10 interesting facts about the harlem renaissance

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7. It was marked by unprecedented development in African American arts

Harlem Renaissance laid the groundwork for all later African American literature and had an enormous impact on subsequent black consciousness worldwide. Its works often referred to double consciousness of the African American experience. A term coined by W. E. B. Du Bois it describes the psychological challenge for an African American to view himself from not only his perspective but also from what the white world views him. This was due to his African heritage and a European upbringing in slavery and education. Harlem Renaissance saw unprecedented development in not only African American literature but in all arts.

W. E. B. Du Bois

8. Jazz music of African Americans became an international craze

African American music; such as blues, spirituals and especially jazz; became a worldwide sensation and amplified the renaissance. Harlem Stride Piano, a jazz piano style, was developed during the 1920s and contributed in spreading the popularity of the music form among the wealthy. Also blacks began to emerge in the classical world of music compositions, an area previously dominated by whites. Charleston, a dance form which developed from black folk dance, was associated with jazz and became an international craze. Such was the popularity of jazz among whites that it sparked a “Negro Vogue” in cities such as New York and Paris.

Ma Rainey Georgia Jazz Band of the 1920s

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