Nothing excites me more than anything that has to do with the Harlem Renaissance; a time when different pieces of our culture were fused together to conceptualize the “negro” aside from any other culture. Built on the foundations of the Great Migration, this movement laid the groundwork for African-American literature, and served as a platform for Black music, visual, and theater arts. As Blacks desired to express themselves and their heritage in a more assertive way, the “New Negro” as described by Alain Locke was born. As the Great Depression bought the “Roaring Twenties” to a halt, thus ended this wonderful era for African-Americans (which trailed into the 30s and early 40s). However, many of the themes lived on, especially in Literature. Here are a few highlights of the era shown through Literature, Art, and Music. Enjoy!
Billie Holiday – Easy Living
Duke Ellington – Black, Brown, and Beige Suite
William Grant Still – Symphony no. 2
Cab Calloway – Minnie The Moocher
Miles Davis – Blue in Green
Louis Armstrong – Basin Street Blues