A Companion to the Harlem Renaissance by Cherene Sherrard-Johnson

By Cherene Sherrard-Johnson

A significant other to the Harlem Renaissance provides a accomplished selection of unique essays that deal with the literature and tradition of the Harlem Renaissance from the tip of global conflict I to the center of the 1930s.

  • Represents the main accomplished assurance of subject matters and distinctive new views at the Harlem Renaissance available
  • Features unique contributions from either rising students of the Harlem Renaissance and tested educational “stars” within the field
  • Offers quite a few interdisciplinary beneficial properties, resembling the part on visible and expressive arts, that emphasize the collaborative nature of the era
  • Includes “Spotlight Readings” that includes lesser recognized figures of the Harlem Renaissance and newly came across or undervalued writings via canonical figures       

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These companies provided “stage training and theatrical experience for a large number of coloured men” and were “the start along a line which led straight to the musical comedies of Cole and Johnson, Williams and Walker, and Ernest Hogan … [who] assembled in New York” (1972, 93, 95), first along Sixth and Seventh Avenues in the Thirties before moving up to the Fifties. This choice of location was not accidental; it was the site of black bohemia but also lay in close proximity to Broadway, known at the time as the Great White Way.

1972. Black Manhattan. New York: Atheneum. Orig. pub. 1930. 34 Carla L. Peterson Johnson, James Weldon. 2004. Along This Way. In Writings, ed. by William L. Andrews, 129–598. New York: Library of America. Orig. pub. 1933. Locke, Alain. 1969. ” In The New Negro, ed. by Alain Locke, 3–16. New York: Atheneum. Orig. pub. 1925. McAllister, Marvin. 2003. White People Do Not Know How to Behave at Entertainments Designed for Ladies & Gentlemen of Colour. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press.

Pleasure‐seeking black bohemians did not confine themselves to the indoors, however, but just as Harlemites would do a century later, spilled out into the street. Here whites served as mere spectators, training their curious gaze on these “barbaroi” and referring to them derisively as black dandies and dandizettes. Some flocked to watch 24 Carla L. Peterson guests arrive at an African American ball on Mulberry Street and mocked the “tawdry elegance” of the women. Others, observing black New Yorkers stroll up and down Broadway and the Battery in their leisure time, ridiculed their extravagant dress and motley combinations of styles and colors (White and White 1998, 98, 94).

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