How did the jazz age influence the Harlem Renaissance?
The Harlem Renaissance was a movement between the 1920s to 1930s that saw the blossoming of the African-American culture, particularly in creative arts and writing. While there were African-American writers even before this period, there was very little focus on black voices. This movement was one of the largest movements in African-American history. The black writers concentrated their work on addressing the experience of being black and the minority race in America during that period.
Before then, in the 1860s, most published works were from white male writers. The upcoming African -American writers sought to address the black slavery 60 years before and tell exactly how it felt to be excluded in mainstream America. The coming together of poets, writers, musicians, intellectuals, and entrepreneurs gave rise to the Harlem Renaissance, a period when everything seemed possible.
The Harlem renaissance was very influential and had a profound impact on America and the entire world. This period was characterized by the massive movement of African Americans from the Southern to the North. Before then, African Americans were considered second class citizens and were barred from living in the Northern; a region predominantly occupied by the whites. As they migrated, they brought with them a culture characterized by social norms and experiences. By moving to the North, African Americans had to develop new ways of dealing with their newly acquired secondary status. In the process of cultural navigations, Jazz was born.
The jazz age grew after the migration north and had a major impact on the Harlem renaissance. In cultural navigations, African-Americans blended African and American music to develop America’s first great form of art popularly known as Jazz music. The discovery of jazz music brought about an all-round cultural change. Before the Jazz age, night clubs and bigotry were outrightly prohibited in America. But Jazz flaunted musical conventions, and night clubs became the new norm. Thousands of people from all races flocked the city night clubs to see African American jazz bands and performers like Bessie Smith, Billie Holiday, and Duke Ellington. The Harlem Cotton Club was one popular venue where both whites and blacks often met to listen to jazz music.
The impacts of slavery were profound. The jazz age created a conducive environment and the American city to showcase the great minds and talents. Jazz was key to discovering some of the greatest minds and works like that of artist Aaron Douglas, sculptor Augusta Savage, writer Jean Toomer, and Zora Hurston would have otherwise never been discovered. These artists, writers, and intellectuals from the Jazz age transformed the African-American culture and the American culture altogether.