How to understand Black art across the diaspora


The Harlem Renaissance

1918 - mid 1930’s

 The pulse of the Negro world has begun to beat in Harlem
-  Alain Locke

The Harlem Renaissance (or the New Negro Movement) was an intellectual, artistic and social movement that occurred in the early 20th century. The Great Migration saw African-Americans leaving the South to move to Northern cities. With an economic boom and an increase in industrial job opportunities, the North was also considered to provide a more racially tolerant society.

Harlem was a popular city many African-Americans moved to and became a cultural epicenter that encouraged artistic expression, experimentation, and community. This era of rebirth provided a new sense of pride in their Blackness, which was expressed through music, literature, and art. While other cities such as Chicago and Los Angeles also expreienced a cultural explosion, Harlem was a focal point for this new era.