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Keith Urbanski

Sydney Nolan

Bridget Den Boer

Travis Prol



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The Harlem Renaissance! A time of discovery, art, and jazz. This was the place for dancing, clubs, and music. During this time, African American people were making themselves known. Bringing their art and their culture to Harlem, after they had recently been discriminated against. During a time of scrambling, the end of a war, the falling economy, and the soon to be Great Depression, the Harlem Renaissance brought peace, laughter and happiness to the world. For a moment the gloom was gone and all were blissfully moving their feet rhythmically to the upbeat music known for the first time as jazz.


Harlem was a very important time period in America's history. This period of time marked that African Americans would finally get respect in America. It also was one of the biggest migrations of colored people into America in history.
The Harlem Renaissance was a time period between the end of World War 1 and the great Depression when large amounts of African Americans immigrated into the United States. These people moved mainly into Washington D.C, Chicago, and New York. During The Harlem Renaissance, the immigrating African Americans brought their cultures to America. While bringing their cultures to America, these people also added creativity to music, art, and writing. Out of the three categories music was definitely the biggest. The main music of the time was jazz, and leading it was the great musician Louis Armstrong.(Lamb and Johnson pg.1)

The Harlem Renaissance was a time when African Americans came to America and added on creativity to the arts. These people changed art, music, and literature. The one that stuck out the most was art.
These African Americans between 1920 and 1930 showed great interest and creativity in all fields of art. Art during this time was not always drawn just to look pretty but to tell African Americans to celebrate their heritage in the form of art.One of the many artists of the Harlem who carried this out well was Aaron Douglas. What he did was he painted murals for buildings and made illustrations for African
publications. (Urtin pg. 1)

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Music: In this time music played a big role. It let the African-Americans bring some of their culture to our time. Not only was this important so colored people could show that they are as good as us but it also had a positive impact in the rest of the world.
Jazz- Was a type of music that wars present during the movement of the Harlem Renaissance and was rooted from the musical tradition of African Americans. Around the beginning of the twentieth century, the jazz style emerged, centered in New Orleans. (Songs of the soul pg.1)''HOT NIGHTS and cool jazz, steamy sidewalks and fancy dressers, songs of the soul and songs of the body, the lilt of gentle laughter and the penetrating wail of the blues. That was Harlem in the 1920s and early 1930s--a place that vibrated night and day with excitement promise, glitter and joy.''(Harlem pg.1) But it wasn't just jazzexternal image harlem3.jpg during that time. They were poets, philosopher, writers, and artexternal image CottonClub-1936.jpgists all breaking away from the pack for being different in the hope of being discovered.
One of the most influential musician in New Orleans was King Oliver's second trumpeter, Louis Armstrong. Louis's (aka Sachmo) played at the Connie Inn shaking the world with his talent for jazz. African-American women also played an important part in the movement. Billie Holiday, Josephine Baker and Bessie Smith were talented singers that took place in the jazz field and struggled with the barriers that men had built.(Songs of the soul pg.1)




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Louis Armstrong was one of the greatest jazz players off all times. Count Basie was a jazz pianist and was regarded as one of the most important bandleaders of his time (“Count Basie”). Duke Ellington was counted as one of the most influential figures in jazz (“Duke Ellington”). All of these people (because there are many, many more than just these three) were one of the many people who lived in Harlem! These people were going to become some of the most famous jazz musicians of all time, and they didn’t even know it!
The Harlem Renaissance had a lot of people in it. Those people were mostly Africans, coming to the US between World War I and the Great Depression. These were great times for the United States, with lots of jobs in the cities, especially in the North. Between 1920 and 1930, almost 750,000 African Americans left the South, and many of them migrated to urban areas in the North to take advantage of the prosperity—and the more unracist environment. The Harlem section of Manhattan, which covers just 3 mi, drew nearly 175,000 African Americans, turning the neighborhood into the largest concentration of black people in the world (Brunner Rowen).

