The paper on the Harlem Renaissance shows us the rebirth of the African Americans in fields like literature, arts and culture. The neglected section of the society, the African Americans united to show out their talents to the world especially the Americans and achieved success while doing so. This rebirth laid the foundation for the Civil Rights Movement. Literature written during this period gained popularity with well-known writers like Eliot, Hughes and others achieving name and fame. Music and art were brought out in many forms where jazz and blues became popular so much so, that even the Americans incorporated them in their songs. Was the Harlem Renaissance helpful to the African Americans in developing their culture is the question which is answered in the paper. The use of the references Harlem Renaissance" HISTORY”, Encyclopedia Britannica, Editors. "Harlem” and “The Harlem Renaissance [ushistory.org]." depicts the period of the awakening of the African Americans to bring out their hidden capabilities which were so far not brought out due to the disparity shown towards them by the African Americans.
The Harlem Renaissance occurred in the era between 1910 to 1930 and was the rebirth of cultural and artistic development for the African Americans. A place in New York city called ‘Harlem’ was from where the Harlem Renaissance got its name. This era was thought to be the Golden Age in the African American culture (Editors, History.com, 2020.n.pag). The Renaissance took place due to the Great Migration in the 20th century where the rural population of the African Americans from the South moved to the North and the West. This was done so that they could get economic and social upliftment which they were so far denied. The Migration was helpful in developing music, arts culture and literature besides involving the African Americans to take part in all fields like sports, politics etc. The Harlem Renaissance was the forerunner to the famous Civil Rights Movement (Encyclopaedia Britannica, The Editors, 2019.n.pag). The purpose of writing this essay is to depict as to how the Harlem Renaissance brought about a change in the lifestyle of the African Americans. Their sense of fashion, style and dressing as well as culture and arts evolved in a modern way. Harlem was a district in New York city and after the World War I, it came to be known as the residential and commercial area of the African Americans (Encyclopedia Britannica, Editors, 2019.n.pag).
The Harlem Renaissance occurred because the African Americans were not given any freedom. They were under slavery and the abolition movement though well fought, was not of much help. Unemployment and debt added to their troubles. Americans had more liberties which urged the African Americans to prove themselves in all fields. Hence, they migrated to the North from the South where they could have an opportunity to showcase their talents. This led to the start of the Harlem Renaissance which really changed the culture of the African Americans (U.S.history.org,2020. n.pag).
Blues form of songs emerged in this period which was music with or without instruments and mostly with sad tunes. ‘Race records’ in which songs were recorded exclusively for the African Americans made the blues songs to be heard by even those who had not done so before. Many singers like Alberta Hunter, Clara Smith etc. achieved fame. This form of music was sarcastic and humorous with indecent lyrics which expressed the yearnings and philosophical views of the African Americans who were employed. Many African American writers like Sterling Brown, Jean Toomer etc. were of the opinion that this music was a unique one, with secular values and acted as a booster for the middle-class African Americans. Jazz another form of music, became famous in Chicago and New York and Louis Armstrong was the first solo player. Charleston and Tap dance as well attained popularity due to Jazz (Hutchinson, 2019.n.pag).
Fashion became glamorous and colourful and women wore modern clothes which were loose along with a feathered headband and a Chesterfield coat. The necklines were low with padded shoulder suits and dresses were up to the waist. They tied a ribbon in the hip, wore wide belt and large