as well as links to external Web sites on the Harlem Renaissance and a bibliography.
Also from LOC:
2) Harlem Renaissance and the Flowering of Creativity http://lcweb2.loc.gov/ammem/aaohtml/exhibit/aopart7b.html

Harlem Renaissance from Wikipedia
Related Websites:
2) Harlem Renaissance from the American Library of Montpellier http://www.sspfrance.com/library/harlem.htm
3) Harlem Renaissance from MSN Encarta http://encarta.msn.com/encyclopedia_761566483/harlem_renaissance.html
4) Kari's Thoughts on Poets of the Harlem Renaissance http://www.angelfire.com/mi2/huttenl2/

Harlem Renaissance from PBS NewsHou
This is the site of an online forum that examined the Harlem Renaissance literary and political movement.
Another Related PBS Site:
2) Harlem Renaissance http://www.pbs.org/wnet/ihas/icon/harlem.html
After visiting several of the Harlem Renaissance websites, complete one or more of the following activities.
Create A Harlem Renaissance Poster. The subject could be a magazine cover, a stage production, music group or performer, public lecture or forum. You may get some ideas at sites like Rhapsodies in Black: Art of the Harlem Renaissance. Create a poster. An alternative subject would be to create a Harlem scene that envisions what you think a location would have looked like in the Twenties.  Whichever you choose, you must also write an explanation to accompany the poster.  It should explain the relevance of the poster to the Harlem Renaissance.
Compare and Contrast the Lives and Work. Chose two people who played important roles in the Harlem Renaissance period. You can find lots of possibilities on the 'bonus' site for this project: Biographies of the Harlem Renaissance. Compare and contrast their endeavors and accomplishments. Identify their strengths and weaknesses. Were both activists? What type of influence do they have today?  Create a poster or write a (2page) paper explaining this comparison.

Complete a Harlem Renaissance Biography. Start by selecting an important person of the era. You may find some help in selection and resources at Biographies of the Harlem Renaissance. Use the resources found there and at a library to learn all that you can about the person. Write a 2 page paper about your chosen person's life.

Grading: Choose one of the 3 options above.  Complete it with detail and be sure it is creative and neat. Worth 40pts.

Extra Credit: Complete an additional project from the above 3 options.  It is worth up to 30 points extra credit.

Websites By Kids For Kids
Harlem Renaissance (1999 ThinkQuest Challenge Project)
This 'quick course' on the Harlem Renaissance covers history, art, music, history, drama, and more.

More Harlem Renaissance Websites
American Cultural History 1920 -1929
The purpose of this site is to help the user gain a broad understanding of the Roaring 1920s.
Chapter 9: Harlem Renaissance, 1919-1937 by P.P. Reuben
This site concentrates on literature and writers in the four prominent genres of poetry, fiction, drama, and essay
Circle Association's Weblinks to The Harlem Renaissance
Here are links to pages devoted to the Harlem Renaissance.
Cotton Club Revues
Take a tour through a collection of sheet music covers that feature the music of the Cotton Club.
Related Website:
2) Interview With F. Nicholas http://www.jitterbuzz.com/nicho.html
Field To Factory: Afro-American Migration 1915-1940
This site provides a brief overview of the migration of Afro-Americans to northern cities.
Related Migration Websites:
2) Black Workers and the City by C.S. Johnson http://etext.lib.virginia.edu/harlem/JohWorkF.html
3) Making of African American Identity: Volume III, 1917-1968 from the National Humanities Ctr.
4) Migrations: African-American Mosaic from the Library of Congress http://lcweb.loc.gov/exhibits/african/afam008.html
5) Some Economic Aspects of Negro Migrations by C.S. Johnson http://memory.loc.gov/cgi-bin/ampage?collID=cool&hdl=amrlgs:op3:014
This site uses biographies behind Art Kane's famous photo of 57 jazz musicians gathered on a Harlem street as the jumping-off point for a survey of the history of jazz.
Harlem 1900-1940: An African-American Community
from the Schomburg Center for Black Culture, New York Public Library
This exhibit traces the history of the urban experience in Harlem's early days through graphic and photographic images.
Related Websites:
2) Harlem Renaissance by S. Watson (Caution: This site contains some explicit language related to homosexual lifestyles) http://xroads.virginia.edu/~UG97/blues/watson.html
3) Harlem Memories by M.L. Pfeffer http://nfo.net/usa/harlem.html
4) Duke Ellington's Washington http://www.pbs.org/ellingtonsdc/index.htm

Harlem: Mecca of the New Negro from University of Virginia
This is the site of an online edition of the March 1925 Survey Graphic, a premier journal of social work in 1920s America. Alain Locke, then a professor of philosophy at Howard University, designed and edited this special issue devoted to the African American 'Renaissance' that was then underway in Harlem. Contributors include Countee Cullen, Angelina Weld Grimké, Langston Hughes, Charles S. Johnson, James Weldon Johnson, Claude McKay, Arthur Schomburg, Jean Toomer, and others.

