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The Social Contributions of the Harlem Renaissance, by Henry Rhodes


Guide Entry to 78.02.08:

The Harlem Renaissance was the first period in the history of the United States in which a group of Black poets, authors, and essayists seized the opportunity to express themselves. There are two basic conditions that fostered this unique situation: the American Negro’s contact with other Blacks from different parts-of the world which gave him a renewed sense of self-respect, and mass migration of Negroes from the South to major Northern industrial areas—one being Harlem. This unit is an examination of the social contributions of Harlem intellectuals during the decade from 1918 to 1929 and also an exploration of the relationship between the Harlem Renaissance writers and the “American Dream.” There is also a discussion of the main goals of these writers and intellectuals: to show that Blacks in this country were individuals capable of great success, Background material explains the emergence of Harlem and its residents as the center of Black culture in the United States. A sequence of lessons that covers six weeks of class is followed by three sample lesson plans,

(Recommended for 7th and 8th grade Social Studies classes)

Key Words

Literature Harlem Renaissance Social Contributions History Afro-American

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