Children's LiteratureHarlem, New York was the setting for a cultural upsurge in the 1920's and 1930's. During those decades a series of Black writers, artists, vocalists, and poets sprang forth and gave voice to the conditions of African-Americans. At a time when racial prejudice was even more overt than in our own age, it took great courage for Black artists to stand up and honestly portray their lot in America. Artists such as Langston Hughes, Bessie Smith, Duke Ellington, and Josephine Baker all provided a unique expression to what it meant to be a Black person either living in America or with American roots. This artistic movement came to be known as the Harlem Renaissance and that is the subject covered in this collection of short biographies. In this illustrated selection author Wendy Hart Beckman provides encapsulated biographies of ten artists who participated in the Harlem Renaissance. In each instance Ms. Beckman provides a careful outline of the artist's background, development, contributions, and later life. This is a good reference tool for readers with an interest in African-American history or specifically Black artists of this era. The Harlem Renaissance was a significant movement in American culture and Ms. Beckman does well to offer readers a summary of some of the leading lights of that period. 2002, Enslow, Romaneck
School Library Journal - School Library JournalGr 7-10-The array of individuals collected in this book reflects the diverse creative areas that came together in the cultural flourishing of the African-American community in New York City in the early 20th century. Following a brief introduction to the Harlem Renaissance, 10 poets, musicians, dancers, essayists, and novelists are introduced in 8- or 9-page chapters, each one illustrated with two black-and-white photographs. Bessie Smith, Duke Ellington, Langston Hughes, and Josephine Baker are among those included; information on all of the people is readily available elsewhere, but this is a serviceable introduction to the topic.-Janet Woodward, Garfield High School, Seattle, WA Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.
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