The Harlem Renaissance

Overview

Defining Moments: The Harlem Renaissance offers a detailed, factual account of the emergence and development of this cultural movement—and its impact up to the present time. Kevin Hillstrom explores the factors that transformed Harlem into the "Capital of Black America" in the 1920s, explains how civil rights activism of the early twentieth century made the Renaissance possible, and discusses the myriad ways in which African American literature, art, and music from the era illuminated black culture and changed ...

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Overview

Defining Moments: The Harlem Renaissance offers a detailed, factual account of the emergence and development of this cultural movement—and its impact up to the present time. Kevin Hillstrom explores the factors that transformed Harlem into the "Capital of Black America" in the 1920s, explains how civil rights activism of the early twentieth century made the Renaissance possible, and discusses the myriad ways in which African American literature, art, and music from the era illuminated black culture and changed the course of American race relations. Biographical information is provided on leading figures involved in the movement, including civil-rights philosopher W. E. B. du Bois, controversial actor and singer Paul Robeson, jazz legend Duke Ellington, and Langston Hughes, the poet laureate of the Harlem Renaissance. A primary source section presents essential documents from the period such as Langston Hughes's famous manifesto of artistic independence, "The Negro Artist and the Racial Mountain"; dancer Frankie Manning's recollections of the glamorous Savoy Ballroom; Alain Locke's influential essay "Enter the New Negro"; and a selection of poems written by some of the Harlem Renaissance's leading literary voices.

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal

Made up of a historical narrative, biographies, and original text excerpts, this slender but essential survey offers a well-plotted explanation of the forces shaping the New Negro Movement and its ideological clash with Marcus Garvey's Zionism. Hillstrom (Multichannel Forensics) traces the movement's multigenerational legacy, demonstrating its continued relevance. Occasionally, significant figures, like Carl Van Vechten, receive brief biographical sidebars in the narrative. However, the larger biographical segment seems incomplete without essays on the lives of leading Renaissance figures like Garvey, Claude McKay, and Jean Toomer. Despite these omissions, this an insightful, highly accessible subject primer for general collections.


—Savannah Schroll Guz
School Library Journal

Gr 8 Up

In this well-written, accessible treatment, Hillstrom opens with a section placing the movement in its historical context. He then explores its beginnings; the literature, music, and art it produced; and the end of the period, with a look at its legacy through the present. Prominent figures from the Harlem Renaissance are featured in "Biographies," including Aaron Douglas, W.E.B. Du Bois, Duke Ellington, Langston Hughes, Zora Neale Hurston, James Weldon Johnson, Nella Larsen, Alain Locke, Paul Robeson, and Bessie Smith. The concluding section of "Primary Sources" sets this title apart from others on the subject, with selections ranging from an excerpt from Du Bois's The Souls of Black Folk to Langston Hughes's remembrance of the period from The Big Sea: An Autobiography , as well as selected poetry and accounts of the Savoy Ballroom and Apollo Theater. Other primary-source material is featured in sidebars, all well documented to lead students to additional research sources. Black-and-white photographs, a glossary of important people and places, and a detailed chronology with handy "see" references complete this well-organized volume. Use it with Cary D. Wintz's Harlem Speaks: A Living History of the Harlem Renaissance (Sourcebooks, 2006) and its audio CDs of primary-source material.-Joyce Adams Burner, Hillcrest Library, Prairie Village, KS

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780780812345
  • Publisher: KWS Publishers
  • Publication date: 5/15/2011
  • Series: Defining Moments Series
  • Pages: 214
  • Sales rank: 965,368
  • Age range: 13 - 17 Years
  • Product dimensions: 7.20 (w) x 9.30 (h) x 0.50 (d)

Meet the Author

Kevin Hillstrom is an independent scholar and author who has written extensively about American history, politics, and environmental issues. He is the author, most recently, of U.S. Environmental Politics and Policy: A Documentary History.

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Table of Contents

Preface

Narrative Overview
    Prologue
    Chapter One: Black America After Slavery
    Chapter Two: Beginnings of the Harlem Renaissance
    Chapter Three: Literature of the Harlem Renaissance
    Chapter Four: Music and Art of the Harlem Renaissance
    Chapter Five: The End of the Harlem Renaissance
    Chapter Six: The Legacy of the Harlem Renaissance
Biographies
    Aaron Douglas
    W. E. B. Du Bois 
    Duke Ellington 
    Langston Hughes 
    Zora Neale Hurston 
    James Weldon Johnson 
    Nella Larsen 
    Alain Locke 
    Paul Robeson 
    Bessie Smith
Primary Sources
    W. E. B. DuBois Discusses Black Hopes and Dreams
    Alain Locke Describes the Emerging Black Culture in Harlem
    Poetry of the Harlem Renaissance
    James Weldon Johnson Praises the People and Spirit of Harlem
    Langston Hughes Comments on Racial Identity and Artistic Integrity
    Frankie Manning Remembers the Savoy Ballroom
    Dorothy West Recalls Amateur Night at Harlem’s Apollo Theatre
    Langston Hughes Remembers the Harlem Renaissance

Bibliography Photo Credits Index

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