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Harlem Renaissance


The Harlem Renaissance was an African-American cultural movement between the world wars that saw a flourishing of black literature, drama, dance, art, and music. This research guide will connect you to many sorts of information resources on this exciting and influential period.


The Harlem Renaissance was a cultural explosion of Black art, music, and literature spanning from 1918 to the mid 1930s. It was made possible in large part due to the the influx of 6-million Black Southerners into urban cities throughout the country beginning around 1916, often referred to as The Great Migration. This migration was a large undertaking, chosen by individuals and families alike in an effort to have a better standard of living outside of the racist confines of the Jim Crow South which restricted many of their basic freedoms. Moving out of the south held the promise of greater opportunities for employment, fair housing, and protection under the law.  Los Angeles, Chicago, Philadelphia, and New York absorbed a large percentage of the hopeful travelers. Harlem, a specific neighborhood in the borough of Manhattan, swelled with Black families and businesses due to the availability of affordable apartments after WWI. Residents included artists, writers, and intellectuals; quickly, Harlem became know as the Black cultural Mecca of the early 20th century.

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