Throughout the period of our course one of the major key roles of this class was to write blogs that would be available on our course website. This course website was accessible to my fellow classmates and the professor. It provided the class with blogs that were created every time we as a class read an important reading that contributed to the Harlem renaissance. One thing to consider about making these blogs is that it is crucial to the internet in general . Although our course website wasn’t available to the public it was to my belief to other students of Baruch college. Therein lies an important aspect of the whole college experience and also the research aspect of learning new things.Students from other courses can use our blogs as references or even just a way of learning new things. A student may stumble upon our blog on the crisis magazine now that student may be working on a project that is based on old magazines and this may have helped in completing his/her project. Here is another example a student maybe interested on the history of Harlem because he/she is curoious of the place from where she is raised till this day Harlem still has a unique culture so this student may be interested in the history of Harlem thus he or she stumbling upon the blog on survey graphic: Harlem Mecca of the new negro. This access to blogs for other students may help others in their own way and this is an important aspect of researching. I myself found it helpful looking at my classmates’ drafts of their blogs to help formulate the structure of how my final blog posts were going to look like.Another key thing that is important is the fact that other fellow classmates are able to comment on your blog post. Commenting on a peer’s work helps them get some feedback, feedback is important when you want to make a paper that is excellent. When a student creates their blog post or whatever literary work they are going to create they need feedback before they finish their final draft. Without feedback a student won’t be able to know what they are missing and what they need to add on to their work. Until they have added the necessary additions based on the feedback they received they are then able to create a good piece of work.Now imagine if the course website my and my fellow peers were writing blog posts on was public the amount of feedback and interest would be immense. Any outsider outside of the college would be able to read and collect some information or have a new interest in what they would like to know more about. Public feedback is definitely helpful especially for a student who needs it for them to make a great piece of literary work.
Literature of the Harlem Renaissance helped me understand why it is so important to dig into digital humanities. One of our last readings was entirely focused on that of the Black Digital Humanities. This was a very important focus because if it wasn’t for the dedicated readers and historians we would not have 80% of the work we have read for this class. History is something that is so rich and important in modern day. Literary works of the past give us a lens into a point in time in which things were changing. Of course in this class we focused on the Harlem Renaissance which was an important period for black culture and history. The poets, artist ,and writers of this time gave us an insight of what the Harlem Renaissance meant for the New Negro. A movement that was essential in creating a culture that influenced even those today who are still fighting for social equality in America. If it wasn’t for these works the New Negro movement would just be a brief moment in history that had no significance fortunately it did not end that way. The Harlem renaissance and the new negro movement taught me that it is important to teach these things in a history class in early education this should not be a course that you take in a college or university. This time in history is something that needs to be taught in the American timeline of the history classes in high school and middle school.Imagine the effect this would have on many not only black students but students of other races. This time in history needs to be told in public schools. It is something that has touched me and opened my eyes on the history of black Americans.
Reading the book Passing really put things in perspective for me a lot of passages in the book really stuck out among reading the novel. Although The film adaptation of the novel is fairly it does not grasp the different themes of the novel to justice. In the novel we get to see the characters’ thoughts and deeper feelings whether it be Clare, Irene , or Brian their thoughts and dialogues are what helps build the different themes of the novel. A single passage that stood out is when Brian Redfield and Irene Redfield are speaking about Clare’s ‘Passing’ as a white woman. As Irene is speaking on how people both accept and look down on ‘Passing’ Brian states “ Instinct of the race to survive and expand” this line stuck to me because it opened up a conversation that many did not notice in the novel. What does Brian mean by survival and expansion? It seems as if Brian is speaking from experience. My interpretation is that Brian has a strong belief that as a black person in America one has to have this mentality. The mentality of surviving and expanding is one that can be familiar to many black Americans during this time as oftentimes they suffered from inequality and racial violence.Expansion part can relate to the many African Americans moving from the rural south to northern cities and expanding the black community. I believe it is also important to note that Brian is a successful doctor with a great career and lives in a rather affluent neighborhood. I think it is also important to note that Brian hates his job and longs to move to South America to escape the racist reality of America. Brian’s instinct to survive is to escape the racism in America which he has grown to hate and despise, something that he even teaches his children about. Brian’s ideas about racism in America are very much compatible with those of the many black scholars and intellectuals who sought to expose the reality of America’s racism. Brian Redfield is black man with a solid career and has a fair amount of money and it seems as if he is guiding his children towards the same path in a way he is expanding his children’s knowledge of both the reality and truth of America’s past and the survival of the black race in the country. This idea brings me back to a selection in the opportunity magazine where it speaks of the National Urban League which is an organization that helped in the industrial welfare of African Americans in New York.
An organization such as The National Urban league had this idea of ‘survival’ and ‘expansion’ when helping black Americans and their industrial needs. In an article titled Organizational Adaptation: The National Urban League during the Great Depression by Dona Hamilton it speaks further about the NUL and its role helping black employees during the great depression. Dona states “the NUL concentrated on vocational education and the expansion of job opportunities for black workers in the private sector. Efforts to combat pervasive job discrimination were done on an almost caseby-case basis.” this reiterates my idea of what Brian Redfield meant by the instinct of the race to ‘expand’. Even though Passing is fictional in a real world aspect Brian Redfield would be a strong supporter of organizations like this and would participate in helping expand its ideals to other parts of the nation or even places like South America. These ideals of ‘Survival’ in racist america gave birth to a new culture and movement which was birthed in harlem. This is what Harlem Renaissance writers such as Alain Locke meant when he wrote his book The New Negro.
