The Harlem Renaissance (Bloom's Period Studies) by Harold, Ed Bloom

By Harold, Ed Bloom

Harlem within the Nineteen Twenties and Thirties was once the epicenter of a rebirth in African-American literature with the poetry and prose of writers similar to Langston Hughes, Zora Neale Hurston, and Gwendolyn Brooks. This quantity examines the defining subject matters and types of African-American literature in this interval.

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Hughes’s efforts to create a poetry that truly evoked the spirit of Black America involved a resolution of conflicts centering around the problem of identity. B. Du Bois, saw the black man’s situation in America as a question of dual consciousness. As Du Bois wrote in his Souls of Black Folk (1903): “It is a peculiar sensation, this double-consciousness, this sense of always looking at oneself through the eyes of others, of measuring one’s soul by the tape of a world that looks on in amused contempt and pity.

Kramer. © 1987 by AMS Press, Inc. 35 36 Raymond Smith number of anthologies, translations, short stories, essays, novels, plays, and histories dealing with the spectrum of Afro-American life. Of the major black writers who first made their appearance during the exciting period of the 1920s commonly referred to as “the Harlem Renaissance,” Langston Hughes was the most prolific and the most successful. As the Harlem Renaissance gave way to the Depression, Hughes determined to sustain his career as a poet by bringing his poetry to the people.

See relevant sections in Huggins, Harlem Renaissance; Arna Bontemps, Harlem Renaissance Remembered (New York: Dodd Mead, 1972); Amritjit Singh, The Novels of the Harlem Renaissance: Twelve Black Writers, 1923–33 (Pennsylvania State University Press, 1976). 7. James Thompson, Lennox Raphael, and Steven Canyon, “A Very Stern Discipline: An Interview with Ralph Ellison,” Harper’s, March 1967, p. 79. 8. Wayne Cooper, ed. The Passion of Claude McKay: Selected Poetry and Prose, 1912–1948 (New York: Schocken, 1973), p.

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