The Harlem Renaissance was the most significant event in African American intellectual and cultural life in the twentieth century. Its most obvious manifestation was in a self-conscious literary movement, but it touched almost every component of African American creative culture in the period from World War I through the Great Depression: music, the visual arts, theater, and literature. It also affected politics, social development, and almost every phase of the African American experience in the 1920s and 1930s.
This anthology concentrates on the literary aspects of the Harlem Renaissance, though it does include several examples of the visual arts associated with the movement. The literary texts are arranged more or less chronologically; for the most part shorter pieces have been selected that could be presented in their entirety. There are some excerpts from longer works. All of the major authors are represented as well as some less well known. This anthology also includes selections that help frame the history of the movement, several essays on the Harlem Renaissance, as well as some critism contemporary to the writing.
Concluding with a bibliography, this volume serves as a brief introduction to the Harlem Renaissance, its writers, and the rich body of literature they produced.