Harlem Renaissance

Photo Essay

Street in Harlem, c.1930. Courtesy of National Archives and Records Administration.

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.

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