By Cherene Sherrard-Johnson
A spouse to the Harlem Renaissance offers a entire number of unique essays that deal with the literature and tradition of the Harlem Renaissance from the tip of worldwide battle I to the center of the 1930s.
- Represents the main finished insurance of issues and detailed new views at the Harlem Renaissance available
- Features unique contributions from either rising students of the Harlem Renaissance and validated educational “stars” within the field
- Offers numerous interdisciplinary gains, akin 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 came across or undervalued writings via canonical figures
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Extra info for A Companion to the Harlem Renaissance
33 Despite such similarities, the Harlem of the Renaissance was, as Johnson recognized, unlike its nineteenth‐century predecessors in at least one important respect. It was a somewhere, a geographically bounded “city within a city,” in which black New Yorkers were “securely anchored,” owning property, establishing community institutions, and creating a vibrant artistic and cultural life. But Johnson was equally prescient when he intuited that the Negro would not be able to “hold” Harlem (1972, 147, 159, 158).
Beyond that, they insisted that authors of race literature needed to write in service to the race and represent it in the best light possible. Constructing a lineage of representative black writers just as Freedom’s Journal had some 60 years earlier, the Freeman correspondent first named Phillis Wheatley, then continued on to antebellum authors David Walker, Frederick Douglass, and William Wells Brown, and concluded with contemporary writers (February 20, 1886). Similarly, in their role as editors Fortune and Peterson regularly advertised black‐authored books for sale under the rubric “Race Literature: Old & New”: their lists focused mostly on contemporary works and included short stories by Charles Chesnutt and Alice Dunbar, poems by Paul Laurence Dunbar, Frederick Douglass’s latest autobiography, Alexander Crummell’s sermons, works by Booker T.
Although Shakespeare’s works were not considered What Renaissance? 25 high cultural art in the early nineteenth century but rather plays for popular consumption, Brown’s choice exhibited “literary character” and appealed to the taste of the black elite who on other evenings flocked to the Philomathean and Phoenixonian Societies’ lectures. But Brown also welcomed the black masses and, more astonishingly, made a bid for white spectators who lost their theater when the Park Theater burned down in 1820.
A Companion to the Harlem Renaissance by Cherene Sherrard-Johnson