The Harlem Renaissance By: Veronica Chambers by Drew

October 21, 2020


The Harlem Renaissance By: Veronica Chambers

(Since this story doesn’t revolve around one person, I thought I would create the protagonist as a whole. Basically making the “protagonist” all the African Americans involved in this change.) 

African Americans are the dynamic characters. Their archetype changes over the course of the book. At the beginning of the book, they are the archetypal world redeemers. This can be seen on page 12-13, where the author writes:

“Whatever their motivations may have been, the critics’ fanfare was justified. The awards dinner was one of the key events of the Harlem Renaissance, a movement that began early in the 1920s as an assertion of an African-American artistic and cultural identity.” 

But by page 16-20, African Americans have begun to transform into survivors.  I say this because all the things they have started to establish and create over the years. For example “Nonetheless, the shows established a number of black singers and dancers (most famously Florence Mills) as bona fide stars.”… , “The Jazz craze reached Harlem soon after that, and the explosions of new nightclubs and cabarets charged the neighborhood with musical energy.”…. , “Despite the explosion of African-American creativity.”…

African Americans  are no longer the people who can be “controlled”(quotations indeed), they are not owned by anyone, and are not any less human than anyone walking down the street. There people as they always were.  Their past does not define them and the people they are to become .A reader will recognize the turning point for African Americans when their story gets repeated as a defining moment in history. Page 23 encourages this belief. “How did Harlem become the center of a black cultural revolution? The story of the Harlem Renaissance is actually many stories: of politics and power, race and gender, and especially art, music and literature. For perhaps the first time in American history, African Americans were able to see themselves as inheritors of an ancient culture that was rich and more varied than many could have imagined.”