Historical Analysis On 1920s
"Has been a lifesaver so many times!"
- Catherine Rampell, student @ University of Washington
"Exactly the help I needed."
- Jennifer Hawes, student @ San Jose State
"The best place for brainstorming ideas."
- Michael Majchrowicz, student @ University of Kentucky
Historical Analysis On 1920s
"Wedding Band" by Alice Childress is a story of a love/hate interracial relationship between two lovers in the south. The play is set in South Carolina in 1918. "Wedding Band" truly captures the essence of the time and place in which the play was set in. That era (1915-1931) is one of the most significant in the history of this young nation. The decade of the 1920\'s is often characterized as a period of American prosperity and optimism. It was the "Roaring Twenties," the decade of the bath tub gin, the model T, the $5 work day, the first transatlantic flight, and the movie. It was a high point in African-American history as well. The Harlem Renaissance took shape; it was a time when African Americans began an intellectual movement. Harlem became the center of African-American culture. Most African-Americans began a movement to rethink their values and appreciation of their roots and Africa. The "Great Migration" began at this time. Approximately two million Southern blacks move to northern industrial centers in hopes to escape the oppressive nature of the deep south. However, for every upside their is a downside. The decade was a period of rising intolerance and isolation. Americans retreated into a provincialism evidenced by the rise of the Ku Klux Klan, the anti radical hysteria of the Palmer raids, restrictive immigration laws, and prohibition. Influenza and the first world war brought an alarming amount of Americans to an early death. Racial motivated riots spread throughout the country and protests endorsing and condemning racism were the norm.
Life in the south was at most times unbearable for the blacks, and many felt that the southern atmosphere had such a suffocating affect on them that escape was the best option. African-Americans were showing their pain inside, little by little proving themselves to the racist whites in the south that they were somebody, not a property, but a human being with self worth and dignity who should be treated equally. The main place that the black southerners were blinded of was the urban places in the north. These were the places that captured their attention. Many of the southerners who were enslaved or sons and daughters of enslaved Africans began to migrate in the northern cities. These were the places where they began to live a life of independence and freedom. The migration of the black southerners was a success. Their lives changed when they moved to the urban cities.
Harlem created a growth of African-American culture which created a community exploding with art, politics, energy, and racial pride. "When the blues was hot and jazz was a growing stay in America\'s culture; when speakeasies were filled with both blacks and whites dancing to the \'rhythms of life\' set out by the saxophone, trumpet, and drums......" This is a definition that truly captures the Harlem Renaissance. The Boogie-woogie, the Turkey Trot, and the Big Apple are just few of the many dances that developed during the Harlem Renaissance. The Harlem Renaissance produced a shine of new authors during this time period. The authors knew each other well and frequently exchanged ideas. The Renaissance writers remain important not just for their own work but because the literary tradition they built would become a platform which future African-American voices could shout and be heard. There were many big authors during the Harlem Renaissance such as Langston Hughes, Jean Toomer, Jessie Redman Fauset, Countee Cullen, Claude Mckay, Wallace Thurman, and Zora Neale Hurston. Also, artists flourished during this period. Names such as, James Van Der Zee, Aaron Douglas, and Richard Bruce Nugent. These are just a few of talented artists in the Harlem Renaissance. Langston Hughes was of the Harlem Renaissance, this artistic movement of the 1920s in which black artists living in Harlem and elsewhere blossomed in musical, poetry, theatrical an cultural expression. The musical and oral traditions of black America inspired Hughes, and the rhythms of jazz music can be heard in much of his poetry. In several of Langston Hughes\'s poems, he expresses sociopolitical protests. He portrayed people whose lives were impacted by racism and sexual conflicts, he wrote about southern violence, Harlem street life, poverty, prejudice, hunger, and hopelessness. These great minds of the Harlem Renaissance will eternally
View Full Essay
African-American literature, Reconstruction Era, Harlem Renaissance, African-American culture, Harlem, Ku Klux Klan, Langston Hughes, Roaring Twenties, Nadir of American race relations, New Negro
More Free Essays Like This