Harlem Renaissance Poetry
A brief overview of poetry and poets of the Harlem Renaissance period is provided.

Jass, Jasz, and all that Jazz from PBS River of Song
No one description of jazz adequately outlines this ever-changing music; no definition can pinpoint simply when and where it all began.
Other Music Websites:
2) America's Jazz Heritage from the Smithsonian Institution http://www.si.edu/ajazzh/
3) Photographs from the Golden Age of Jazz (William P. Gottlieb Collection) http://memory.loc.gov/ammem/wghtml/wghome.html

Rhapsodies in Black: Art of the Harlem Renaissance
This site is devoted to the art of the Harlem Renaissance.
Related Website:
2) ArtLex on the Harlem Renaissance http://www.artlex.com/ArtLex/h/harlemrenaissance.hml

This is a website devoted to the historical culture, music, and dance of the Swing Era.
Related Website:
2) Jazz Age: Flapper Culture & Style http://www.geocities.com/flapper_culture/

Websites For Teachers
Contributors to the Harlem Renaissance by H.L. Giles
This activity addresses some of the common themes that bring together members of this literary movement.
Folktales of Zora Neale Hurston by M.E. Riccio
Here is a series of lesson plans on the folktales of Zora Neale Hurston.

Inside the Harlem Renaissance (Grade 11) at Schools of California Online Resources for Education (SCORE)
Students analyze the major political, social, economic, technological, and cultural developments of the 1920s, in terms of the Harlem Renaissance and new trends in literature, music, and art, with special attention to the work of writers.
Langston Hughes (1902-1967) at the Internet School Library Media Center (ISLMC)
Here you find a collection of lesson plans and resources for study of Langston Hughes.
Related Website at ISLMC:
2) Arna Wendell Bontemps (1902-1973) http://falcon.jmu.edu/~ramseyil/bontemps.htm
3) Countee Porter Cullen (1903-1946) http://falcon.jmu.edu/~ramseyil/cullen.htm
4) Zora Neale Hurston (1891-1960) http://falcon.jmu.edu/~ramseyil/hurston.htm
Related Lesson Plans:
5) Langston Hughes: Artist and Historian by M. Blue http://www.yale.edu/ynhti/curriculum/units/1996/1/96.01.02.x.html
6) Langston Hughes: Voice Among Voices by G.C. Cassidy http://www.yale.edu/ynhti/curriculum/units/1991/3/91.03.01.x.html
Harlem Renaissance: Pivotal Period in the Development of Afro-American Culture by C. Jackson (Grades 11 and above) at the Yale-New Haven Teachers Institute
This is a unit plan for study of a pivotal period in the development of Afro-American culture; a time when black and white Americans alike 'discovered' the vibrancy and uniqueness of black art, music, and especially, literature.
Impact of the Music of the Harlem Renaissance on Society by K.B. Hilliard (Grades 7-8) at the Yale-New Haven Teachers Institute
This unit plan's major focus is the people, places, and music of the Harlem Renaissance from 1918-1933.
Other Harlem Renaissance Lessons at Yale-New Haven Teachers Institute:
2) African-American Art and the Political Dissent During the Harlem Renaissance by V. Belton
3) Harlem Renaissance Births a Black Culture by S. Friday http://www.yale.edu/ynhti/curriculum/units/2000/4/00.04.04.x.html
4) Harlem Renaissance: Black American Traditions by P. Flynn http://www.yale.edu/ynhti/curriculum/units/1988/2/88.02.02.x.html
5) Social Contributions of The Harlem Renaissance by H. Rhodes http://www.yale.edu/ynhti/curriculum/units/1978/2/78.02.08.x.html

Migration North to the Promised Land by B. Lapucia
This curriculum unit investigates the great migration of blacks from the rural South to northern industrial cities.
poetry for kidsoral history1920sartmusicliterature
Black migrationJazzWorld War ItheaterLindy HopBlack Manhattan
Blues'Roaring 20s'ChicagoJazz Agetheatrewriting
urbanWorld War II'New Negro Movement'civil rightsAmsterdam NewsCotton Club
dance'talented tenth'stageWomen's suffragecreativitydrama
Universal Negro Improvement Leagueghettophotographyagrarianheritagerace
literary grouprent partyriotSugar HillproseGreat Depression


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