Essay Harlem Renaissance

Words: 1071
Pages: 5


Throughout the history of African Americans, there have been important historical figures as well as times. Revered and inspirational leaders and eras like, Martin Luther King and the Civil Rights Movement, Nat Turner and the slave revolt, or Huey Newton and the Black Panther Party. One such period that will always remain a significant part of black art and culture is the Harlem Renaissance. It changed the meaning of art and poetry, as it was known then. Furthermore, the Harlem Renaissance forever left a mark on the evolution of the black culture.

The Harlem Renaissance found its birth in the early 1920's, in Harlem, New York. The period has been thought of as one of African Americans greatest times in writing.
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By 1926, another stage in the developmental history of African-American visual artists came about, with the establishment of the Harmon Foundation. The Harmon Foundation became a tool for introducing the works of African-American artists to the world. William E. Harmon became the chief philanthropist and patron in the support of African-American artists and culture. Harmon's interest in African-American artists reflected "his interest in promoting justice and social commitment." The "deprivation of black Americans, he reasoned, was a national problem, not simply a burden on blacks alone." Harmon and foundation were extremely vital in keeping the African-American artists working, learning, and creating expressions in the arts. Such artists as; Hale Woodruff, Edward Burra, Jacob Lawrence, John T. Biggers, Loïs Mailou Jones, and William H. Johnson were among the talented that blossomed and shared their beliefs and fears through art.

One artist that contributed his talents to the Renaissance was Aaron Douglas. For almost thirty years Aaron Douglas was head of the Department of Art at Fisk University, influencing a great many students, including a number who were to become prominent African American artists. Before that tenure Douglas was the leading artist of the Harlem Renaissance, known especially for his striking murals in libraries and other public buildings. These murals usually depicted