When speaking of the mind we can relate it to several different things but often it plays a role in being creative and being imaginative. The eyes are part of our five senses and are sort of a recording camera for our brain to remember memories such as the surprise party that your parents threw and all your friends came over. I like to think of the mind and eyes as metaphors for fiction and nonfiction. Fiction is an open door into a writer’s creativity and imagination. As a reader you are guided into their imagination giving you a clear frame of what they want you to see. Nonfiction is broad and can be explained as something that is real , facts that have been collected by historians or just a curious writer who delved into a world they were interested in. Fiction as opposed to nonfiction is indirect as a reader it is up to you to interpret their work based on your reaction and how the work left you feeling. Taking a look at the Survey Graphic Harlem Mecca of the New Negro “The Making of Harlem” by James Weldon Johnson we understand that both the “mind” and “eyes” of the black American in Harlem is important in understanding the culture and history of the place they called home.
The culture of Harlem was something that cannot be interpreted but something that had to be felt. Poetry became a tremendous way of giving people an idea of what the Harlem renaissance was all about. Poets such as Langston Hughes, Claude McKay, Countee Cullen and Georgia Douglas Johnson expressed the beauty and pain of black life and sought out to show the culture of a community who so often was plagued by white stereotypes. Upon reading the survey graphic I wanted to delve into the mind of Countee Cullen, specifically his work Harlem Wine. Cullen incorporates his own reaction to what Harlem culture was like into this 3 stanza poem. Cullen likes to compare the culture of Harlem to wine not water as water is too light and ageless whereas something like wine is thick and with age becomes much richer to its enthusiast. Cullen insists that such culture must spread regardless of where it is headed “This is a wine that must flow on ,Not caring how or where” (p.660). Through cullens mind we start to understand how rich Harlem’s culture was and how important it was for it to reach a broader audience through fictitious works. Through the minds of poets and their fictitious works we can interpret and create an image in mind of what the culture was like but when looking at it through the eyes of those who lived it that image becomes much clearer. The “eyes’ ‘ as mentioned before is the nonfiction writings of those who lived the reality of what was the Harlem renaissance. Writer Konrad Bercovici wrote in The Rhythm of Harlem Harlem was a revelation to me; that I enjoyed its colorfulness and vividness of life as much as I have enjoyed anything in this country” (679). Bercovici later speaks on how this culture that black Americans have created in such a community hold an important value to their history, something that separates them from all the others. The music , the art and the culture is a “ gift to the races they live with “ (679). The white stereotype plagues the black community making others think they are inferior but when one sees the culture through their own eyes as Bercovici did you start to formulate thoughts as “They do not have to strive for equality. They are different. Emphasizing that difference in their lives, in their culture, is what will give them and what should give them their value.” (679)
Culture is what sets people apart from others. A rich culture is something that makes others become curious of what that culture , music and art is. The ‘mind’ and ‘eyes’ are a perfect way of showing the history of a time such as the Harlem Renaissance and the culture that grew from it. Poems and essays written are what people read to paint an image in their head through a poet’s eyes or to have a clear visualization from a writer’s perspective. Fiction and nonfiction in fact are not too far apart from each other, not in the case of understanding a time where art, music and culture defined what it meant to be a black American in a small place in the large city of New York, a place called Harlem.
Duke Ellington musician that rose during the Harlem renaissance played at the Cotton Club in Harlem , New York a very popular place for musicians where people would gather to enjoy the sound of the Harlem.
Please feel free to play after reading the blog but i would recommend to play it while reading the blog makes for a better experience.
The New negro which was a term made up by Alain Locke was movement in which black americans were building a new image of the negro in America. After looking at the several Crises magazine covers and reading the first set of readings it made me realize that the this movement was essential in building the image of the New Negro. One could say that this was the intention of the founder of The Crisis magazine. One of the notable founders was W.E.B Dubois an essential figure of not only the civil rights movement but as well as the the movements that followed such as the New negro movement during the Harlem renaissance. Dubois filled in as a major editor for the magazine and one could say that there are remnants of his famous essay The souls of black folk. As many periodicals and magazines many failed but Du Bois’ goal was not that of failure, popular magazines during this time were of predominantly white founders and editors. Du Bois wanted a magazine solely made for the black people of America he wanted to create an image similar to those of Mclures and Ladies Home Journal were the ‘white’ magazines that were popular in the media. This is mentioned in the book Printing the Color Line in The Crisis by Donal Harris where they speak on how Du Bois wanted his magazine to look like and how it could reach a wide range of people “Our covers and our publishers talk may sometimes savor the ‘penny-dreadful,’ ” he wrote, but“the methods that have built up McCLURE’S and the LADIES HOME JOURNAL cannot be altogether ignored by The CRISIS.”(76) The author of this selected book explains “This aesthetic dimension is what hamstrung previous black periodicals, in his opinion, and Du Bois believed that they would need to invest in new printing equipment if they were going to sell more copies to a wider range of readers.” (76)This explains what Du Bois thought The Crisis would embody. Looking at several past Crisis magazines one thing I noticed was that black colleges and universities were a big thing in these magazines. This is something I believe Du Bois wanted in his magazine to spread knowledge of different colleges and universities that young black men and women in America can go to. I should mention that this idea of education as an important part of the magazine is is reminiscent of Du Bois part VI of The Souls of Black Folk which is titled “Of the Training of Black Men” which speaks heavily on how education is important for young black men and that black colleges and
universities are great places for black men to have a great career. The Crisis magazine as labeled is a “Record of the Darker Races” and this is essential in creating the image of the New Negro Movement.
Printing the Color Line in The Crisis by Donal Harris