Aspects of the Harlem Renaissance

Essay by flatfoot1989High School, 11th grade April 2006

download word file, 8 pages 3.5

Downloaded 117 times

In most literary movements, the question is whether the movement affected the nation or whether the nation affected the movement, but in the case of the Harlem Renaissance that question cannot be answered because the answer is not clear. The Harlem Renaissance both affected the nation and was affected by the nation.

During the early twentieth century, the time of the Harlem Renaissance, the political scene was in disarray. There were two major political ideologies that influenced the spark of the Harlem Renaissance, Marxism and Nationalism. Marxism took place mostly in Russia and was led by Karl Marx. It was Nationalism in America that led to this literary revolution. The black writers of this time period were looking for social equality and this new ideology provided the black writers with the hope that they could put slavery, racism and segregation behind them. Literature was the means to put these problems behind them (Dawahare xi).

Through Literature writers could hope to affect the nation in a non violent way.

There is much conflict between historians and researchers on what sparked the Harlem Renaissance. According to David Krasner, author of A Beautiful Pageant, there are three main things that led to the renaissance. The first two of these items can be attributed to W.E.B Du Bois. He was a cofounder of NAACP, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People. He also wrote a journal called Crisis both these two events in 1910. But the real spark of the Harlem Renaissance cannot be attributed to a book or in fact, a piece of literature. This Spark refers to a particular boxing match. It was The 4th of July 1910, and the heavyweight title match was fought. It was Jack Johnson (the black) vs. the "white hope" Jim Jefferies. Johnson...