The rise and fall of the radical and militant leader Marcus Garvey in the immediate post-war period was only one aspect of the growth of racial pride and awareness that characterized the 1920s. As he drew support from black workers and those who owned small businesses, the African-American cultural movement that would quickly be called the Harlem Renaissance was gaining support from black intellectuals (Bascom, 1999, p. 32).
African-American music was also deeply affected by the social currents of the 1920s. Previously confined to the South, jazz and blues began to be played in northern cities during World War I and soon became established in the rapidly growing northern black communities. Louis Armstrong went from New Orleans to Chicago in 1922 to play with King Oliver's jazz band, and Jelly Roll Morton began arranging the previously spontaneous jazz pieces during the mid-1920s, preparing the way for big band leaders such as Duke Ellington and Fletcher Henderson.
The growth in the size and literacy of the urban black populace stimulated cultural and intellectual activity. Newspapers and magazines published by blacks appeared in all substantial black communities. The composers Scott Joplin, W. C. Handy, and J. Rosamond Johnson, brother of the writer James Weldon Johnson, and the poet-novelist Paul Laurence Dunbar were among the black artists who achieved prominence at the turn of the century. Numerous other musicians and writers labored more anonymously as they combined Western musical styles with rhythmic and melodic forms rooted in Africa and in slavery to create African-American jazz - a musical form that would often make its cadences heard in Hughes's poetry, with its ever-so-slightly syncopated meters, as in the 1851 ôTheme for English Bö.