Essay about Harlem: Harlem Renaissance and Locke

Submitted By KidJohnny
Words: 2399
Pages: 10

John Stanford

The Harlem Renaissance: analyzing the communication methods used to solidify the movement The era during the Harlem Renaissance was blessed with the inspiration of many artists that has become icons of African American history. Some of these icons include names such as Alain Locke, Countee Cullen, Aaron Douglass and Arthru Schomburg. All of these individuals were very influential during the period and progressive for the advancement of colored people. These same people were the ones who connected us to cultural life of our ancestors, giving blacks a way to see just how much of an influence our people has been to society. They also helped the world to realize how talented our people were and the role that was really meant for us in America. Between 1916 and 1940, the Harlem Renaissance fostered a celebration of black culture by both blacks and whites. Although the movement began in New York, it sparked an international trend, which brought about racial justice and equality for a lot of black artist. Although multiple artist were responsible for the formation of the era and thereafter; many of there opinions on the role and place of Africa in the renaissance, art versus propaganda, and the distinguishing of the old and new negro varied. If I had to select an artist whom views where similar to mines in a sense of addressing issues faced by African Americans most effectively, it would have to be Alain Locke. Alain Locke believed that art had its own life and connected us to the cultural life of our African Ancestory. He believed that this life reconvened the African American community to African life form. These life forms allowed us to view that we really were in America taking away the ideology of slavery. He believed that change could occur though art. Locke promoted colored artist, writers, and musicians encouraging them to look unto Africa for their creative works. He also encouraged them to depict Africa and African American subjects, drawing their history for materials of subject. Locke was very influential in the advancement of black pride. “The New Negro”, which was a book written by Locke during the era, was grounded within the concept of race building. The overall theme of the book was the idea of black equality. Being that this was an idea and not the actual law, its power was held within the hands of the people. Locke is also held responsible for influencing Zora Neale Hurston. During the Harlem Renaissance, many people could begin to see what is known as a diaspora, the voluntary dispersion of a group of people from one place to another. Many black took part in the great migration moving to cities such as Chicago, Philadelphia, Cleveland, and New York City. The movement grew from the abolishment of slavery in the African American community and accelerated due to World War I. Another thing that attracted many to the northern cities was the industrialization of rural areas. When looking back through history, I couldn’t help but notice that many areas received technological advances which encouraged many people, not only blacks, to move into these areas to take advantage of the multiple resources that became available. This all became apart of “The new negroe”, The old negro was use to racism, un-equality, and a struggle to become relevant in America post slavery; however, during this era, African Americans began to finally excel and rise above it all. The Harlem Renaissance is where we began to see this shift. There were many influential people that played a vital role in the movement. One of these people was Carter G. Woodson who was known s the father of black history and also the founder of Negro history week in 1926. He received his degree from Harvard University in 1912. He was responsible for the founding and discovery of multiple things during the era including ALSH in 1915, Journal of Negro History in 1916, and a publishing company in 1921. Another