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The Harlem Renaissance
Hub of African-American Culture, 1920-1930
Written by Steven Watson

The Harlem Renaissance .

Category: Social Science - African-American Studies
Imprint: Pantheon
Format: Trade Paperback
Pub Date: August 1996
Price: $22.00
Can. Price: $25.00
ISBN: 978-0-679-75889-1 (0-679-75889-5)
Pages: 240



 
While still the unofficial capital of Black America, Harlem reigned as the unrivaled center of African-American culture during the decade between the end of World War I and the Great Depression.  The Harlem Renaissance was more than just a flowering of African-American arts and letters; it had a far-reaching effect on American culture in general, and no discussion of America in the Jazz Age is complete without it.  This book takes students on a unparalleled tour of the literary salons and Prohibition rent parties, and introduces them to such luminaries as Langston Hughes, Zora Neale Hurston, Claude McKay, A'Lelia Walker, Countee Cullen, and W.E.B Du Bois, showing how the lively interaction of these intellectuals helped pave the way for an exciting revolution.  Including many maps, photographs, and diagrams, this book offers an accessible introduction to a pivotal moment in American cultural history.

"[The Harlem Renaissance] impressed me, first, by its simple inclusion of gay and lesbian life and identity in the twenties, and, ultimately, by its poignant depiction of a highly fueled "movement" undermined and unraveled as much by the fragility of the human personalities that composed it, as by the market crash that formally marks its end. Students in my "Jazz Age" research course chose Renaissance topics in higher proportions than when, in the past, I've used other sources on the Harlem arts movement. We all loved the bounty and immediacy of the photos, and the delicious tidbits of slang in the margins."--Shelley Brenner, Marymount Manahattan College, NY

"We have been using Steven Watson's books for the past five years with sophomores in our honors class entitled "Viewpoints of the Twentieth Century." With an interdisciplinary approach these books bring a critical movement in America alive by giving our students a strong sense of historical interacting with the creative and intellectual influences of the period--the writers, artists, historians, musicians and politicos. Students find the book both visually attractive and intellectually accessible. As teachers we appreciate Watson's ability to present both history and creations of the imagination, not as acts of the muses or as the abstract work of august men in portraits, but as the passion of committed individuals who put their trouser on one leg at a time. Students learn that abstract ideas arise from specific context and--most importantly--that they affect each of us in our classroom."--John Dale and Marilyn Hemminger, Ph.D., Social Studies and English teachers, Radnor High School, Pennsylvania



ABOUT THE AUTHOR

 
Steven Watson has written about the arts for a number of publications, including Newsday and The Village Voice. A noted speaker, he has lectured at the National Portrait Gallery, the Boston Museum of Fine Arts, and the National Gallery. He lives in New York.





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