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Journey to the Harlem Reanaissance

Dominick Sainte Fisher/ Mrs. WestEng. 3 Hon Per. 14 March 2002Journey to the Harlem Renaissance As America moves into a more cultural and diversified era, more people are taking the time to learn about the Harlem Renaissance. The Harlem Renaissance was the foremost form of freedom for African Americans. It showed blacks that they were becoming equals in American society. The talents of African Americans soared in art, music, literature and especially poetry. The main writers embodying the Harlem Renaissance were Claude McKay, Langston Hughes and Countee Cullen.Claude was born in Jamaica, in 1898. He got his education from his older brother, who possessed a library of English novels, poetry and scientific texts. (Callahan, 784) Claude was a little older when he created his first piece of literary work. He published a book called Songs of Jamaica. It was a record of his impressions of black life in Jamaica. (Callahan,783) In 1912, he finally got to America, where he wrote Harlem Shadows; his most important book of poetry. (Callahan 784) While there, he attended the Tuskegee Institute. In 1914 he moved to Harlem, the center of black culture in the U.S. (Anderson, 704) He later published two sonnets, The Harlem Dancer and Invocation, in 1917. He would later use the same poetic form to record his reactionary views on the injustices of black life in America. (Callahan, 785) In addition Sainte 2to social and political concerns, McKay wrote on a variety of subjects, from his Jamaican homeland to romantic love, with a use of passionate language. (Callahan, 785) During the twenties he developed an interest in Communism, so he visited Russia to meet the architects of Russian Communism, Lenin and Trotsky. He also lived in France. When he came back to the U.S., he moved back to Harlem. There he became a well known poet. McKays viewpoints and poetic achievements in the earlier part of the twentieth century set the tone fo...

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