Writing Assignment – Marcus Garvey’s Plea The Harlem Renaissance was a cultural, social, and artistic explosion that took place in Harlem, New York, spanning the 1920s. New African-American cultural expressions sparked across the urban areas in the Northeast and Midwest United States that were affected by the African-American Great Migration. The Harlem Renaissance was considered to be a rebirth of African-American arts. Music, poetry, dance, and visual pieces celebrated African- American culture and helped to raise national awareness of what it meant to be black in America.
Marcus Garvey was the Jamaican-born founder of the Universal Negro Improvement Association and a became a leader in the Negro Nationalism movement. He was a staunch proponent of Black nationalism and the Pan-Africanism movements, he was the founder of the Black Star Line, which promoted the return of the African diaspora to their ancestral lands.
He was known for wearing military garb, feather-plumed hats, and traveling with well-dressed and influential black men from across the globe.
Though he was not American, his message was heard by millions of Americans and strengthened the bonds of community in America, during a time that schools and military units were segregated.
Read Garvey’s “The Negro’s Greatest Enemy.” It was Marcus Garvey’s most extensive autobiographical statement, and the first to be written for the American public. It was written during his incarceration in the Tombs Prison in New York City, while he awaited the outcome of his appeal for bail after conviction on a charge of mail fraud. Respond to the following questions.
1. What are Garvey’s main points? What is his solution?
2. Is this clearly for American Blacks? Explain, yes or no.
3. What impact might this type of “letter” have on the African-American population in America?
4. What other connections can you draw to this “letter” with any of the chapters from this week: 21, 22, and 23.
Chapter 21: The Progressive Era
Chapter 22: America and the Great War
Chapter 23: A Clash of Cultures
Criteria: Roughly two pages, double spaced, times new roman, 1 inch margins.
Harlem Renaissance refers to the social, artistic and cultural transformations with which people during the first quarter of the 19th century went through. I was a period of change where people undertook changes in their lifestyles, political standpoints and general view of life. It was also that time in life when things happened so fast in the social circle that new ideas were accepted.
Traditional thoughts and beliefs got refined with the adoption of new ones. In other
instance, the belief in black ability came to fruition. In the same way, the world had earlier undergone a refinement period, so did the blacks find a refinement period in their lives during the Harlem Renaissance period.
Harlem was a place where top scholars and human rights activists cum liberal thinkers pilgrimed to just as the Muslims troop to Mecca. Harlem became their Mecca. In Harlem were a place and a pinnacle of good hope for the entire generation that was to come. In the same manner, the industrial revolution changed a whole section of the economy with a permanent impact on the lives of all people so did the Harlem Renaissance.
It was also possible to consider better options in life taking into consideration the occurrence of good activities that resulted from the creation of a new space for the entire generations that came. Scholars and champions of social justice like William Dubois and James Weldon White went to have a productive time and advance a good cause in life (Alain, 1986). It was also noted that people at that time between the first world war and the 1930s started opening up to new ideas and going beyond their boundaries to get things done. The war had increased the level of interaction among people and made them appreciate a better state of life. This also made it possible for them to actualize a better state of life as they progressed.
Harlem revolution was majorly felt in the art sector. Music, dance, writing and other expressive arts developed out of this. It was also seen in this case that people became more conscious of their identity and protected that which they considered as theirs. This Renaissance period can be linked to the ancient European Renaissance that sparked off from Florence, Italy in the sense that every facet of human life was changed (Claude, 1005). There was a new thinking that came up and inspired people to act on their intended actions in life. They became more appreciative of their identity, and this leveled them to some point of good life.
Harlem music and dance were the most notable of all the transformations that happened during this period. It was an age in life where people worked smart to entertain. Artists got a new lifeline as their performances started being appreciated by all. It also rang loud in their minds that the world was going to be a better place under the new thinking. These artists also strived to capture the mood of the people and paint a better picture of a good life for the new world.
Harlem Renaissance can be likened to the many other ages in the past when people stopped doing things the normal way and started adopting a new life. It was an age when people sought a better living outside the obvious lifestyles they had been used to. Products of this period included; new poems and poets reenergized civil rights activism as well as a paradigm shift in international relations. It can be claimed that the new thinking was a product of people working
hard to lead a better life away from the old.
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