The Significance of the Harlem Renaissance Term Paper by Nicky

A discussion on the impact of the Harlem Renaissance and specifically of Langston Hughes, W. E. B. Dubois and Billie Holiday.
# 149838 | 1,439 words | 7 sources | MLA | 2012 | US

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The paper discusses the contributions of Langston Hughes, W. E. B. Dubois and Billie Holiday, three artists who became legendary because of their involvement with the Harlem Renaissance. The paper describes how African-Americans were suddenly inspired by these influential individuals to speak up and take pride in their heritage and their identity. The paper details how this was a time of recognition, expression and acceptance for the African-American community.

From the Paper:

"The Harlem Renaissance was also known as the "New Negro Movement" because of its popularity brought about by African-American authors. While the movement began in the neighborhood of Harlem, the movement gained momentum and spread to urban areas across the country. The impact was also felt in other countries as the voice of the African-American demanded to be heard. The Harlem Renaissance is also significant to the African-Americans because it stems from a time when slavery was abolished. This was a turbulent time as freedom is complicated in certain contexts. African-Americans were learning to cope with freedom and still attempting to retain their heritage and culture. This specific need is what fostered the emergence of the Harlem Renaissance. African-American authors and poets recognized the need for an awakening of sorts as well as a call to be united and proud. The Harlem Renaissance "spoke to black hopes and reams" (Hutchinson 31) and that is one of the primary reasons that it was so popular. Equality, racial strife, and an identity of which they could be proud were the subject of many pieces of literature.
"Langston Hughes is the name that many associate with the Harlem Renaissance. Hughes was poetic and passionate about his beliefs and, more importantly, not afraid to express them. Michael Schmidt refers to Hughes as the "bard of Harlem" (Schmidt 707). His poetry was popular because it appealed to musicians and poets alike. Schmidt notes that Hughes wrote in "two modes, one drawing rhythms from jazz and the blues, a poetry with ironies and radical reversals generally avoids staginess; and poems of racial protest and definition" (Schmidt 708)."

Sample of Sources Used:

  • Anderson, Paul Allen Deep River. Durham: Duke University Press. 2001.
  • Davis, Arthur P. "Langston Hughes: Cool Poet." Chelsea House Library of Literary Criticism. Vol. 4. New York: Chelsea House Publisher. 1986.
  • DuBois, W. E. B. The Souls of Black Folk. Bartleby Online. Information Retrieved August 4, 2009.
  • Greene, Meg. Billie Holiday. Westport: Greenwood Publishing Group. 2001.
  • Hutchinson, George. The Cambridge Companion to the Harlem Renaissance. New York: Cambridge University Press. 2007.

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