Even though there are so many more, these are 8 of the most well known people of the “Roaring Twenties”. Louis Armstrong is probably one
Billie Holiday image
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of the best sax players ever; he is also one of the greatest jazz artists of all times. Count Basie was in the jazz biz as well being a pianist. He was also a very important bandleader too. Duke Ellington was a very influential pier in the jazz world. Billie Holiday wanted to be like Louis Armstrong and Bessie Smith, and now look at her voice brought her to the top. Jelly Roll Morton was probably one of the first serious composers of jazz, making up exotic rhythms and such (“Jelly Roll Morton”). Ma Rainey was something of a mentor to Bessie Smith, helping her perfect her singing, while Bessie was on the Mosses Strokes troupe. Bessie Smith was the top most paid black performer in her day; she could have more than 40 troupers on the stage with her! Fats Waller is the last in the 8, and was a handful, being an American jazz pianist, organist, composer and quite the comedian. ("Fats Waller") All of these people lived in Harlem, most of them weren’t very rich (until their career flared up) and most of them died deaths we could have prevented today. These, were some of the people, but there were many, many more. Billie Holiday


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The Harlem Renaissance! This is the central home in New York City where most of the African Americans came to show their talents and cultures to us. Even now it is known for its cultural history.
The original village of Harlem was established in 1658 by a Dutch Governor Peter Stuyvesant and it was called Nieuw Harlem after the Dutch city called Harlem.
Originally a farming village, Harlem saw many migrants come and go over time. The village of Harlem was independent of NYC until 1873. The Harlem Renaissance, sometimes called the Black Renaissance, took place in Harlem, in the borough of Manhattan in New York City, New York and began in the 1920’s and lasted into the beginning of the 1930’s.


Harlem has been called a state of mind, but it is also a real place, remembered in oral histories, described in photographs, and evaluated by scholars.("The Neighborhood")

After 1904 and following the “great migration” from the south black residents arrived in huge masses into the black neighborhoods of the north and Midwestern parts of the U.S. This group is the one who made Harlem get noticed for its artistic and musical and literary contributions. The African Americans wanted a better standard of life than the racism experienced in the southern areas. Harlem is now known as a major residential, cultural and business center for African Americans.

Harlem’s early economy focused on agriculture until the railroads and Manhattan’s street system brought some serious popularity to the area. There were carried away house builders who made to many rooms. They started to open up the rooms to tenants of all colors. This made the builders a lot of money and made the population of African Americans boom! A result to a 1910 census shows that there are about 500,000 people of all colors. But only around 50,000 of them were African Americans.
Later, around 1930, the African American population grew to over 200,000. That’s a big difference in just around 20 years! After the stock market crash, Harlem took a big hit, but definitely did not fade from public awareness and public presence. Though most of the area was African American, and more poor than whites were, they made it through the hard economical times and racial times together.

Through its vibrant past, flourishing present and promising future, Harlem is diversity at its best. ("History of Harlem")

The Harlem Renaissance also called the New Negro Movement was a very good movement for African American people. That is because of the outburst of creative writing from the writers. Some of those famous writers were Zora Neale Hurston and Langston Hughes. There are many other writers.
Many of the writings were about life as a colored person, racial identity, racial issues and equality. Some of the writers writing about these things included Countee Cullen Langston Hughes, Jessie Redmon Fauset, Rudolf Fisher, Sterling A. Brown, Zora Neale Hurston, Nella Larsen, Claude McKay, and Jean Toomer (The New Negro Movement).


In the renaissance, poetry was very famous. One of the poets was Frank Horne. He wrote this poem about Harlem.
"Harlem ... Harlem
Black, black Harlem
Souls of Black Folk
Ask Du Bois
Little grey restless feet
Ask Claude McKay
City of Refuge
Ask Rudolph Fisher
Don't damn your body's itch
Ask Countee Cullen
Does the jazz band sob?
Ask Langston Hughes
Nigger Heaven
Ask Carl Van Vechten
Hey! ... Hey!
'... Say it brother
Say it...' "
- Frank Horne(Harlem Renaissance).

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Zora Neal Hurston was a famous writer during the Harlem Renaissance. She was born on January 7 1891 in Nostalgia Alabama. One of her most famous writings was "There Eyes Were Watching God." Her writings influenced many writers including Ralf Ellison, Gayle Jones, Toni Morrison, Gayle Jones, Alice Walder and Toni Cade Bambra (Zora Neale Hurston).

