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The Voices and Art that Shaped the Harlem Renaissance
Educator Overview

ABC-CLIO Database: American History
Time Period: Great Depression to the New Deal, 1920-1939
Topic: Harlem Renaissance
Skill: Describe
Process: Define and Illustrate an Idea

Inquiry Question: What was the Harlem Renaissance, and what were some of the important artistic contributions that took place during that time?

Objectives: Drawing examples from the provided sources, students will define what happened during the Harlem Renaissance and describe some of the important literary, musical, and artistic contributions that were created during that time.

What students will discover in the sources: The reference entry on literature during the Harlem Renaissance provides context for the emergence of new literary forms amid the political, historical, and social climate of the time, while providing an overview of key literary figures. In the excerpt from "Enter the New Negro," originally published in Survey Graphic in March 1925, Alain Locke explains the unprecedented transformation of black culture in America. The entry on music during the Harlem Renaissance provides an overview of the musicians who helped shape the music scene during this time, including innovations of the era like stride piano playing, cabaret singing, and early big bands. Duke Ellington performs a jazz classic, "Stomping at the Savoy," in the video source. The song references the Savoy Ball Room, a major center of entertainment during the Harlem Renaissance. The essay on art during the Harlem renaissance explains how the many significant visual artistic works by African Americans were created during this time by artists like Richmond Barthé, Augusta Savage, and May Howard Jackson; photographers Richard S. Roberts and James Van Der Zee; and black painters and illustrators such as Archibald Motley, Palmer C. Hayden, and William E. Braxton. Finally, the image of the sculpture Waterboy I, by Meta Vaux Warrick Fuller (1930) illustrates the themes of the struggles and triumphs of black life, common during this time in art and literature. Together, these resources will help students define how African Americans expressed themselves during the Harlem Renaissance.
MLA Citation

"Investigate: The Voices and Art That Shaped the Harlem Renaissance." History Hub, ABC-CLIO, 2020, historyhub.abc-clio.com/Support/InvestigateOverview/2235836?tab=1. Accessed 18 Feb. 2020.