Harlem Renaissance was an African American cultural, social and artistic movement which peaked in the 1920s. Centered at the Harlem neighborhood in New York City, the movement spread through the United States and reached as far as Paris. Chiefly caused due to the Great Migration, Harlem Renaissance declined and came to an end during theGreat Depression. Known as the New Negro Movement during the time, Harlem Renaissance is most closely associated with Jazz and the rise of African American arts. Here are 10 interesting facts about Harlem Renaissance and about its causes, effects and accomplishments.
1. The major cause of Harlem Renaissance was the Great Migration
Great Migration is a term used for the movement of African Americans in America from the South to the North and Midwest. Between 1910 and 1930, in the first Great Migration, around 1.6 million migrants moved from institutionalized racism in the South to seek a better life in the booming northern economy. The southern states had passed several laws against African Americans which among other things prevented black citizens from registering to vote and mandated racial segregation. Also labor shortage due to the First World War was seen as an opportunity by black citizens to seek employment in the North. Movement of African Americans from the rural South to the urban North was instrumental in initiating the Harlem Renaissance.
2. It is named after the Harlem neighborhood in the Manhattan borough of NYC
Harlem is a large neighborhood within the northern section of the New York City borough of Manhattan. Harlem was at first an exclusive suburb of white citizens but by the late 19th century most of them moved further south. The Great Migration started turning Harlem into an African American neighborhood. The population of black citizens in Central Harlem increased from around 10% in 1910 to more than 70% by 1930. Harlem Renaissance is called so as the movement was majorly centered in Harlem, which became a place of residence or assembly of most African American intellectuals who contributed to the movement.