By Cherene Sherrard-Johnson

A better half to the Harlem Renaissance offers a finished selection of unique essays that tackle the literature and tradition of the Harlem Renaissance from the top of worldwide battle I to the center of the 1930s.

  • Represents the main finished insurance of subject matters and detailed new views at the Harlem Renaissance available
  • Features unique contributions from either rising students of the Harlem Renaissance and proven educational “stars” within the field
  • Offers quite a few interdisciplinary beneficial properties, equivalent to the part on visible and expressive arts, that emphasize the collaborative nature of the era
  • Includes “Spotlight Readings” that includes lesser recognized figures of the Harlem Renaissance and newly chanced on or undervalued writings by means of canonical figures       

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Charlottesville: University Press of Virginia. Orig. pub. 1885. Crummell, Alexander. 1995d. ” In Civilization and Black Progress: Selected Writings of Alexander Crummell on the South, ed. R. Oldfield, 200–203. Charlottesville: University Press of Virginia. Orig. pub. 1897. Crummell, Alexander. 1995e. ” In Civilization and Black Progress: Selected Writings of Alexander Crummell on the South, ed. R. Oldfield, 143–54. Charlottesville: University Press of Virginia. Orig. pub. 1886. Dickens, Charles.

Beyond mere entertainment, however, Johnson insisted that this black bohemia nurtured the growth of “early Negro theatrical talent” (Johnson 1972, 78) whose history he traced in some detail. In the late 1860s, Johnson asserted, Negro minstrels What Renaissance? 27 began to reclaim their place on the professional stage with the formation of all‐Negro companies such as the Georgia minstrels. These companies provided “stage training and theatrical experience for a large number of coloured men” and were “the start along a line which led straight to the musical comedies of Cole and Johnson, Williams and Walker, and Ernest Hogan … [who] assembled in New York” (1972, 93, 95), first along Sixth and Seventh Avenues in the Thirties before moving up to the Fifties.

They were part of a black elite, many of whose members had fled from Manhattan to Brooklyn after the 1863 draft riots to form a society of “upper class and well‐to‐do coloured people” that functioned as “the center of social life and respectability” (Johnson 1972, 59). As in antebellum Manhattan, black Brooklynites lived in pockets within larger white neighborhoods, notably in the Fort Greene and Bedford‐ Stuyvesant areas. Closing in on itself, Brooklyn’s black elite self‐protectively sought to maintain a safe distance from both threatening whites and disreputable blacks.

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