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The Harlem Renaissance can easily be compared to The European Renaissance of that began in the 14th century The European Renaissance included a series of literary and cultural movements in the 14th 15th and 16th centuries These movements began in Italy and eventually expanded into Germany France England and other parts of Europe Participants studied the great civilizations of ancient Greece and Rome and came to the conclusion that their own cultural achievements rivaled those of antiquity Their thinking was also influenced by the concept of humanism which emphasizes the worth of the individual Renaissance humanists believed it was possible to improve human society through classical education This education relied on teachings from ancient texts and emphasized a range of disciplines including poetry history rhetoric rules for writing influential prose or speeches and moral philosophy The word renaissance means rebirth The idea of rebirth originated in the belief that Europeans had rediscovered the superiority of Greek and Roman culture after many centuries of what they considered intellectual and cultural decline The preceding era which began with the collapse of the Roman Empire around the 5th century became known as the Middle Ages to indicate its position between the classical and modern world The Harlem Renaissance was an African American cultural movement of the 1920s and early 1930s that was centered in the Harlem neighborhood of New York City Variously known as the New Negro movement the New Negro Renaissance and the Negro Renaissance the movement emerged toward the end of World War I in 1918 blossomed in the mid- to late 1920s and then faded in the mid-1930s The Harlem Renaissance marked the first time that mainstream publishers and critics took African American literature seriously and that African American literature and arts attracted significant attention from the nation at large Although it was primarily a literary movement it was closely related to developments in African American music theater art and politics The Harlem Renaissance
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