Political Thought in the Harlem Renaissance: Crash Course Black American History #27 | Summary and Q&A

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December 4, 2021
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Political Thought in the Harlem Renaissance: Crash Course Black American History #27

TL;DR

The Harlem Renaissance was a time of artistic expression and political activism for Black Americans in the early 20th century.

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Questions & Answers

Q: How were Black artists during the Harlem Renaissance affected by racism and inequality?

Black artists faced systemic and interpersonal racism, even in the North, and had to work in dangerous and lower-paid roles compared to their white counterparts. They often struggled to pursue their art full time.

Q: Who were the key figures in the political activism of the Harlem Renaissance?

Phillip Randolph and Chandler Owen were significant figures who defined the goals of the "new negro" in terms of political equality and economic mobility through labor unions. Organizations like the NAACP and the National Urban League played crucial roles in grassroots activism to combat discrimination and segregation.

Q: What role did Marcus Garvey play during the Harlem Renaissance?

Marcus Garvey founded the Universal Negro Improvement Association (UNIA), which advocated for black nationalism and the idea of separate living spaces for black Americans. Garvey's ideology focused on African diaspora unity and self-reliance, but his alignment with the Ku Klux Klan and controversial views on African tribes made him a divisive figure among other Black leaders.

Q: What were some of the achievements of the NAACP during the Harlem Renaissance?

The NAACP successfully overturned city ordinances mandating residential segregation and defended a black physician from murder charges. They also played a significant role in investigating lynchings in the South, although efforts to pass a national anti-lynching bill were unsuccessful.

Summary & Key Takeaways

  • The Harlem Renaissance was a period of Black Artistry in the early 20th century that also involved political messages and activism against racial injustice.

  • Black artists during this time often faced challenges and had to work in unstable and lower-paid roles in industrial plants or seaports.

  • Black theorists and political thinkers emerged during the Harlem Renaissance, debating strategies for achieving equality and labor rights for Black communities.

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