The Harlem Renaissance
First Edition   ©2008

The Harlem Renaissance

A Brief History with Documents

Jeffrey Brown Ferguson

  • ISBN-10: 0-312-41075-1; ISBN-13: 978-0-312-41075-9; Format: Paper Text, 224 pages

The Harlem Renaissance — the unprecedented artistic outpouring centered in 1920s and 1930s Harlem — comes down to us today, says Jeffrey B. Ferguson, as a braiding of history, memory, and myth. To analyze the movement’s contents and meaning, Ferguson presents its signature works and lesser known pieces in a framework that allows students to examine the issues its writers and artists faced. Political theorists and civil rights activists, as well as poets, artists, musicians, and novelists, explore the character of the so-called New Negro, the influence of African and Southern heritage, the implications of skin color and race and gender, and the question of whether black artistic expression should be directed toward the black freedom struggle. Ferguson’s thought-provoking introduction provides the broad background for the Harlem Renaissance and a frank assessment of its significance. A glossary of key individuals and journals, document headnotes and annotations, a chronology, questions for consideration, and a selected bibliography help students understand the context of this artistic outpouring and investigate its themes.
"The documents chosen for this collection are magnificent and really capture the spirit and sensation of the Harlem Renaissance better than any other book I have seen. The range of voices, the depth of feeling, the nuanced perspectives, and the vivid imagery provide a remarkably compelling picture of the movement."

— Natalie J. Ring, University of Texas at Dallas