Harlem is a subdivision of New York City located in northern Manhattan bordering on the Harlem and the East river.  It was Dutch settlement of Nieuw Harlem established by Peter Stuyvesant in 1658.

History Of This Period

With the dream of making a better life for themselves, African Americans during 1914-1918 migrated North from the rural South.  Harlem was a popular place to settle.  As a result of this, Harlem became an sophisticated artistic and literary  center.  "In his magazine Crisis, W.E.B. Dubois urged racial pride among African Americans, and writers, many living in Harlem, began producing fine original works about African American life.  Their work constituted a fresh, new subject that attracted white readers and publishers."

Time Span 1919-1940s /AChronology Of Important Events

This site dipicts the sequence of events during this period.



James Langston Hughes 1902-1967 (Writer) HLB


Hobbies Education Career


1920-1930's leader in the Harlem Renaissance

Verse Collections
1926 The Weary Blues
1927 Fine Clothes to the Jew
1942 Shakespeare in Harlem

1930 Not Without Laughter

Short Story
1934 The Ways of White Folk  (because of the Depression)

Essays, Plays, Magazines and News Papers
1930's radical verse and essays in (New Masses and International Literature Magazines)
1930's Mulatto (most famous Play)
1932-1933 a year in Soviet Union
1940 The Big Sea (Autobiography)
1940's Chicago Defender (newspaper) this column attacked segregation
1940's  Jesse B. Semple or "Simple" a comic strip but incisive black urban Every man that ran for twenty years
1956 I Wonder As I Wander (another volume of autobiography)

1947 Broadway opera (Street Scene) with Kurt Weill and Elmer Rice
         (several operas libretti)

1951 Montage of a Dream Deferred

Other Works- a dozen children books, several opera libretti, four books translated from French and Spanish, two collections of stories, another novel, a history of the NAACP.  "Considered to be the most widely recognized representative of African American writers and perhaps the most original of black poets.

Alain Leroy Locke 1886-1954 (Writer) Jennifer

Locke's view: "Each culture group has its own identity and it is entitled to protect and promote it."


Education Career Works



This site will give you information on musicians and art of the Harlem Renaissance.

Jacob Lawrence (1917- ) Artist

    Lawrence says that, "My paintings express my life and experience."   Lawrence married  painter Gwendolyn Knight in 1941.    After retiring in 1983, Lawrence continues to create major works and remains one of the few African-Americans to win recognition as a major American artist.   "Lawrence's distiguished career has earned him a National Medal of Arts, election to the National Academy of Arts and Letters and the National Acadamy of Design, a National Council of the Arts commissionership, Guggenheim and Fullbright appointments, and dozens of honorary degrees and awards, including the NAACP's Spingarn Medal.  His painting has been featured in several major retrospective exhibitions and numerous one-person shows at many of America's most prestigious museums" (The Reader's Companion to American History).
Lawrence resides now in Seattle, Washington with his wife Gwendolyn.
One specific comment Lawrence made in regards to his Migration Series was, "I don't think about this series in terms of history.  I think in terms of contemporary life.  It was such a part of me I didn't think of something outside....It was a portrait of myself, a portrait of my family, a portrait of my peers....It was like a still life with bread, a still life with flowers.  It was like a landscape you see."

To visit a site where you can view some of Lawrence's works from the Migration Series, click HERE.

Other African Americans Instrumental During This Period

1.  Jean Toomer 1894-1967 (Writer)
2.  Zora Neal Hurston 1891-1960 (Novelist, Folklorist, Anthropologist)
3.  James Weldon Johnson (Writer, Diplomat, Civil Rights Leader)
4.  Madame C. J. Walker (Entrepreneur)


Alain Leroy Locke.  http://www.founders.howard.edu/locke.htm

Concise Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia (1994). University Press. Licensed from and portions
(1995). by INSO Corporation

Encarta Schoolhouse The Harlem Renaissance. Microsoft. http://www.encarta.com/schoolhouse/Harlem/harlem.asp

Jacob Lawrence.  http://www.chaos.com/learn/lawrence.html

Pal: Perspectives in American Literature. A Research and Reference Guide

PBS Organization Newshour Forum February 1998

The Reader's Companion to American History Eric Foner and John A. Garraty, Editors. (1995).
by INSO Corporation.

The San Antonio College LitWeb Harlem Renaissance Reference Page

Written by Tersa Bush, Jennifer Bolicher and Harry Lee Bowman
Edited by Mark Canada