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The Harlem Renaissance Or the New Negro Movement The dawn of the 1920s ushered in an African American artistic and cultural movement the likes of which have never and will likely never be seen again Beginning as a series of literary discussions in Greenwich Village and Harlem the New Negro Movement later dubbed the Harlem Renaissance by Alain Locke came to exalt the unique culture of African Americans and redefine African American expression The movement spread throughout all areas of the arts and humanities gaining a wider audience as it went along Soon it became more than just an artistic movement it was at the same time a social ideal The authors and artists of the era simultaneously struggled with and embraced their African heritage and American birth and lifestyle The arts became a means of rebellion against the racism running rampant through the south as well as a way for African Americans to finally prove they had their foot in the door of American especially elitist culture The Beginning After years of unfair treatment and humiliation black people from the South started a migration northwards Large metropolitan cities such as Washington DC Chicago and New York City became hubs of creativity and interaction for African Americans This migration changed the Black image from rural to urban from peasant to sophisticate and introduced them to international ideas that they would most likely have had no contact with in the South Locke described this movement in The New Negro as something like a spiritual emancipation Now they were in a land where whites only signs were few and far between and speaking ones mind was not only allowed but also encouraged by peers It was the time and place for freedom freedom of speech music ideas and life So what started it all The causes of this renaissance were financial and educational Blacks participated in the postwar prosperity although to a much
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