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Internet Resources

"Billie Holiday." CBA. Michael Ochs Archives and. 2 Feb 2009 <http://www.cascadeblues.org/Legends/BillieHoliday/BillieHoliday.htm>.

"Count Basie." Wikapedia. 13 Jan 2009. Wikimedia. 18 Jan 2009 <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Count_Basie>.


Cyprus , Sheri. "What was the Harlem Renaissance?." wiseGEEK (2009) 20 Jan 2009 <http://www.wisegeek.com/what-was-the-harlem-renaissance.htm>. Cyprus , Sheri. "What was the Harlem Renaissance?." wiseGEEK (2009) 20 Jan 2009
http://www.wisegeek.com/what-was-the-harlem-renaissance.htm




"Duke Ellington." Wikapedia. 17 Jan 2009. Wikimedia. 18 Jan 2009
<http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Duke_Ellington>.


"Fats Waller." Wikapedia. 19 Jan 2009. Wikimedia. 21 Jan 2009 <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fats_Waller>.

"Harlem History, The Neighborhood." Columbia University (2005) 26 Jan 2009 http://www.columbia.edu/cu/iraas/harlem/neighborhood/neighborhood.html

"History of
Harlem." Welcome to Harlem (2005-2009) 26 Jan 2009 http://welcometoharlem.com/page/harlem_history/

"Harlem Renaissance." Wikipedia 19 Jan 2009<http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Harlem_Renaissance>
Grimes, Linda. "Harlem Renaissance Poets." Harlem Renaissance Poets. 2/5/03. Suite101.com. 26 Jan 2009 <http://www.suite101.com?article.cfm/modern_us_poetry/98313>.

"Jelly Roll Morton." Wikapedia. 21 Jan 2009. Wikimedia. 21 Jan 2009 <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jelly_Roll_Morton>.

Jessica, McElrath. "The New Negro Movement." Harlem Renaissance. About.com. 23 Jan 2009 <http://afroamhistory.about.com/cs/harlemrenaissance/a/harlemren.htm>.

Lamb Johnson, Annette and Larry. "Harlem Renaissance." Harlem Renaissance. June 2008. 42explore. 22 Jan 2009 <http://www.42explore2.com/harlem.htm>.
http://www.tesd.k12.pa.us/stoga/dept/Barry/Barry4/music/Harlem%20Renaissance%20Music%20page.htm


Nash, William. "HARLEM RENAISSANCE." Oxford University Press 20 Jan 2009 <http://www.oup.com/us/pdf/americanlit/h_renaissance.pdf>Nash, William. "HARLEM RENAISSANCE." Oxford University Press 20 Jan 2009 http://www.oup.com/us/pdf/americanlit/h_renaissance.pdf


Reuben, Paul. "
Harlem Renaissance - A Brief Introduction." Perspectives in American Literature. 24 Jan 2009 <http://www.csustan.edu/english/reuben/pal/chap9/9intro.html>.


Rowen, Beth Borgna Brunner. "Great Days in
Harlem." 2007 18 Jan 2009. Lamb Johnson, Annette and Larry. "Biographies of the Harlem Renaissance." 42eXplore. Sept 2004. 18 Jan 2009 <http://www.42explore2.com/harlem2.htm



Rowen, Beth. "Great Days in
Harlem The birth of the Harlem Renaissance." infoplease (2007) 20 Jan 2009 http://www.infoplease.com/spot/bhmharlem1.html
"Songs of the soul: the Harlem Renaissance, 1920-1935 - Special Report - Statistical Data Included." BNET. 2009. CBS interactive inc.19 Jan 2009 <http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m0EPF/is_18_101?pnum=4&opg=82650370&tag=artBody;col1>.
Urtin, Robin. "The Harlem Renaissance." eyecon.art. 2005. 4realarts. 27 Jan 2009 <http://www.eyeconart.net/history/harlem.htm>.
"Zora Neale Hurston." The Official Zora Neale Hurston Website. 2007. 24 Jan 2009 <http://www.zoranealehurston.com/>.



Book Resources

Meachen, Dana. The Harlem Renaissance. Minneapolis, MN: Compass Point Books, 2006.

Wallace, Maurice. Langson Hughes. Tarrytown: Marshall Cavendish Benchmark, 2008.