Six times a year, the editors of the Oxford African American Studies Center provide insights into black history and culture, showing ways in which the past and present interact by offering specially commissioned featured essays, photographic essays, and a selected list of articles that will further guide the reader. This month the Focus On article highlights a few of the African Americans who helped establish the Harlem Renaissance.
The term "Renaissance" often refers to a period of dynamic artistic and intellectual activity. In the 1920s and 1930s, the neighborhood of Harlem, New York saw just that—an influx of interest and creation in black arts and culture. The New Negro Renaissance or, more commonly, the Harlem Renaissance was a period of immense creativity and cultural production by African Americans. The people involved in the Harlem Renaissance came from a variety of areas of interest—musicians, intellectuals, writers, and artists—and formed an extremely talented and prolific group. Langston Hughes, Claude McKay, Duke Ellington, and Nella Larsen were just a few of the individuals who came together to establish the vibrant community. This Focus On looks at some of the people involved in creating the most successful African American cultural movement in the history of the United States.View photo essay
The following articles have been selected to help guide readers who want to learn more about the Harlem Renaissance and the people involved. (Access to the following articles is available only to subscribers.)
Primary Source Documents