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The power of pride : stylemakers and rulebreakers of the Harlem Renaissance
Marks, Carole.
Adult Nonfiction E185.6 .M35 1999

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Summary: Josephine Baker -- Walter White -- Zora Neale Hurston -- A'Lelia Walker -- James Weldon Johnson -- Ethel Waters -- Louis Armstrong -- Bessie Smith -- Alberta Hunter -- Jessie Fauset -- Nella Larsen -- Florence Mills -- Duke Ellington -- Bill "Bojangles" Robinson -- Carl Van Vechten -- Langston Hughes -- Dorothy West "The Power of Pride features seventeen of the most prominent men and women of the New Negro Renaissance. Alternately irreverent, racy, and painfully honest, they were unique: risk-takers in dangerous times, sophisticated salonières in an age of bourgeois provincialism, and experimenters who briefly managed to transcend race by immersing themselves in it."         --From the Introduction The Harlem Renaissance was an electrifying period during which huge numbers of African Americans threw off the shackles of discrimination, exploitation, and poverty in the South and moved north. Heady with the feeling of liberation and the discovery of other like-minded folk, artists, writers, painters, and dancers engaged in bursts of furious creativity. From Josephine Baker, taking Paris by storm with her sensual performances and ravishing costumes, to Duke Ellington, revolutionizing the way people thought about rhythm and melody, these artists were the preeminent stylemakers of the era. The Power of Pride is a visually spirited and intimate book full of photographs, letters, playbills, and drawings that capture the gaiety and excitement of the time. Moving from the brownstones of Striver's Row in Harlem to the Negro Appreciation salons in Paris, the book focuses on seventeen Renaissance figures who exemplify the themes of race, fortitude, talent, and style, and whose strength of will and ability created a model for all those with dreams and aspirations emerging in the African-American community. The work of each shared a common thread, their intent, as writer Ralph Ellison has articulated it, "to arouse the troubling suspicion that whatever else the true American is, he is also somehow black." With a foreword by Juan Williams--author of Eyes on the Prize and Thurgood Marshall: American Revolutionary-- and stunning photographs throughout, The Power of Pride serves as a vivid testament to the artistic and social contributions of the Harlem Renaissance to the history of America.

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