Harlem Renaissance: How Art Expressed A Community

Harlem Renaissance

by Aaron Rodriguez

It’s a Saturday morning in Harlem, you wake up to hear the radio playing “Jumpin’ Jive” by Cab Calloway. There in the living room, your dad was reading The Crisis magazine where Langston Hughes just released a new short story for all to read. Outside of the apartment, the neighborhood was busy with life, places like the Apollo and Lafayette getting ready for the hundreds of people that were going to come in later that night and listen to known and aspiring artists. Talk about the play that Countee Cullen wrote. It was tough times but the Harlem neighborhood was booming with culture. 

This is one of the many stories of people who lived during the Harlem Renaissance. It was a cultural movement for the African American community during the 1920’s where Harlem in New York City was its symbolic home. It blossomed great creativity in all of the arts; musical, theatrical, visual arts, literature and more. Not only did it blossom but it gave a stage for a lot of artists and the community as a whole. From the NAACP publishing the magazine The Crisis to sculptor Augusta Savage being a pivotal figure to help enlist black artists into the Federal Art Project. 

Here at CORRAL, we had the awesome opportunity for Edi, CORRAL’s Latinx Liaison and former participant to come to the Raleigh campus and teach our girls what the Harlem Renaissance was and how it was a rebirth for African Americans to express themselves in new ways and redefine the way America understood African American culture. It’s important to us here at CORRAL to show our girls diverse history and how art can make you not only feel connected to yourself but to a community. 

To Learn More about the Harlem Renaissance check out some of these links:


Archives of The Crisis:


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