The Harlem Renaissance

The Harlem Renaissance was a massive cultural movement among African Americans that took place in the 1920’s and 1930’s. Nearly one million African-Americans left the south following the end of WWI. They sought new opportunities up north and many found themselves heading to cities such as Philadelphia, Chicago and of course New York City. During the 20’s these cities black population more than doubled, and Harlem, NYC became known as “the capital of Black America”. Though many faced hard times during this era, a great artistic movement began. Cultural poetry, paintings, musical composers, intellectuals and novels began to emerge. Most notably was the production and development of outstanding Jazz musicians, such as Duke Ellington and Louis Armstrong. The Apollo theatre in Harlem became the pride of Harlem, and was the only place in the city that hired black performers. In these theatre seats both black and white patrons watched shows together, and it can be considered a place of equality. The Harlem Renaissance was a massive step forward in the movement for civil rights.