Harlem Renaissance Lives

Harlem Renaissance Lives

by Henry Louis Gates Jr.
     
 

The Harlem Renaissance is the best known and most widely studied cultural movement in African American history. Now, in Harlem Renaissance Lives, esteemed scholars Henry Louis Gates Jr. and Evelyn Brooks Higginbotham have selected 300 key biographical entries culled from the eight-volume African American National Biography, providing an authoritative who's who of

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Overview

The Harlem Renaissance is the best known and most widely studied cultural movement in African American history. Now, in Harlem Renaissance Lives, esteemed scholars Henry Louis Gates Jr. and Evelyn Brooks Higginbotham have selected 300 key biographical entries culled from the eight-volume African American National Biography, providing an authoritative who's who of this seminal period. Here readers will find engagingly written and authoritative articles on notable African Americans who made significant contributions to literature, drama, music, visual art, or dance, including such central figures as poet Langston Hughes, novelist Zora Neale Hurston, aviator Bessie Coleman, blues singer Ma Rainey, artist Romare Bearden, dancer Josephine Baker, jazzman Louis Armstrong, and the intellectual giant W. E. B. Du Bois. Also included are biographies of people like the Scottsboro Boys, who were not active within the movement but who nonetheless profoundly affected the artistic and political statements that came from Harlem Renaissance figures. The volume will also feature a preface by the editors, an introductory essay by historian Cary D. Wintz, and 75 illustrations.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"This authoritative reference work will prove a useful acquisition for high school, public, and academic libraries; particularly for smaller institutions that lack the African American National Biography."—Library Journal

"Harlem Renaissance Lives is a good source of reference for any library." — Choice

Library Journal

Gates and Higginbotham, both Harvard professors, coedited the eight-volume African American National Biography(2008), a reference work of over 4000 entries designed to supplement Oxford's American National Biography's coverage of African Americans. This work culls 300 entries from the larger set, those with some connection to the Harlem Renaissance. Langston Hughes, Alain Locke, Eubie Blake, and other leaders of the movement are, of course, included, but so are less-celebrated figures like Peg Leg Bates, a tap dancer who lost his leg in a cotton-seed gin mill accident. Written by scholars in the field, the articles cover a range of disciplines, including art, music, literature, history, and politics. Suggestions for further reading and information on archival resources round out most entries. Seventy-five black-and-white illustrations enliven the text. BOTTOM LINE This authoritative reference work will prove a useful acquisition for high school, public, and academic libraries, particularly for smaller institutions that lack the African American National Biography.—William Gargan, Brooklyn Coll. Lib, CUNY


—William Gargan
School Library Journal
Gr 8 Up—A spin-off of the eight-volume African American National Biography (Oxford Univ., 2008), this volume reprints profiles of 300 prominent figures of the era. Following a new overview essay, the signed articles begin with an entry on newspaper publisher Robert Sangstache Abbott of the Defender fame, conclude with author Richard Wright, and in between mix biographies of Langston Hughes, Zora Neale Hurston, and other widely studied figures with introductions to subjects such as Casper Holstein (philanthropist, activist, and numbers banker) and comedian Moms Mabley. Each one- to nine-column entry opens with a quick identifier, goes on to describe its subject's youth and career, and closes with a critical evaluation of the individual's contributions, capped by a substantial list of leads to print resources, some archival. The lack of a topical index omits an important access point, and both the scanty assortment of small black-and-white photos and the dense look of the double-columned pages will keep all but the assignment-driven away. Still, this is an excellent companion to the more detailed overview and the primary-source material found in Kevin Hillstrom's The Harlem Renaissance (Omnigraphics, 2008).—John Peters, New York Public Library

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780195387957
Publisher:
Oxford University Press, USA
Publication date:
03/27/2009
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
608
Product dimensions:
7.20(w) x 10.00(h) x 1.80(d)

Meet the Author

Henry Louis Gates Jr. is the Alphonse Fletcher University Professor and Director of the W. E. B. Du Bois Institute for African and African American Research, Harvard University.
Evelyn Brooks Higginbotham is Professor of History and Afro-American Studies at Harvard University and chair of the department.

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