When Harlem was in vogue
Stretching from the close of World War I to immediately after the Depression, the Harlem Renaissance was a time of glorious artistic freedom and intellectual collaboration between black artists and white bohemians of Greenwich village. In his masterful and fascinating study of this era, Lewis takes a daring look at what was considered to be a successful utopian effort at assimilating and validating black culture in white America. photos.
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LibraryThing ReviewUser Review - LibraryThing
An exhaustive history of the Harlem Renaissance of the 1920's. Many readers may be surprised and disappointed that this survey is far more focused on the black literary scene than the Jazz scene that is more well known today, but this reflects the interests of the black intellectuals of that era. Writers like Langston Hughes, Jean Toomer, Countee Cullen, James Weldon Johnson, Alain Locke, Zora Neale Hurston, Wallace Thurman, are discussed in some detail. There are also explanations of various rival political and religious figures like W.E.B. Du Boise, Marcus Garvey, The NAACP, Father Devine and others. Music in Harlem can hardly be ignored of course so figures like James Reese Europe, Bessie Smith, Fletcher Hendrson, Ethel Waters, James P Johnson, Fats Waller, Black Swan Records and the nightclub scene make appearances but it is hard to deny that this highly durable and influential aspect of Harlem life deserves more space. There is also some mention given to art, dance and business leaders. Despite the glaring omissions of the music history (which are after all well documented elsewhere) this is an important and detailed snapshot of an important era.
Review: When Harlem Was in VogueUser Review - Goodreads
Comprehensive, decent pop-history, although also quite scattershot and meandering. Overemphasizes the importance of formal associations and linkages, underemphasizes informal relationships.