10 Historical Facts About the Harlem Renaissance

During the 1920s, the Harlem Renaissance brought about a new wave of social, cultural and artistic explosion in Harlem, New York. It was a time when African- American music, art and literature flourished and opened the gates for a new world. Many came to New York to find opportunities and some are even remembered today. Take a look at these 10 historical facts about the Harlem Renaissance.

#1. A new Philosophy

The Harlem Renaissance was marked with new beginnings. They called it a time for a new person to emerge. Many art pieces found today still carry that impression, be it jazz music or paintings which carry themes of surrealism, impressionism and Art Deco.

#2. What started it?

The Great Migration of African Americans from South to North during the 1910s to 1930s played a major part in the Harlem Renaissance. Initially, around 1.6 million migrants moved from slavery in South to North America to seek a better life in the growing economy.

#3. Not just in Harlem

Not just in Harlem

By Beyond My Ken (Own work) [GFDL or CC BY-SA 4.0-3.0-2.5-2.0-1.0], via Wikimedia Commons

The movement did start in the Harlem district of New York but it soon spread throughout the country. Many people opposed segregation and moved to Harlem so that they could be a part of something bigger.

#4. Primitivism

Contributing to the new movement were rising literacy levels in black citizens, development of pride for their race and an enthusiasm to create their own identity. Moreover, Freudian psychology claimed that primitive people held closer ties to nature. This led to primitivism and an increased interest in the creative works of African Americans.

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