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The Harlem renaissance : hub of African-American culture, 1920-1930
Watson, Steven.
Adult Nonfiction NX512.3.N5 W38 1995

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From Publishers' Weekly:

This engaging portrait of the ``first self-conscious black literary constellation in American history'' mixes text with photos and artwork; a side column on each page offers quotes, poetry and pungent Harlem slang. Watson (Strange Bedfellows: The First American Avant Garde) explains the forces behind the Renaissance, from economic changes to the public advocacy of figures like W.E.B. Du Bois and Alain Locke, then offers sketches of writers prominent in this flowering. While the "New Negro'' movement was initially aimed at blacks, by the mid-1920s, ``Harlem became a commodity as driven by its audience as... by its participants. Harlemania set in.'' The role of white patrons (``Negrotarians,'' to writer and anthropologist Zora Neale Hurston) prompted black writers to debate what image they should project. Watson also examines the Harlem music and club world, including the thriving gay scene. Although the crash of 1929 devastated Harlem and dispersed its luminaries, the author observes, the Renaissance was also rent by internal contradictions over questions of art, politics and racial unity. A most inviting blend of text and art. (Mar.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved


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