Harlem Renaissance

By: Charlotte Bell

The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) worked to create a better life for all African Americans. Their newspaper, The Crisis, which encouraged African Americans to seek better lives in the north. The African Americans that moved to the north contributed to the Harlem Renaissance.
For the Harlem Renaissance, thousands and thousands of people had to pick up their lives and move. William Johnson was a painter who's art was focused around the struggles that African Americans experienced. The Breakdown, the painting here, shows how African Americans picked everything up and left for the unknown.
During the Harlem Renaissance, jazz was a huge part of life in the north. Everyone was listening to it and playing it. Louis Armstrong is a legendary jazz musician who played the trumpet. His stage personality matched his trumpet playing people claimed, loud and exciting. Fans from all over fled to Harlem to hear Louis play.
From the Harlem Renaissance the north got to experience lots of great jazz singing, which came from several different types of American American music. Ella Fitzgerald, otherwise know as the Queen as Jazz, made a huge contribute to the evolution of Jazz. She signed a deal with Decca Records in 1942.
Just like singing, jazz music can be traced to when African Americans blended several different musical styles. Jazz music was mostly improvised which helped it be more spiritual and creative. Duke Ellington was an extraordinary musician. He was a bandleader, a composer, and a fantastic pianist. He forever changed jazz music.
The Harlem Renaissance inspired lots of folks to get off their heinie and start dancing. Due to the non-steady tempo, it was easy to dance to. Jazz fans created new dance steps, such as the Lindy hop and the jitterbug as seem in this photograph.
Discrimination was still apart of African Americans daily life, except for when they went to the Savoy Ballroom. They had a no discrimination policy, but it was usually 85% black and 15% white. The Savoy Ballroom was always alive and had the best Lindy Hoppers in town, the Savoy Lindy Hoppers.
Before the Harlem Renaissance, African Americans had little to no opportunities to be on stage. Over time however, African American performers began taking more part in theatrical performances in Harlem. Paul Robeson began his career as a lawyer, but ended that career due to extant racism. He then got into theater and drew critical acclaim for his dramatic performances.
The Harlem Renaissance sparked the imagination of many. Many African Americans began to share their opinions of life in the US in artistic ways. Aaron Douglas was a very important artist during the Harlem Renaissance.
The Harlem Renaissance art was not just paintings and songs, it was sculptures too. Augusta Savage was an amazing sculptor who in her sculptures, fought for equal rights.
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