The Negro Artist and the Racial Mountain” (1926)
- Langston Hughes
- Opening of the musical Shuffle Along 1921
- The Civic Club dinner March 21, 1924
Imagination will often carry us to worlds that never were. But without it we go nowhere.
In the early 1900s, a few middle-class black families from another neighborhood known as Black Bohemia moved to Harlem, and other black families followed. Some white residents initially fought to keep African Americans out of the area, but failing that many whites eventually fled. Outside factors led to a population boom: From 1910 to 1920, African American populations migrated in large numbers from the South to the North, with prominent figures like W.E.B. Du Bois leading what became known as the Great Migration.In 1915 and 1916, natural disasters in the south put black workers and sharecroppers out of work. Additionally, during and after World War I, immigration to the United States fell, and northern recruiters headed south to entice black workers to their companies. By 1920, some 300,000 African Americans from the South had moved north, and Harlem was one of the most popular destinations for these families.
The Black Arts Movement was politically militant; Baraka described its goal as “to create anThe literary aspect of the Harlem Renaissance is said to have begun with a dinner at the Civic Club celebrating African American writers. The likes of Countee Cullen and W.E.B. DuBois mingled with members of the white literary establishment, and doors opened: editor and critic Alain Locke was offered the chance to create an issue of the magazine Survey Graphic on “Harlem: Mecca of the New Negro,” which later became a book-length study. Even before the Civic Club dinner, writers associated with the Harlem Renaissance were publishing important early works. Claude McKay’s Harlem Shadows, James Weldon Johnson’s anthology The Book of American Negro Poetry, and Jean Toomer’s Cane were all published in these years.