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Word Count: 1,150
Harlem and the Blues The Harlem Renaissance marked the first time that mainstream publishers and critics took African American literature seriously It was also the first time that African American literature and art 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 art theater and politics Johnson 275 The movement emerged at the end of World War I in 1918 blossomed in the mid- to late 1920s and then faded in the mid-1930s There is a profound connection between the blues and the AfricanAmerican literature and poetry that was produced during this significant time period Much of what came out of the Harlem Renaissance can be credited to the use of blues The blues created a social interaction between the blacks and whites influenced some of Americas greatest artists allowed blacks to express their feelings and opened the eyes of many Americans by teaching the truth about Black heritage In this essay I will attempt to show the impact that the blues had on the Harlem Renaissance The Blues evolved out of the African Americans struggle for freedom and equality After the Civil War Black churches were used for shelter and activity centers for former slaves With the migration of Blacks from the South to the North the Blues spread and became respected as a music genre Nexum In Harlem the streets echoed of the blues flowing from the newest jazz clubs For the first time in history young middle-class whites were coming into black neighborhoods to listen to jazz Blacks and whites began mixing in the speakeasies and cabarets They joined on the dance floor and shared tables at the hottest jazz clubs to listen to the rhythms of a saxophone and the blues of man The music connected the races as they etched a Black neighborhood onto the cultural map of the world Anderson 199 Harlem
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